Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Take On Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC)

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

I had a hard time getting into this story in the begining. I'd be reading, and it wasn't like I couldn't put it down. It might have been me and my preoccupation, but I felt like I was a stone skipping along the surface but never really sinking in. It was definitely no fault of the characters; Sam was instantly endearing with his borderline self deprication, dark past, and gorgeous lupine eyes, and Grace was a lot cooler than most teen romance leads- not at all swoony or overly dependant on her new found beau. The language was realistically eloquent, never feeling forced or over done. I loved how Stiefvater would see the opportunity for Sam or Grace to be overly verbose in their proffesions of love but she'd let it pass with a funny, "But nobody talks like that," thought.
I don't know why it took almost half the book to catch my attention, but once it did I was hooked!
Sam was definitely my favorite, though it was easy to put yourself in Grace's shoes. I've read that Stiefvater has a love affair with music and writes some into each book, in this case it was Sam who was the musician. He played a little guitar, though it didn't come up enough for it to seem like the author was trying to make a "Save the Music" type statement. He occasionally composed lyrics in his head about whatever he was feeling; it made him seem very relatable, and yes, even more lovable. Grace on the other hand was the exact oppsite of Sam; controling, but not scarily so; orderly, but not nuerotic. As Sam said, she was a sleek digital clock synced up with global time zones and he was a snowglobe of shaken up emotions. They complemented eachother perfectly.
Werewolves: Take a step back from the werewolf you've been raised with and meet a new breed. The moon has nothing to do with these guy's cycle. Instead it depends on the temperature. When the temperature drops, the humans infected with the lupine disease1 tranform into actual wolves. I loved the werewolves. Loved! It was very original- I love to see an author step out of the box of preconception and come up with something completely new.
This was definitely a story of love and longing, but it lacked the typical undertones of creepy obsession and sycophantic semi-worship. Thank. God. Grace and Sam were mildly obsessed with each other, but they were at least aware of it. Grace could still function without Sam holding her hand, and vise versa. Their relationship was actually healthy! It was refreshing.
Ratings: I'd rate this PG13 for mild sexual content. It was handled as discretely and tastefully as pre-marital relations can be.
I give Shiver...

Four Zombies!
Yes, despite the fact that I initially had a hard time getting into it, this was an excellent book. The characters, premise, and writing were all top notch and I really do think that had my week been calmer, I would have been hooked right off the bat. I'll be rereading this when I'm not so busy to confirm my hypothesis2.
I'm really looking forward to reading Linger. I can't imagine what else could happen, and I'm dying to see what Maggie's gonna put us through next. The synopsis has me very curious and a little worried...

Happy Thanksgiving,
Zombie Girrrl

1  Or cursed, whichever way you prefer to look at it. I prefer the disease slant, it's more intersting and more modern. Like viral zombies! Way cooler than spontaneous reanimation. Any-who!
2  I'll be getting a finished copy, though. It wouldn't be right to like a book so much and not even own the finished copy!  So what's a girl to do with her ARC? I think y'all can guess...
3  P.S. He'll always be Sam to me. I don't care if his names "officially" been changed to Lee in the next book, Sam will always be Sam- even if it takes a bottle of White-Out to make it so!  XP
***I won this ARC from a contest hosted by a fellow blogger.***


Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I'm totally with you on this one. I had the same problem getting into the book but I was stuck in a long car ride and didn't have much choice.

However, I did enjoy it in the end and will look forward to the sequel. Did you know the whole trilogy was picked up to be made into films?

Hope they do a good job.

pirate penguin said...

and aaaahhhh you're one follower away from 100!! :DDD

pirate penguin said...

"This was definitely a story of love and longing, but it lacked the typical undertones of creepy obsession and sycophantic semi-worship. Thank. God."

Can I tell you that I absolutely love that line? Sycophantic is such a good word. Great review! ;)

Zombie Girrrl said...

@ Penguin: Aah! I know! I can't wait till I get one more because I have something planned... ;)

@ Allysa: Ooh, a movie! Why does it seem I'm always the last person to know these things? I didn't know about Percy Jackson, Breathers: A Zombie's Lament, or this! Oh, well. I'll just have to keep depending on y'all to tell me these things. ^-^

loreleimarsh said...

Woo hoo another fan! Thanks for the great review. Honesty makes for the best reviews!

Kris said...

I can't wait to get my handes on this one...It's one I've been wanting to read.


Great honest review, I can't wait for Linger!

Brianne said...

This actually looks good. I've never picked it up. Mostly because the cover has never really caught my attention enough for me to take the time to read the summery. But I might just read it now. Looks really interesting. Loved this review. Pirate Penguin is write about that line. Amazingly worded. :)

Zombie Girrrl said...

Wow, thanks, guys!
@ Brianne: I actually really like the cover. I like how I didn't notice the wolf in the bottm right-hand corner the first time I saw it, and the drop of blood over the i- it actually played into the story and I think it wasn't just there for visual appeal. It is a little soft and doesn't give a lot away about the plot, though.

Faye said...

After reading lament i have 2 read Shiver! it a must! lol. i'm reading it so far it's just one of those cute reads.

Zombie Girrrl said...

It really picks up. trust me.

Blank Spaces Have Great Potential...