13/03/2014

Review: Shiver {Maggie Stiefvater}


 
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One — her yellow-eyed wolf — is a chilling presence in her life she can't seem to live without. When a local boy is killed by the wolves, Grace's small town becomes ripe with fear and anger. But Grace can't distant herself from the pack and the very real possibility that there is something more to them.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives; one in winter, frozen in the woods in the silent company of a fearless girl. And one in summer, in his precious few months of humanity.As the cold worsens Sam must fight to stay human, or risk loosing himself — and Grace — forever. 

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0990662624?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0990662624&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21 

 
What started out as a way for me to entertain myself until the next Raven Cycle book has now resulted in me binge-buying all the books in yet another series.
Shiver isn't quite as poetic The Raven Boys, the prose not quite as haunting as The Dream Thieves, but it is a lovely book in its own right, and not one that can really be compared to Maggie's other works. Mostly because she really does craft unique stories that stand apart from each other, with characters that always feel so real, stopping me from ever wanting to compare them. It'd be like comparing winter and summer (people who've read this book . . . SEE WHAT I DID THERE? *Waits for laugh*).

Maggie uses a dual narrative, which some might find jarring, but I think it is really effective. Both Sam and Grace have distinct voices and their alternating chapters allow us to see certain events from both perspectives, which helps to slow or quicken the pacing of the story when necessary. It's a great plot device and helped build a lot of tension, especially when shorter, page-long chapters were added.

Stereotypes and obvious plot points you'd expect to see in a werewolf story are gracefully sidestepped in Shiver, and instead Maggie puts her own spin on the lore and creates creatures very different from the wolves we're used to reading about. Sure, some things made me scoff a little, and there's some junk-science floating about (Maggie herself strongly recommends any werewolves looking for a cure not go down the route her characters do), but since this is a fantasy book, stuff like that is easy to overlook.


The essence of this story is that it is a romance and it does well as that, giving us just the right amount of angst, balanced with sweeter, intimate moments between Sam and Grace. The author seems to understand that with everything going on, there's no need to fill the pages with unnecessary character drama. Instead we get to see the tender side of Sam and Grace's relationship and feel the heartbreaking breeze of winter ticking over them.

It was refreshing to know that Sam and Grace's relationship was a certainty, which meant I could enjoy their moments together and that the story could branch out and focus on the wolves and other intense, action-filled plot points, rather than relationship drama.

As characters, both Grace and Sam were nice changes to a genre that isn't without its cliché archetypes. Grace steps out of the shadow of Bella and takes her place as a strong, assertive heroine, with just enough vulnerability to make her sympathetic, but not enough to make her entirely dependent on her love interest.

Sam is also a great change from the inhuman bad boy filled with mystery and brooding looks. He's funny, sweet, and honest, which made him feel less smouldering-supernatural-love-interest and more boy-next-door-pulls-the-short-straw

Yes, Sam has a trauma in his past, but for the most part he manages to balance out his tortured moments, with a light, live-for-today attitude, ensuring his scenes with Grace could be both intensely romantic but also endearingly fun. 


This isn't a book that will change your life, but it's one with enough promise to keep you reading on. The ending shows potential for a great new series, with so many possibilities I can't wait to see unfold. This isn't just any romance, but one that takes the time to create a host of sympathetic characters, each with their own journeys to be explored. Sure, Shiver may not be a story we haven't seen before, but it has a unique charm that can't be ignored.

"Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different colours and moods that, when combined, create a complete picture." 

 
 

 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
https://twitter.com/allie_LBBhttps://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8969137-allie-little-birdie-bookshttp://instagram.com/allie_LBBhttp://www.pinterest.com/allie_LBB/pins/http://outofkoolaid.tumblr.com/


20 comments:

  1. Gah you are making me want to read my copy of The Raven Boys and Dream Thieves that I haven't yet! I thought Shiver was pretty good, the writing was so unique and haunting. Lovely review, I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeann!! Read them NOW! They're my favourite books of all fricken time. GOGOGOGOGO

      Delete
  2. I read this a few years ago and it didn't stand out to me but I've been thinking about rereading it now so I can continue on with this series! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. think it's a great little romance / fantasy. You're right, it does stand out much originality-wise, but I think there's something that keeps it from being just your standard werewolf-romance. Especially in the second book; there's a lot more going on than just Sam and Grace's relationship :D

      Delete
  3. I really like The Raven Boys, so I need to check this one out!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you read The Dream Thieves yet? YOU WILL LOVE

      Delete
  4. These books are like my guilty pleasure. I read them waaaaay back, when I had a book hangover after The Scorpio Races. (That's still probably my favourite of all her books.) And, I mean, the plot wasn't breath-taking staggering, but I just adore her characters and style. And Sam/Grace are adorable. ALSO I SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE WITH THE WINTER/SUMMER.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! It's not going to win any prizes for originality or anything, but it really is a great little story and I'm a sucker for a romance!
      HAHA YAY FOR NOTICING MY WITTY PROWESS ;)

      Delete
  5. I enjoyed the first two, but not beyond that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that's a shame! Was the third book really bad then?

      Delete
  6. I really enjoyed the dual POV as well. And yes, I loved that they weren't your typical werewolves but if there were some in this world then this would definitely make hell of a lot more sense than the good ole moon curse. I looooved the romance in this book. Girl, I'm so glad you enjoyed the characters and the story in general:) Can't wait to see what you think of the sequels, Allie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fact that it wasn't tied to the moon and could happen at basically anytime plus (SPOILERS) the wolf lifespan thing :/ SO original and cool.

      I'm reading the second book now :) Cole and Isabel crack me up!

      Delete
  7. This was my first read of Maggie Stiefvater's and I really enjoyed the different spin she took on werewolves. Her writing is lyrical and soft. Have you read Ballad or Lament? They are also by Maggie and really good reads. Great review! :) (YES, I DID SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE. VERY CLEVER.) ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nooo I haven't had a chance yet, but since they're Maggie books I'll definitely make the time to get around to them!

      Delete
  8. In all honesty I've only read Maggie "The Raven Cycle" series, ive stayed away from her other books after hearing that they aren't all that great but now I'm rethinking this after reading your review, perhaps my friends were wrong?
    Glad you enjoyed this one Allie! it actually does sound pretty original!
    Lily

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean, I don't think any of her books are as good as The Raven Cycle books, but I do adore those books. I agree, her other stuff isn't as awesome, but I do think they're good books in their own right. And, like I said in my review, I didn't really compare it to the Raven Boys because it was such a different story with different characters. Also the fact that it was in the first was a huge change, so I just looked at it as a really good little romance book with some great twists, and not necessarily as a book written by the person who wrote The Raven Cycle series :)

      Delete
  9. Hmm...this sounds really interesting! I hate to say it, but I wasn't very fond of Maggie's Raven Boys series, but I'm really interested in Shiver. The writing - the dual POV in particular - sounds amazing; and the characters and originality of the story do too.

    I think I'm going to give this one a shot and hope for the best! Thanks for sharing Allie, and, as always, brilliant review! xD

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Gasps* BUT THEY'RE SO AWESOME! Different strokes for different folks though, I guess :D

      I would recommend giving Shiver a go - it really is nothing like The Raven Boys, so if you didn't like that then I don't think that'd mean you won't like this. The writing is really very different etc. If you do check it out, you have to let me know if you liked it!

      (And thanks so much <3 that's so sweet of you to say, Zoe!)

      Delete
  10. I have owned Shiver, Linger and Forever for so long now but haven't ever read them! I really should hurry up and start them. Your review makes me feel less nervous about beginning this series, I was worried that it would be full of angst and relationship drama, which I really hate. Now I am really looking forward to this one. Thanks for the review :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I read this book forever ago! And after finishing the first one, I totally went on a book buying spree and bought the other ones in the series as well. I also agree that this book wasn't a book that changed your life for ever, but it was a good read for sure.

    Great Review Allie!

    ReplyDelete