Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvaster - Review
I've decided to combine my Waiting for Wednesday post (hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine) with my review of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Because if there is a book to wait for, to pine for, it's this book.
I turned to Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater’s second novel, with a frisson of excitement. I loved Lament, cheered for it, sold it, talked about it, promoted it. And this is far, far from any werewolf tale I’ve ever read - no changes as the full moon approaches, no silver bullets, but a peek into another world, which is dangerous, different, and utterly enchanting.
Sam lives part of every year as a wolf – in the winter. As it gets warmer, he turns back into a human. As he gets older, however, he stays human for less and less time. Eventually he will remain a wolf. But in both forms he watches Grace, the girl who sits on her swing and returns his gaze, who does not understand why she’s filled with a longing for what she sees as “her” yellow-eyed wolf. But when Sam is shot he’s forced back into human form and turns to Grace for help. The gap has been broached and now they can get to know each other until, of course, they fall into each other's arms. But their time together is so short. And the question then becomes: what are they willing to do for the chance of more time together?
Told by her two main characters in alternating chapters, you get to understand both of them, root for them, and sense their growing attachment to each other. Occasionally you fall into a book, fall in love, and find it hard to come back. This is such a book. It’s a romance to remember, to savor – perfect, poetic, passionate, intense, all encompassing, and, naturally, heartbreaking. Shiver with the excitement of such a find. Fall under its spell – I did.
Maggie Stiefvater is a rising star in the world of teen literature. I just wish she could write faster!