Review: Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater

08 Feb

6528333When a local boy is killed by wolves, Grace’s small town becomes a place of fear and suspicion. But Grace can’t help being fascinated by the pack, and by one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. There’s something about him – something almost human. Then she meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away…

A chilling love story that will have you hooked from the very first page.

This is one of those reviews that could go either way. It’s a tough one for me. What can I say about Shiver? On one hand, I enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down close to the end, and on the other, it drove me up the bloody wall. It’s pretty rare that I genuinely can’t decide whether to go for a One Star or a Three Star rating. My head says One, and my heart says Three.

Let me start with the Badness. The love story here is ridiculously soppy, which I could deal with if it wasn’t for the fact that the explanation behind this intense, all consuming teenage adoration-fest was so very weak. I need to tiptoe around spoiler territory, but I just didn’t buy Grace’s slow burning six year love for Sam, nor the sudden comfortable togetherness they shared after the incident in the woods. Now I was never much of an outgoing teenager myself, but even for the more gregarious teen I think hiding a love interest in your bed, with you, an hour or so after you’ve met them is pushing it a bit. I also found the length of time she managed to hide him for to be equally daft, disinterested parents or not. The sudden, inspired ‘cure’ that Grace comes up with, was one of the silliest things I’ve read to date, coupled with the manner in which they tried to apply it. Add to that the completely out-of-character move by Olivia at the end, and you’ll have a feel for why I spent time in One Star territory.

After reading, and being pleasantly surprised by The Raven Boys, this was not what I was expecting.

So why did I finish it? Essentially because I really, really liked the idea of what makes Werewolves change here. It was original, and interesting, and how often do you find anything original in Werewolf stories? Definite plus points there. Add to this the fact that Stiefvater has one of those effortlessly engaging writing styles, which made it damn near impossible to put this one down even when I was scoffing at it. She’s one of those writers who draws you in by the scruff of your neck, whether you’re happy about it or not. The main thing that kept me going though was all the promise held within these pages. Promise that was never realised. I wanted to know more about the Pack, more about Beck’s background and Sam’s beginnings. There’s so much uncovered territory here, and I think the biggest frustration of all was getting to the end and thinking of all the missed opportunities for genuine awesomeness. This could have, and should have, been amazing. But it was essentially, at best, a guilty pleasure with a couple of good points.

Shiver’s a fun, daft read, that sadly lacks the intelligence and intrigue of The Raven Boys. In some ways it’s almost everything that’s wrong with YA.

Will I read the next two books in the series? If I find them in the library I might indulge, as there is more I want to know about these Wolves. I wouldn’t hunt the books down though, or spend my hard-earned on them.

Mixed feelings, but overall, disappointed. I’m way outside of the target audience though, the 13 year old me may well have been captivated.


2A PhoenixFantasy Two Star Read.


[Shiver is published by Scholastic and is available in Paperback and Electronic format]

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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


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