Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
On the surface, Grace is a typical teenager living in Mercy Falls, Minnesota. Her parents are caring but quirky, leaving Grace alone much of the time. She is haunted by a childhood memory of being attacked by the wolves that inhabit woods surrounding her home and being saved by a wolf with golden eyes. Throughout her childhood, Grace remembers seeing “her” wolf during the winter. What is the connection between them?
Maggie Stiefvater creates her own werewolf mythology based on temperature and occasional traumatic events. When the town believes that a teen has been killed by the wolves that roam Mercy Falls, the wolves are hunted and Sam, injured by a gunshot, literally falls into Grace’s arms in his human form. As the relationship between Sam and Grace develops, Stiefvater tells a moving and realistic love story between two teenagers willing to work and fight to develop their relationship. The emotions and missteps of young love are realistically portrayed.
The task of keeping Sam in his human form is fraught with danger, but Grace and Sam persevere. The supporting cast in Shiver is as well developed as the two main characters. They are the teens that populate our world. The combination of character development and lyrical language keep the reader riveted to the story. Plus the development of the characters in their wolf personas is equally well-done. All of this allows the reader to engage in the suspension of disbelief that makes great books and movies work. Shiver works. It is a complete package of character development, setting, suspense, and romance. Shiver is followed up by Linger and Forever.
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