Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1
Release Date: August 1, 2009
Almost everyone I told about my intention to read this novel told me that it wasn’t good and that I wouldn’t like it. Which, of course, just made me want to read it more because a) I wanted to find out what was so bad, and b) I was hoping that I’d like it anyway.
Alas, all my hopes were crushed when I found myself not liking the book at all. In fact, by the time I got halfway, I was tired and just wanted to stop reading. But I also wanted to write a proper review so I dragged myself forward (you’re welcome) and I almost made it, except I didn’t. Got eighty percent through and then stopped because I couldn’t take it anymore. There was no plot!
Shiver is set in Mercy Falls (*cough* Vampire Diaries *cough*) and is told from the perspectives of two teenagers. One is Grace, a girl who’s obsessed with the wolves that live in the woods behind her house, especially one in particular. The other is Sam, who is said wolf, for a majority of the year anyway. He becomes a boy in the summer because that’s the only time it’s warm enough. Grace and Sam meet and have a nauseating romance. But there’s an obstacle between them and a happily ever after; with every year Sam becomes human for less and less time. Sooner rather than later, he will become a wolf permanently, unless he and Grace can find a way to help him.
Now, you might be thinking that I just wrote a perfectly okay plot even though I’d said there wasn’t one, and I’ll have you know that I meant the state of having a plot relatively. You can only spend so much time thinking (but not doing anything) about Sam’s eventual transformation into a wolf.
Still, every once in a while, you’d think that we were getting a proper story. There was a subplot with a student that got bit, the said student’s sister, and one with a senior member of Sam’s pack, Beck. But none of these things actively affected the protagonists. There was one subplot with a female wolf that did concern them, but it was shoved under the rug because Maggie Stiefvater has yet to master the art of creating tension. We’d be so close to getting something exciting, only to return to our regularly scheduled neglectful parents and gush-fest.
Speaking of the gush-fest. Usually, I’m totally in for a romance with adorable scenes. I love romances. But this was a very prime example of insta-love, if I ever saw one. Grace and Sam shared a mutual obsession with each other (human and wolf); they met, instant connection, and the next think you know, they’re making out and having sleepovers. Twilight had a slower burning romance, for God’s sake.
So thanks to the non-existent development of the relationship, I didn’t give two shits about it. On top of that, they were vomit-inducing even by romance novel standards. The writing was okay but the book was very boring due to the ‘no plot’ situation.
Before I wrap up, telling you not to read this novel, I have one last thing to say. For the longest time, I kept wondering why the wolves didn’t just move to a warmer place. Then I read in a review that there’s a reason for it, which helped me read on. So if you decide to read the book and find yourself annoyed by their inability to see an obvious solution, you will get a reason. Doesn’t mean you should read the book though. That said, I didn’t listen to anyone so I can hardly expect someone else to. For that, good luck!