Shiver: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Shiver by Maggie StiefvaterYears ago, when Grace was attacked by wolves, Sam saved her. He has been a presence in Grace’s life ever since always lurking on the periphery each winter in Mercy Falls, watching her, protecting her.

Even though they have never spoken.

Sam has been watching Grace for years, waiting for her, making sure she was safe. Even when he couldn’t remember her name he knew she mattered. He knew he loved her even if it was impossible because of what he was.

No matter how Grace and Sam might feel about each other there is always one insurmountable truth separating them: Sam is a wolf.

A werewolf more specifically.

Every year when the temperature drops, Sam changes into a wolf–Grace’s wolf, the one always watching her from a safe distance–trapped in his changed form until spring when the temperatures rise and he can become Sam again.

That was Sam’s reality, his unavoidable truth, and the one thing Grace never really believed. At least, not until she met Sam, the real Sam.

Once Grace knows the truth, sees her wolf made human, losing him is unimaginable.

Being with Grace is all Sam has ever wanted; the one thing he always held onto as a wolf.

But the temperature is falling in Mercy Falls and with the looming threat of winter Grace and Sam are running out of time in Shiver (2009) by Maggie Stiefvater.

Shiver is superficially a paranormal/supernatural* romance with werewolves. But, really, it is so much more than that.

Poetic and urgent, Stiefvater’s writing is poised to exceed expectations and stay with readers. Told in chapters alternating between Grace and Sam’s voices the urgency of winter’s approach and the strength of our heroes’ love are both tangible. Grace and Sam are a charmingly authentic couple in a town filled with well-developed and unforgettable characters of both human and lupine persuasions.

Shiver is, really, just a beautiful book. The physical design from the cover (with art by Christopher Stengel) down to the text printed in blue ink is just as impressive as Stiefvater’s original take on werewolves in this complex, charming and extremely satisfying start to a what promises to be a stunning trilogy.

Grace and Sam’s story continues in Linger (which is printed in green ink).

Possible Pairings: Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggerº, A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde

*Are paranormal and supernatural different things in the publishing world? I don’t actually know if they have different definitions or not.

ºIt kills me a little bit to pair this book with Shiver because I truly think Shiver is so much better and does everything TTTW should have done, but in a more masterful way. BUT if you don’t have my issues with TTTW these books do have the same sense of urgency and tone of sweeping romance. Draw your own conclusions.

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