SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

Previously posted on

In the world of YA paranormal romance, we’ve seen our fair share of vampires, zombies, ghosts, and faeries. Werewolves, too. But now and then something steps away from the pack.

Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER did that for me. With most paranormal, I am happy to go along with the story for the sake of the fantasy, but with SHIVER I found myself believing it was true. Perhaps it was the intimacy of the domestic setting (we’re rarely farther than Grace’s house or the backyard woods), perhaps it’s the movie close-up perspective on the dialogue. More likely, however, is that it’s the poetic style of Ms. Stiefvater’s writing that draws me in and makes me feel like I’m in the character’s bubble and there is no me-with-book-in-hand interfering with the realism of the moment.

Here’s an excerpt that captures the tone and emotion of the book:

With a snarl and a flash of teeth, I pushed forward. Salem growled back at me, but I was rangier than him, despite my starvation and youth. Paul rumbled threateningly to back me up.

I was next to her, and she was looking up at the endless sky with distant eyes. Maybe dead. I pushed my nose into her hand; the scent on her palm, all sugar and butter and salt, reminded me of another life.

Then I saw her eyes.

Awake. Alive.

The girl looked right at me, eyes holding mine with such terrible honesty.

I backed up, recoiled, starting to shake again — but this time, it wasn’t anger that racked my frame.

Her eyes on my eyes. Her blood on my face.

I was tearing apart, inside and outside.

I mean, YUM, right? The second book in the werewolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, LINGER, came out July 20th. I won’t go too much into the book cover (book covers are an obsession of mine), but I would have picked it up knowing nothing of the story.  Rather, I am enticed by the classic story of two people destined for each other but who are never in the same place at the same time, let alone the same species. Isn’t that the way all feel about our romantic partner sometimes?

If you’ve read either book, I’d love to hear what you thought about them.


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