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August 5, 2009 / schulerbooks

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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Grace and Sam have been in love with each other for years. From afar, because he changes to a wolf for the cold parts of the year and she’s human. At one point he is shot and becomes human and that’s the point their relationship starts. What happens next is a long spiraling fall down the rabbit’s hole in which we watch Sam and Grace really fall for each other. Through dual narratives we get to experience the innocence of first love and the thrill that anything can happen… Even if the relationship is ultimately doomed.

Originally I felt conflicted about the story. Frankly, halfway through the book I wanted to stop reading, because I was over the sexual tension between the characters. I kept at it because I wanted to know what happened to them… And from that less than stellar start an appreciation of this novel blossomed. Sam and Grace became as real to me as if they were sitting in the room. At one point I realized that I was falling in love with the characters, both singularly and as a couple. I wanted them to triumph over the insurmountable… but how can that happen when the giant elephant in the room comes from the fact that Sam has a limited amount of time to spend as a human?

This is one of the most fascinating takes on the Werewolf mythos I have come across in a long time. I found myself meting out the read, wanting to savour Stiefvater’s beautiful prose and tremendous character building as long as I could. There is no one else out there currently who writes like this… who composes such strong, amazing imagery. I am so pleased that it is now on the shelf so I can recommend it.

At first I only liked this book, but after letting it sit a few months I think of it more than many other recent reads. The romantic dynamic between the two is such a joy to watch unravel, and I found myself in tears at the end of the book. This is a book for people who really love to read books.

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For more by Maggie Stiefvater try “Lament”.

-Krys Tourtois,  Schuler Books & Music Eastwood

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