Grace remembers her attack. She remembers the wolves as they tore her from the swing in her yard into the barren woods that cold winter day. The smell of blood and the icy cold all remind her of that moment in time when she thought her short life was over. She also remembers her wolf, the one with the dazzling yellow eyes, the one that still follows her to this day when the weather is cold. The wolf she watches without fear every winter as though her life depended on its presence. She wonders where it goes in spring and holds her breath every year until it returns. Sam remembers the attack as well, but from his perspective on the other side—as he was one of the wolves.
In a wonderfully written, character-based, paranormal novel, Maggie Stiefvater gives her teen audience the supernatural, but she also gives them characters that feel real even though they may only be make believe. While many paranormal novels focus on the action of their non-human characters, Shiver stands out because it focuses on the story. It’s about love, sacrifice, and characters with history and that true connection between each other. The story of Sam and Grace is epic not because Sam is a werewolf, but because their love for each other is so deep and the need for one another so essential. Two individuals destined to meet but separated by species and the fact that at some point Sam will no longer be human at all. Each year his window of human time gets smaller. Their time together will soon end.
Soon however they may have no more winters of watching one another at all no matter what form Sam may take. An attack on a local teen causes the town to take action and endanger the wolf pack. But did the teen really die or is there more than meets the eye? Can Grace save her wolf even if she cannot save her boyfriend? Will Grace and Sam have a chance at a normal life together?
Readers will be captivated by Stiefvater’s ability to make werewolves believable and love possible in Shiver. She has created characters that leap off the page. Overall, a satisfying read for lovers of paranormal and those simply in search of a good book.