Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh, my. What a book. I am going to flub writing this review very badly, I think. I just plain loved this book. This book is so gorgeous in the writing, and like poetry, but more readable than poetry, because it's prose.
Do you like reading about soulmates? Then you will like this book. Sam and Grace are soulmates. It doesn't matter that Sam is a werewolf, and that Grace is a human girl. They connected years ago, and that connection bloomed over time. You see the pure, powerful love between them, and it is the cornerstone of this book. Their interactions have a fiery intensity, a soul-deep truth (I sound so stupid, but that's the best way I can express this).
Do you like poetic, loveable, fantastic, yet tortured heroes? You will probably go gaga over Sam. I did. Oh, Sam. You are so wonderful. You could give lessons about how to love a woman.
Are you a werewolf fiction fan? Have you read this book? If the answer is no, you need to rectify that. I am not one for bandwagons. I read the books that draw my interest. And this one did, before it was even released, and I heard about it. I was not disappointed. I was waiting for a really good werewolf young adult book, and this is it. The aspects of werewolves that draw me and fascinate me are depicted here. The concept of pack is such an integral part of this book. Sam hated being a werewolf, but he loved his pack. He loved the bond and the security of it. Poor Grace had indifferent parents who barely even spent time with her. She had Sam living in her room for many days, and they didn't even know it. That's neglect. I don't care how well fed, sheltered, and clothed a child is. If that child isn't loved or nurtured by her family, that's neglect to me. So, having Sam and that bond with him felt so right. To Grace, he was her home and her family. Her pack. I loved the descriptions of the instincts of the wolf, the smell, the primal nature. It was so well done. I loved the wolf that Sam was. I loved the young man that Sam was.
I am a cold-natured person. I love being cold. Winter is my favorite season. It was very interesting how cold was the enemy to Grace and Sam. I dreaded the drop in temperature in a way I never have. In real life, I rejoice when the seasons turn to late fall, and eventually into deep winter. My favorite times of the year. Ask my family, and they will tell you I am a polar bear. I sleep with my window open when it's thirty-something degrees outside. But, reading this book, I wished it was the middle of the hot, unforgiving summer. Because cold was the adversary for Grace and Sam's love. Ms. Stiefvater depicted this beautifully.
If you're looking for major external conflict and a big smackdown between good and evil, you won't find it here. This book is focused on the love relationship between Sam and Grace. It's focused on the character development of these two, and the people in their lives.
This is a love story. Not just a boy meets girl. But, it's a love letter for werewolf fans. Highly, highly recommended for people who love werewolf fiction, and people enjoy lyrical, gorgeous prose, and stories that go deep into the heart of the reader and leave a sad kind of joy behind. Bravo.
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