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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater -- A Review

Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. The winter of her attack has linked her to them in special ways. There is Sam, her special wolf, her love.

Librarians have been speculating on, "What will be the new vampires?" With books like Shiver the answer is easy--Werewolves. Stiefvater has created a compelling romance told from the viewpoints of Grace and Sam. The story opens with a wolf attack when Grace is only a child. She is saved by the wolf with the strange yellow eyes. Years later those same yellow eyes watch Grace as she browses the stacks in the bookstore where Sam works for the summer. He longs to reach out and talk to her, but lacks the courage.

Shiver is a book filled with longing. Longing for the wolves in the forest, longing for the person you love, longing for a way to bridge the differences and circumstances that will keep the young lovers apart. In this case the circumstance is that Sam is a werewolf that is forced to change with the temperature. Stiefvater includes the current temperature at the beginning of each chapter. This heightens the tension. The reader feels the approaching winter. It is as if winter is a character within the story seeking to rip Grace and Sam apart.

Things become more complicated with the death of fellow high school student Jack. Jack was bitten by wolves. His body disappeared from the hospital morgue. Jack is searching for something and someone. Rather than being a constant menace he is that terror that lurks on the side, coming closer and closer as Sam and Grace try and hide from the cold. These two enemies converge with catasrophic results.

Stiefvater has written a book that bends werewolf myths without creating a world with its own overwhelming rules. She has created a book that is a 'fast read,' but still has a languid pace. The courtship of Grace and Sam isn't rushed. It is has been occuring for six years. The conclusion to their problem was established early in the book and while the means are drastic, it feels logical.

This is a great read for those who enjoy paranormal romances.

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