Posted by: Sally Ingraham | December 19, 2009


DSC00312by Maggie Stiefvater

Taking a break from my hefty December reading pile, I spent all of yesterday morning tromping through the chilly world of a mysterious Minnesota wood. My little sister had recommended Shiver to me as ‘definitely the best werewolf book I’ve read’. I’ve read remarkably little YA fantasy this year (a genre that normally dominates my TBR list) so I felt it was high time to bite into something light and yummy.

Shiver is the story of Grace and Sam. For years Grace has been watching the woods behind her house for glimpses of a yellow-eyed wolf who seems somehow familiar and important. From the shadow of the trees Sam has been watching her for just as long. When a local boy is killed by wolves, the townsfolk pick up their guns and head into the forest. When Grace comes home and finds an injured, naked boy with yellow eyes on her porch, she knows that a distant, unspoken love can no longer be ignored. Together the two have to fight to keep Sam human, but the bitter cold of winter can only be kept at bay for so long.

I liked this book very much. It had a pretty love story and an interesting take on the werewolf problem. While certain aspects of the reality of werewolves in this world are left conveniently unexplained, the overall idea – a bite begins it, the cold brings out the wolf and warmth brings back the human – was simple and effective. Grace was fairly believable and Sam was even more so – it helped that he played the guitar and loved poetry. And he’s a werewolf. Mmm, delicious.

Not the most thought-provoking of books, but definitely the best werewolf story I’ve encountered yet. And there are threads, as always, to follow. The poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke makes an appearance and I’ll be tracking him down in the future. And I very likely will read more of Maggie Stiefvater when I next need to sink my teeth into something yummy. ­čÖé


  1. Still undecided on this one. I’ve heard the heroine is a bit of a Bella – what do you think/

  2. There are certainly “Bella” undertones in Grace’s character, in that she’s 100% in love with Sam, but she doesn’t come across as so obsessed and horrible, and she’s way more involved in her own story. Things don’t just conveniently happen to her, and she is way more than just a plot point that allows a couple of sexy men to run around!

  3. This sounds like a lovely little interlude, Sarah. And Rilke’s one I’ve been meaning to read for years, but have never gotten around to…maybe soon! ­čÖé

  4. The few lines of Rilke’s poetry that were used were lovely and intriguing. My library has one of his collections, so I’m planning to follow through on that pretty soon.

  5. […] reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and coming across a few lines by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, I was very […]

  6. I really get what your saying! I thought the book was lovely and a nice break from anything to big and I thought Sam and Grace as a couple are absolutley beautiful. But I think the sequel is better. It goes deeper and starts threading more complex relationships. I was crying at it actually.
    Grace is a little big Bella-ish which is annoying but I think she loves Sam in a different way to the whole Edward-Bella thing. They seem more real. And I think any flaws in this book are ironed out by the perfection of Sams character. He is just….uch! I can’t even discribe him. Have a go at the sequel-it’s absolutley amazing. Happy reading!

  7. […] (what’s with all these one word titles Maggie?). Linger is the sequel to Shiver, which I read ages ago and enjoyed and considered “definitely the best werewolf story I’ve encountered […]

  8. The very last quote in FOREVER (the last book) make me cry. It’s very sad ” ….. And no one answers: at last.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: