Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Review: Shiver

By Maggie Stiefvater

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

Why I read it: I had seen the third book somewhere on someone’s blog… I think it was inkpop. Anyways, I thought it had something to do with Little Red Riding Hood. I wouldn’t have read it if I had known it was about werewolves. (BTW, I absolutely love the covers for this series. So plain, but they really stand out)

What I liked: There were a number of interesting ideas in this book, the number one being that werewolves only changed from people to wolves when the temperature got too low. I thought that was unique. It was also cool b/c at the beginning of each chapter it would have the temperature written at the top. And the font was blue! All in all, the packaging of this book was really neat.

What I disliked: Well, pretty much everything. Let’s make a list.
1-      The romance went WAY too fast. They start sleeping in the same bed the day they meet, and then they do have sex later on.
2-      Huge plot holes. The ending had a cliff-hanger that was just like ‘What????’ Also, there were two plot points (Two ‘bitten’ teens, and Shelby) who appear and then are barely mentioned again.
3-      I never understood Grace. As a little girl she was nearly killed by wolves, and yet she absolutely loves them, risking her life to save them from being shot. She also got really mad at her friends for keeping secrets from her, when the whole time she was keeping a werewolf in her house and not telling them.  
4-      Sam was just totally in love with Grace, and that’s about all I got from him. I never really understood his emotions towards anyone else. One second he would like Beck, the next he was super angry with him. It just never made sense.
5-      This book just didn’t seem to end. Getting close to the end I thought it was done, but then it just kept going and going, piling up minor events really quickly. The actual ending seemed really anticlimactic.
I could go on, but I don’t really have the time. Basically, I don’t know how anyone could like this book for its literary qualities. It could, however, appeal to fans of Twilight.

From a Christian Perspective: Certainly not recommended. There was a fair amount of swearing, especially in what would otherwise have been some of my favourite scenes. The author seems to think that for a scene to be emotional, the characters have to use God’s name in vain a couple dozen times. And then, of course, there’s the excessive romance between Grace and Sam. They start sharing a bed their very first night, they kiss a LOT, and they do have sex. Sam especially is described as ‘the best of them’ and a sort of self controlled, chaste person (werewolf), but when it comes to Grace, he looses all that.

To buy or not to buy: I certainly won’t be. I can only see this interesting Twilight fans, for people who'd rather have romance than action. I don’t know if I’ll even bother looking at the sequel, Linger. The only reason I would is because I want to read the first chapter and figure out if the ending of Shiver makes any sense at all. 

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