Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – Spoilery Review

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Title: Shiver
Maggie Stiefvater
Series Name: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 1st, 2009
Pages: 390 (hardcover)
Publishers: Scholastic Press


3 StarBlog Titles

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.


So if you don’t know already I’m not a huge fan of straight romance books. Going into this I did not realise that this book would be purely focusing on the romance rather than more of a heavy focus on the fantasy! I like going into books knowing nothing, so I tend not to read synopsis. If I had read the synopsis I probably wouldn’t have purchased this book or the next 2 in the series. This book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I look for in books and there was a few issues I did have with it besides the romance part.

This review has spoilers! You have been warned.

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The cover for this book is really pretty but also simple! I own the hardcover and I really like the leaf indent in the front of the hardcover, it just makes the hardcover than little more interesting when there is something hiding under the dust jacket!

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This was Maggie Stiefvater’s second series, I have read her third, The Raven Cycle and it is one of my favourite series of all time! You can definitely tell that this book was earlier in her career, her writing in The Raven Cycle was a lot more developed then it was in this series, it still wasn’t bad though.

I have read somewhere that you should start with an author’s first book and read them in publication order so that way you see the development of the writing more than you point out how one series’s writing isn’t as good as the other.

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Honestly the plot was a little underwhelming for me. It wasn’t bad but with the romance being the main focus there wasn’t a lot of action and the book only kinda picked up in the last half of the book. At the start besides Sam getting shot and coming back human and meeting Grace there really wasn’t much going on. I also really hate insta love in books and this book definitely has that! Yes she has been watching a wolf for how ever many years but that wasn’t actually knowing the guy.. And a couple days after he turns human and you actually meet him for the first time you are ‘dating’ and a couple weeks later you are telling him you love him?? That shit only happens in books and movies and I hate it in books and movies! Anyway moving on from that.. Everything else was alright, there was a bit more action towards the end with Jack hurting Sam and everything but it was still a little underwhelming, I wanted more action and more going on than Sam and Grace hanging out…

There were also parts of the plot that didn’t really make sense, like when all the hunters decided to try and kill the wolves after they apparently killed Jack, yeah I got why they stopped that day because Grace told them that her friend was in the woods and they might accidentally shoot her, but why didn’t they try again another day.. Jack’s father was apparently angry that the wolves killed his son so why did he give up after that first day? That just one of the things that didn’t add up to me.

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So, the main characters were honestly kinda bland to me. There wasn’t much development with them. Besides Sam being cautious at the start and then kind and willing to do anything to possibly be with Grace we didn’t really learn anything about him. We learned his history yes but it kinda felt disjointed, like there wasn’t that much emotions towards those memories he shared except the memory of his parents and what they did and the fear that that caused him. Grace was exactly how Sam describes at one point, stoic. But underneath she is also emotional. Even though she claims she doesn’t usually cry she seems to cry a fairly often in this book.

The other characters were undeveloped as well, but they were side characters and this is the first book so that’s fairly understandable. I honestly don’t know what to feel about Rachel, she wasn’t really there that much considering she was meant to be Grace’s best friend.
Olivia was a little confusing, I really didn’t understand that fight her and Grace has with the photos, that made no sense and I didn’t really understand the point of it in the plot of things. I’m also confused with her own fascination with the wolves, I get she likes to take photos of them but after that argument it seemed like she actually had no interest in them she only did it because Grace was fascinated with them.. But then after that fight she is back taking pics of them.. I was just a little confused with all that.. I think that argument could have easily been left out, it didn’t seem to have a purpose except confusing me.
Isabel seemed like a little brat at the start but changed towards Grace after she found out everything that was going on. I guess your brother being turned into a wolf can change a person.
Jack I just didn’t like and honestly his death was one that I wasn’t upset about. If you are going to go into a woods and try and kill innocent animals for no good reason then you deserve to get turned to a wolf and have to suffer and him dying basically made everything easier. He was meant to be dead anyway so if the ‘cure’ had worked then how were they going to explain him suddenly rising from the dead without questions asked.. And if he had stayed a wolf he would have just been a pain in the arse for the rest of them and probably would have done something stupid that lead to the humans wanting to kill off the wolves.
Grace’s parents were just confusing and odd. It was completely unrealistic that they never questioned Sam basically living with them after finding out who he was? That’s not normal, did they never wonder if Sam had a home or why he was constantly there?! They never even mentioned the fact that he was staying in the house..
Beck was just kinda mysterious. Especially in the way that he spoke to Sam when Sam first finds him in this book.. If Beck had just been straight out rather than talking but not really saying anything real or that mattered then there never would have been that fight with him and Sam.. That could have simply been avoided and that kinda annoyed me, it was like he was deliberately trying to have a reason for Sam to walk away for a while until Beck was actually needed in the story. And also those 3 that he turned, where were they at the end? They weren’t mentioned again, if they were only freshly bitten then they would have been still changing back and forwards all the time, so why weren’t they in the house when Grace was there or when Jack was staying in the basement?

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Well as you can tell I had a few issues with this book. Some were just personal preference obviously which is why I still have the book 3 stars. If you don’t have an issue with instalove then this book will be more enjoyable for you but there is still a few issues with the book!

I will still be continuing the series as I do own the first 3 books. This is a book that you could easily read a standalone as it kinda cuts off nicely, not really on a cliffhanger or anything but as I own the rest I will be reading them. I don’t know if I will read the 4th book, I don’t own it and apparently it is more of a companion than a 4th book. I might read it eventually depending on how the rest of the series goes for me, but it won’t be straight after as I don’t own it and I’m on a book buying ban..



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6 thoughts on “Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – Spoilery Review

  1. Dawlyn: Great post! Krista and I read this series in high school and we really enjoyed them! We’ve been wanting to reread them and see how we feel about them now that we’re a little older. I didn’t know there was a 4th book, I thought it was 3? What is the 4th called? SN: We created an original tag over on our blog and we tagged you! We’d love for you to check it out! 😀

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    1. The 4th book is called Sinner. It follows Cole and Isabel, I don’t know who Cole is yet but that’s just what is says on Goodreads. 😊
      And I’ll be sure to check it out and might do it for this weeks Tag Sunday on my blog! 😊

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