Shiver by Maggie StiefvaterTitle: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 392 (hardcover)
Rating: 4/5 stars

I always hesitate to say anything on a positive (or negative) note when the subject is paranormal, but this one is definitely worth the bashing risk.

Maggie Stiefvater is an amazing author, her most well-known series being a paranormal romance trilogy. Shiver, Linger and Forever. Today, for fear of spoilers, I’ll be focusing on Shiver, the first in the trilogy.

The book is told from alternating points of view. They’re different for each book . . . But I’m already off track. Anyways, Sam and Grace are the narrators of Shiver, Grace being the independent human and Sam being the brooding werewolf. Sounds pretty normal, right? Not really. You see, the reason that I like The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is that while there’s lycanthropy, it’s mildly well explained. Seriously. There’s a cure and stuff. I’m not going to mention it here, because that would be a spoiler, but there’s a science to it, and it’s not the full moon/anytime we feel like it kind of transformation. The werewolves change when it gets cold out, and turn back into humans when it’s warm enough.

And another thing I like about this book in particular, the ‘werewolves’ are very definitely human when they’re humans and very definitely wolf when they’re wolves, except for the mentally unstable ones, where it’s kind of a guess. Anyways, as the author herself said in a talk that I went to, there are really parts about boys and then parts about wolves. They may be called by the same name, but they’re different. And that’s an important part of the story (not a spoiler, promise).

So Grace gets attacked by a pack of wolves when she’s really little, but someone sees and pulls her free, bringing her to the hospital alive. She should have every reason every to be afraid of wolves. But she likes them. Sometimes one comes to her house and watches her from the boundaries of the woods. As she grows up, they’re always there at the edge of her yard. But when one of the most popular jocks in school is killed by what appears to be wolves, everything changes, and it’s no longer a from-the-porch relationship with the wolves. Grace must decide between belonging with the wolves or her town.

I discovered Maggie Stiefvater at a Wordstock conference, where she was speaking with Scott Westerfeld. She was an amazing speaker, and incredibly funny. So I checked out Shiver from the library and gave it a chance.

I own all of the books now. In hardcover.

These ones are worth the investment.