I’ve talked before about Maggie Steifvater’s Shiver, the first book in her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, which is one of the books on my favorites shelf I’d actually label ‘romance’.

The reason I like Shiver isn’t the smut scenes so much as the pretense of scientifically-explained lycanthropy. That’s right scientifically explained lycanthropy. It’s not real-world science but there is an actual pretense for why the characters suddenly pop into a different species, and it has nothing to do with magic or some “age old history” we never actually hear about. It’s very refreshing, and allowed me to focus on other things rather than getting caught up on details I found unbelievable.

I’m recapping from this review now, but another reason I really enjoyed the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy was something Maggie Steifvater said at Wordstock (2010? 2011? A few years ago): “My characters are wolves when they’re wolves and humans when they’re humans.” That really comes through when you read the books, in a way one might not have expected, but it really adds to the believability and the character development (again, not something you’d expect, but totally true).

Now that I’ve given you a few reasons to read the book, I give you chapters 1-5 in song form. (There are no chapter titles, so no hints there I’m afraid.)

Chapter 1: Eyes on Fire (Zed’s Dead remix) – Blue Foundation
The story begins with Grace, as a small child, being ripped apart by wolves. There’s one wolf that isn’t enjoying it, and the last thing she sees are his gorgeous yellow eyes. When she wakes up, she’s safe.

I picked this song for obvious reasons (the yellow eyes, the whole ‘flay you alive’ chorus, etc.) but also because I think it’s a solid remix of a decent song with paranormal links (the original was on the Twilight movie soundtrack, if you’re wondering) and I like to start a new playlist review on a good foot. There will possibly be more Blue Foundation songs on this playlist in the long run because they are a quality band.

Chapter 2: Electric Feel – MGMT

Next we hear from the wolf with the yellow eyes – Sam. He’s hungry, but the moment he sees the little girl in the snow he begins to change. And then he saves her.

I know this song is kinda overused, but it really fits with all that goes on in this chapter, and the tone matches as well. Also, now I’ve gotten the MGMT out of my system early on.

Chapter 3: Beyond This Moment – Patrick O’ Hearn
These first couple chapters are really short, so not much happened in this chapter, but pretty much Grace talks about how the wolf came to visit her every day in the winter and never in the fall – and how she always thought they were wolves, nothing more.

I really love this song in general, but it also sounds like I imagine six years of childhood passing by as you stood in a window watching the snow fall on your best friend that happened to be a wolf would sound.

Chapter 4: No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses
Chapter four details the first time Sam sees Grace as a human. He’s working in a bookstore when she and her friends brows and all he wants is for her to notice him, but she’s too busy looking at all the books she wants to read.

I’m a believer in vibe over lyrics, and No One’s Gonna Love You is one of those songs that just sounds like the noise that plays in my head during scenes like this.

Chapter 5: How I Feel – Wax Tailor
A boy in Sam and Grace’s town, Jack, was killed by wolves, and now everyone’s afraid of them, except for Grace. In fact, her wolf gets closer to her than ever, which results in a little bit of pack dissonance, but an overall happy couple.

There’s just something about this song that matches the chapter really well, though I can’t quite pinpoint it. Like the chapter, it’s different from what we’ve heard in the pieces before it, and also a little unexpected.

That’s it for today’s review, but keep an eye out for chapters 6-10 sometime soon.