Book Review: Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater


ShiverHaving just finished Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, I continually have to come to terms with the fact that I occasionally read Dirty Supernatural Fiction. And I like it.

Now, before you judge me, I do draw the line at the Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton trash. However, the romantic in me enjoys books like Shiver and Twilightthough I don’t really think they should set the example for the kids of the younger generation (or even mine), as many people find themselves unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy (such as the Avatar blues…good gravy).

The supernatural elements in the novels, specifically when incorporated into the love stories, make them fantastical and above realityessentially unattainable. Therefore, a love like that of Twilight‘s Bella and Edward is inherently dysfunctional and cannot occurin no way will any 17 year old girl ever come across a 17 year old guy who has the restraint to say no when she begins literally throwing herself at him without restraint. Because he has over 100 years of maturity built up, as well as supernatural strength and stamina, he has the ability to stop himself from going too far. Let’s see how many teenage males can say the same thing? Sorry girls, not happening in this world.
In many ways, though, we do actually see a good example of relational maturity in the midst of the obsession as they don’t have sex until after marriage–good to see!

At the same time, it’s fantastical that Grace, the main character of Shiver, who was nearly mauled by wolves at the beginning of the book until she was rescued by a yellow-eyed wolf, would fall in love with him but not really understand why. When Sam, the werewolf who Grace has loved for a long time, appears on her back porch in human form, she recognizes him, though she had never seen him other than as a wolf.

Immediately, they fall into the rhythm of a couple who has been together for years, because they actually have been together, in love from afar, for about 6 years. This, in and of itself, illustrates the fact that there exists some kind of supernatural connection between themnot something to be expected in real life, nor obsessed over.
This also demonstrates that these novels require a high suspension of disbelief, which I am happy to oblige.

All that being said, Shiver was pretty good. It certainly possesses many comparisons to Twilight. Essentially, it’s what would happen if Edward wasn’t there. At times, I do wish there were a stronger conflict, and maybe that will come with the sequel Linger, which comes out this summer. There are also a few unanswered questions at the end of Shiver, which I’m OK with because I assume will be addressed. Ultimately, the conflict boils down to finding a cure for Sam’s lycanthropy, so I hope there will become more at stake later on, but we’ll see.

Read on!

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