I’ve written before on almost always being a late adopter, and finally reading Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater, this autumn kept me well within my tradition of being in this role. Shiver was published in 2009. In 2007, the sequel Linger debuted in the number one spot as a New York Times Bestseller, and the series spent more than 40 weeks on the list. I have a young adult book blog. I’m a huge Twilight fan. I seriously don’t know how I missed the memo on this series, but I guess better late than never because this series is fantastic.
For years, quiet and responsible teenager Grace has been watching the wolves in her backyard. There was one wolf with yellow eyes that she watches in particular. Meanwhile Sam has been watching Grace. He’s been watching her in the winter when he is a wolf with the pack and in the summer when he works in a bookshop. He doesn’t exactly understand how it works, but whether he is a wolf or a human, but it’s tied to the whether and the temperature.
When Grace meets Sam, even though he’s in human form, she knows it’s her wolf. But as temperatures drop and winter approaches Sam has to fight to stay human. Otherwise he might lose Grace, and possibly himself, forever.
The books alternate perspectives between Grace and Sam, and in subsequent books the points of view of other characters are added into the narrative. While the central story is the romance between Grace and Sam. A romance, that like many YA novels, feels fated. The multiple perspectives add depth. Seeing Sam’s perspective, how he respects Grace, and how each character at times make individually selfish choices, makes the trilogy more than most young adult romances.
What I liked most about the books was Grace and Sam’s relationship. What I found most impressive is how the scope in each successive book widens. Throughout the series as the stakes raise from just the existence of their romance, to the existence of the pack. Grace and Sam both have to make difficult choices. I found both these situations and the characters’ decisions unexpected, but believable.
So if you, like me, missed the Shiver train the first time around I suggest checking the books out. The fourth and last book of the series is coming out this year so now is the perfect time to immerse yourself in a world of fairytale werewolves and teenage love.