Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

★★☆☆☆

This was one of those books that I started to read ages ago and just…

never got around to finishing. So at last, I told myself, “Just finish it. It’ll be done and you can move on with your life.”

So I did.

I started at the beginning (because I remembered nothing of what I’d read years ago), and plowed through. And I’ll say this: normally I’m a pretty easy person to please when it comes to romance. Give me a few cute glances, a swoon-worthy, brooding, misunderstood love interest, and some drama and I’m golden. Even better when you toss some fantasy or paranormal aspects in to the mix. Really though, I’m one of those people that enjoyed Twilight despite all its issues. The YA paranormal romance genre gets away with a lot in my eyes.

Not so with Shiver. 

To summarize, this book is about the main character, Grace, who literally falls in love with a wolf.

To be fair, the wolf can turn into a guy. Or vice versa. But to be perfectly clear, Grace was basically in love with this wolf before she knew he was a werewolf. So… um…

When she finally finds out that he’s ~actually part human~, they fall in insta-love. Yep — his eyes are the same eyes as her beloved wolf, and she knows right then that they’re soul mates and nothing will ever ever separate them.

To top off the discomfort I felt from this, the love interest, Sam, isn’t very swoon-worthy at all. He’s not really… anything. I mentioned that I like the mysterious, brooding type, but while Sam was certainly angsty, he definitely wasn’t quiet about it. He had a teaspoon’s worth of personality, and most of his page-time was spent bemoaning his existence, his luck, his past, and coming up with dreadfully basic song lyrics. I’m serious, this stuff reads like an emo kid’s 7th grade journal:

  • “You’re my change of skin/my summer-winter-fall/I spring to follow you/this loss is beautiful.”
  • “She draws patterns on my face/These lines make shapes that can’t replace/the version of me that I hold inside/when lying with you, lying with you, lying with you.”

Maybe I’m turning into some sexless, unromantic robot, but yeesh. Give it a break, kid.

Honestly, all of the characters felt a bit like caricatures. There was

  • Olivia, the quiet photographer;
  • Isabel, the girl who omigawd is rich and and complains that she’s getting her expensive shoes dirty (I’m not kidding, this actually happened);
  • Beck, the father figure/big, burly wolf guy (kind of like Sam Uley from Twilight);
  • Rachel, the super hyper/constantly talking girl with loads of freckles;
  • And of course, the MC, who has a vague personality so any reader can kind of identify with her, and who trails her hands longingly across book spines as she walks through book stores.

I stuck it out through the book, because the one thing this book has going for it is pacing and plot lines. It ends on something of a cliffhanger, but not a very exciting one — in fact, I know almost exactly what’s going to happen in the next book (and I confirmed my suspicions by reading the blurb of the next book). So I’m not sure if I’m even interested enough to read the sequel. But… like… then my book set will be incomplete!!!

Overall, it was a fun read, but it was just kinda… blah. Hopefully Steifvater’s Raven Cycle is better than this, because I’m really excited for that one.

 


What did you think of Shiver? Like, love, or something in between? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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