In Mercy Falls Minnesota a wolf pack wanders the Boundary Wood during the winter months but disappears in the Summer. Grace has been obsessed with the wolves since she was attacked by them as a child. One wolf in particular stands out in her memory: the wolf with the yellow eyes. As the other wolves tore at her clothing and nipped at her flesh, the yellow eyed wolf held her gaze, comforting her and distracting her from her fear. Now she looks for the yellow eyed wolf, her wolf, every winter. And he looks for her, coming to the edge of the forest to gaze at her again.
When a group of hunters go into the woods in search of the pack Grace fear for her wolf and tries to distract them. Returning home she finds an injured boy on her doorstep and recognises him immediately as her wolf. She nurses him back to health and together they try to find a way to stop him turning back. And here is Stiefvater's twist on the myth: werewolves are not turned by the full moon but by the temperature. Once winter sets in and the temperature drops below a certain point the human becomes the wolf until the weather warms again. Shiver is a race against the thermometer to find a cure before Grace's wolf, Sam, turns back for what he realises will be the last time.
Comparisons to Twilight are inevitable, with a young girl falling in love with a paranormal boyfriend. But there is a lot more to like about Grace than Bella Swan - she is not passive and helpless in the face of Sam's paranormal powers and is able to help him come to terms with a tragic past. Neither is Sam simply a beautiful monster, a symbol of restrained danger like Ed Cullen, the lusty but abstinent vampire. The love story between the two is every bit as intense but more equal and definitely more verbose (Sam has a poet's soul and Stiefvater is much better with language than Meyer).
All in all, Shiver is a beautiful love story and the beginning of a powerful new bitter-sweet series that will capture young hearts and old.
reviewed by Richard Bilkey, Booktopia Buzz Editor
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.
About the Author
Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have revolved around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you're a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical writer (all of which she's tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists (she's made her living as one or the other since she was twenty-two). Maggie now lives a surprisingly eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia, with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, and neurotic dog.