Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
ISBN: 9780545123266
Pages: 392 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Press, c2009.

Sam turned his head to look at me, as though my thrill of nerves had sent up a flare. I could see his eyes glinting in the dim light, a few feet away. “They bit you. You should’ve changed, too, you know.”
In my head, the wolves circled a body in the snow, their lips bloody, teeth bared, growling over the kill. A wolf, Sam, dragged the body from the circle of wolves. He carried it through the trees on two legs that left human footprints in the snow. I knew I was falling asleep, so I shook myself awake; I couldn’t remember whether I’d answered Sam.
“Sometimes I wish I had,” I told him.
He closed his eyes, miles away on the other side of the bed. “Sometimes I do, too.”(77)

Grace has been fascinated with the wolves that reside in the trees by her house ever since she survived an attack by the pack six years ago. But even with that history, she runs to their defense when the wolves are implicated in the death of Jack, one of her classmates. Sam, whose eyes match those of Grace’s favorite wolf, appears shortly after on her back porch shivering in the cold. Sam’s appearance, and the disappearance of Jack’s body, lead Grace to realize that things aren’t how they appear. Unfortunately Sam’s time is numbered no matter how much he fights against the inevitable change caused by the Minnesota winters. Can Sam force himself to stay long enough to guarantee Grace’s safety, or is his attraction to her what’s putting her in danger?

Ok, I’ll admit it; I let the hype for this book influence my opinion of it before I read. I’ve heard it compared so much to Twilight that I was leary to read it, regardless of how many good things I heard about it. And I guess I can see the similarities in this tale of forbidden love between a human girl who is different then everyone else and doesn’t realize it until meeting and instantly falling in love with a supernatural boy.

But that’s where the similarities end. I confess, this is my guilty pleasure. There are some wonderful action scenes with heart thumping suspense, especially when Sam goes missing. The constant anticipation of whether Sam is going to be able to maintain his human form keeps readers guessing, especially because of the implied danger that Grace is in if Sam changes to his wolf self in her presence. The alternating chapters allow readers to view this experience through both Grace’s and Sam’s eyes, providing more depth than what Twilight provided me. The relationship is a little rushed for my tastes, but that’s the point of the novel is that it is love at first sight, and both Grace and Sam feel as if they’ve been waiting years to know eachother. The ending is predictable (how else could it possibly end) but it also leaves one very big question dangling but not to the point where it drives readers to insanity. There is a sequel out, Linger, that was published in July. The summary of that one sounds verrrrrrry similar to Shiver however, so I’m not sure if I’m going to like it as much the second time around. We’ll have to see.

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