Oh, Maggie Stiefvater, how I do love thee. (I blame Cait at Paper Fury for my new found love.) Shiver is the most adorable and simultaneously stressful book I have ever read.
My relationship with Shiver starts at the end of December, in Shakespeare & Company in Paris. The shop was absolutely packed, way too packed for perusing. Doesn’t anyone know that you can’t peruse a book shop when it’s rammed?
At the back of the shop, they have a very small young adult section. And by small, I mean one bookshelf and I had read a big chunk of them, as they stock the most popular ones. I was ferreting around on my hands and feet, hoping that viewing the bookshelf from a lower angle would somehow mean more books just magically appeared. Poor Tom was stood there patiently (he’s a saint, I swear), when he pointed to Shiver and said “what about this?” I paused, saw Maggie Stiefvater’s name, inner Cait told me I must get it, and that was that.
Like, The Raven Boys, Shiver consumes you and drags you into it without you really noticing. It’s only when you put the book down that you realise you were in a completely different world, and now you have to have the real world which doesn’t involve adorable werewolves. I adore Maggie’s world building skills; her descriptions are so rich and detailed without ever being suffocating. Her descriptions of a sweet shop had my mouth watering and me hankering (I don’t think I’ve ever used the word ‘hankering’ before, but it feels right here.) to go and sniff a sweet shop to find out if I’m part werewolf.
Our main character’s, Grace and Sam, are well developed with good backstories, making it easy for you to just fall into their lives alongside them. Grace is snarky and exactly the kind of person I would be friends with; I think I would be Olive as she’s obsessed with photography. Sam is much more sensitive, and that seems to balance Grace’s dry humour.
I’m pretty sure it’s not a spoiler for me to tell you that their relationship is adorable. It’s your typical sweet YA romance; well if your typical sweet YA romance involves a boy who might turn into a werewolf when it gets cold out.
It’s adorable and hopeful, which makes the whole thing so stressful because you need to find out what happens next. I was glued to the last third of the book (screw revision) and I think I actually did the whole “held a breath she didn’t know she was holding in” thing several times because ANTICIPATION! I needed a rest after the end.
The secondary characters are just as interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else we might find out about the pack. I’m sure Shelby has a couple of interesting stories to give up.
To my delight, Shiver wraps itself up quite nicely. Of course, it is part of a series (and I’m looking forward to reading Linger) but everything is wrapped up quite neatly.
Unfortunately, I started reading Shiver just before exams so I didn’t read it as fast as I normally would have done, so I can’t tell you that I tore through it in a couple of days. What I can tell you is that while I was revising, my brain was trying to distract me and get me to pick Shiver up. It was longing to know what happened next – so if I fail my exams, I’m blaming Maggie for distracting my brain. Those are extenuating circumstances, right?
I have done a lot of fangirling about Shiver so far, but it does have niggles:
- Conveniently non-existent parents – WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
- Some more conveniently absent parents – some major plot points relied on the fact that the parents were not in places they should be.
- Why does no one care that Grace suddenly isn’t at school?
- Or that Olive suddenly isn’t at school?
- WHY DOES NO ONE CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!
Shiver consumes you all at once and completely, dragging you into this adorable and stressful world as you hold a breath you didn’t know you’d been holding in, desperately hoping that everything turns out OK for Sam and Grace while the parents are conveniently absent.
What was the last book you read?