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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Right now we're being inundated in paranormal romances -- including quite a few about werewolves. But Maggie Stiefvater's "Shiver Trilogy" has a delicate, wintry quality that most paranormal romances lack, as well as a romance that tosses aside "Twilight"-style crushy obsessions in favor of a gentle, sweet romance threatened by nature itself as well as humanity.

In "Shiver," Grace has been visited by a yellow-eyed wolf every winter. When a teenage boy is killed by wolves, and his body is stolen from the morgue, she somehow knows that supernatural stuff is afoot.

When a bunch of illegal hunters try to kill the local wolf pack, Grace rushes in to save her wolf -- and finds "her wolf" as a wounded, naked human boy. It turns out that cold triggers his transformations, while "warm makes me me. Makes me Sam." But as the cold approaches the town again, Grace may lose Sam in more than one way -- if she isn't destroyed as well.

"Linger" picks up with Sam and Grace trying to have a semi-normal HUMAN life -- getting a job, thinking about college, and fending off a police investigation into Olivia's disappearance. But Cole is determined to lose his pain in his wolf form, until he inadvertently stumbles into Isabel's life, and she finds herself drawn to him. And Grace's happiness at having Sam back is overshadowed by a mysterious illness, which may draw her even closer to the world of the werewolves.

Finally, "Forever" has Grace returning after her first winter as a wolf, still unstable. She hides in Cole and Sam's house, and for a brief time the young lovers are blissfully happy. But someone has been killed by one of the wolves, and Isabel's father has used his influence to have the entire pack killed. And as the four teens try to save the pack, their only hope may be a cure Cole has been searching for.

This trilogy has a poetic quality that most urban fantasy lacks -- it's a delicate, hauntingly crystalline book where even the humdrum high-school stuff takes on an ethereal quality. Maggie Stiefvater really came up with a unique idea for werewolves as well, where their transformation is dependent on the temperature -- cold makes them wolves, warmth makes then human. (Why don't they move to the tropics then?)

And her prose has a shimmering, silvery beauty that envelops you in black-leafed forests, wintry skies, snow-encrusted fur and icy air ("Despite the chilly air that made ghosts of my breath..."). She writes dramatic, intense situations that really grasp your emotions (Grace almost drowning in a muddy pool), but without melodrama or excessive dialogue.

I'm also rather sick of hormonal teenagers obsessing on each other and calling it "true love." Grace and Sam's relationship is a much more moving one -- hesitant, unsure, but deeply caring and rooted in true affection. As time goes on, they become more passionate and adorable, all the more so because they have to wait for each other. We also have a much more tempestuous, unpredictable couple in the charming, erratic Cole and snarky rich girl Isabel, who are just as gripping as Sam and Grace.

Maggie Stiefvater's "Shiver Trilogy" deftly sidesteps many of the genre cliches, and leaves you in a chilly cocoon of beautiful prose. A must-read for those who want something more substantial and less creepy than "Twilight."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2013
I read shiver as a dare from my daughter... I was trying to get her to read one of my favourites... I read all 3 books within the week... She still hasn't started reading mine... And now I've read them all twice! Beautifully written, it is easy to get caught up in the world of Mercy Falls and Boundary Woods. I would find myself wondering who was doing what and where was the story going even during a second reading!

Just the perfect amount of teenage angst, romance, and suspense
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2014
I loved Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver trilogy. Shiver pulled me in right away, and was a strong book that I felt could stand on it's own. Linger and Forever delved deeper into each character's complexities. I love the rich and interesting characters she created and how she expanded on them in each additional book. I also have to say, I found her writing poetic at times, but still very approachable and straight forward - it is a YA book intended for a younger teen audience, after all. But rest assured it is not too cliche or cheesy like some other well known YA series, adults like myself can still read the book without eye rolling. As the story develops, the characters struggle to answer questions about the nature of their shape shifting as well as answers about their pasts, and what the future will hold. The book has enough mystery and intrigue to keep you turning the page. I wasn't 100% sure I would enjoy Shiver when I came across it, but I can assure you that I enjoyed every moment of the ride. Stiefvater created a very rich and colorful world in this trilogy and won't disappoint.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
I am reviewing this series all together because they flow perfectly from one to another and I read them over a period of two days. I love, love, love this series so I am going to talk about them a lot and I will probably give things away, so I am putting a spoiler alert on most of my review. For those of you who have never read the series and don't like spoilers, I will share a few of the adjectives that I will probably use in my review. Beautiful. Lyrical. Unique. Abstract. Bittersweet. Tragic. Joyful. Perfect. Pure. Amazing. Heartbreaking. Breathtaking. Lovely, absolutely lovely. I may use some of these adjectives multiple times to get my point across. I cannot recommend this series highly enough.

********** SPOILER ALERT! **********

Shiver is such a perfect title for the first book in this series. It sends shivers down your spine and all over every inch of skin as you read. The first thing I noticed when I opened Shiver was that the text was a lovely shade of blue that matched the cover. I thought that this would bother me, but within two chapters I realized that I liked it. It was another thing that made this book unique.

The second thing I noticed was the beautiful writing style. I could drown in those wonderful, lyrical words. It is written in the alternating points of view of Grace Brisbane and Sam Roth. Both are distinctly different individuals with their own unique style. I loved them both, but Sam in particular. His side of the story is so heartbreaking, his words so abstract and beautiful. When I read about his past and what his parents had done to him, I wanted to cry. I don't think I have ever become so invested in a character so quickly before, but Sam's vulnerability and simple dreams captured me immediately.

Grace is a more subtle character, so it is harder to pinpoint the moment when she slipped under my guard. By the time I noticed, she and Sam where two parts of one whole instead of separate entities. The idea of one without the other is just wrong. Sam is the leader, but Grace is the one who gives him strength and keeps him gently rooted in reality when he threatens to fade away.

In Linger, their fragile happiness is slipping away. Sam is now Sam for good, but Grace is the one trying to remain herself. They all know that something is wrong, but they feel that if they say nothing then it won't be real. Until it is too late. And their world breaks.

In addition to the Grace and Sam, Linger is also told by Isabel Culpeper and Cole St. Clair. Isabel is feeling terribly guilty and angry over the death of her brother, and Cole is a rock star on self destruct who voluntarily became a werewolf. Isabel hides behind anger and rebellion, while Cole is quite honest about his self-hatred and his desire to lose himself forever. Their relationship develops slowly and with a great deal of reluctance on Isabel's part while Cole fears that he will destroy her like he did with his other friends. They are constantly fighting, but somehow they fit perfectly.

Linger ends on a tragic, bloody, frightening note. Now Sam is the one waiting and watching while Grace runs in the woods, unaware of who she is or who she has left behind. I am so glad that I waited until I had Forever to read this, I would have hated to wait.

The beginning of Forever is so bittersweet it hurt. When Grace first became human and Sam went rushing to find her, it was so sad when he arrived only to find the clothes she left behind when she forgot herself once again. Without Grace and threatened with losing her forever, Sam has to finally face his worst fears: his past and his future.

Cole finally finds a purpose in trying to save Grace. He moves from self-destruction to self-experimentation in an attempt to find a cure to the disease that makes them shift from man to beast. I liked him a lot more in Forever than I did in Linger. He sees what Sam and Grace have and he knows that he doesn't want to see something so right disappear.

The danger rises and Isabel becomes a spy when her father plans to organize a wolf hunt. They need to get the wolves out, but the wolves will only follow one of their own. With Cole's science, Sam's leadership, Grace's support, Isabel's position and the help of a sympathetic police officer, can they save themselves and their lupine family?

Now that I have gone through the specifics of each novel, I can address the general themes of the series. I shall start with the hardest: parents. Parents play a very important role in the series. Sam's mother and father held down him in a bathtub and cut his wrists when they couldn't deal with his disease. Grace's parents neglect her for most of her life only to try to step in and change her when they don't like what they see. Isabel's mother is out of it for most of the time and her father is determined to kill Isabel's best friends to give himself purpose after the death of his son. Cole has ruined his life to prove that he isn't his father. And then there is Beck, who made Sam into the person he is but also made so many mistakes.

While Sam's parents are awful, they aren't really in the story. All you see are the scars they left behind. Likewise, you never meet Cole's father, you just hear about how his expectations pushed Cole away. I can almost understand Isabel's parents; they lost their son and fell apart. This does not excuse their actions, but I can understand them. The parents who are most important in the series are Grace's. They seem like the most ordinary of the lot until you look closer. They do what they think good parents should do, but it is only on the surface. Because they have ignored her for years, she is more of an adult than she is a teen. They only pay any attention when there is trouble and then they treat her like the protected child she should have been rather than the woman she is. Their inability to listen and understand cost Grace and Sam precious days.

Beck, the closest thing to a real father that Sam has ever known, is a very complicated and fascinating character. He infected Sam and then regretted it so much when he saw what pain he had caused. He loved Sam like a son and did everything he could to atone for what he had done. When Sam begins to learn his secrets in Linger, it damages their relationship almost irreparably and hurts Sam all over again. And yet, there may be just enough time for forgiveness.

The heroes of this series are all broken, each in their different ways. But who says that broken can't be beautiful? They turn the most horrifying pasts into a future that is oh so bright. It is amazing to watch. When reading this series, I was so scared that it was going to end in tragedy but I didn't want to see it all boxed up into a picture perfect smile. I need not have feared; the ending was perfect. It was a mixture of pure joy and hope and sorrow that had me laughing and crying at the same time. It was four in the morning when I finished it. I had meant to go to sleep sooner but I just couldn't stop. For the rest of the day, I found myself smiling at odd moments, like when Hotel California played on the radio and I was reminded of Cole's twenty voicemail messages. This is a series that stays with you.

I loved this series with its breathtaking changes from tears to joy and back again, with its beautifully broken characters, with its prose that feels more like poetry and everything in between. I fully intend to read these books over and over again and I think you should, too. :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
It took me a while to get into it, but once I had the feel of the characters, I couldn't put it down. Am now on "Linger" and can't wait to see what happens.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
really liked this trilogy. maybe a little slow but the romance is sweet and the whole wolf thing keeps it interesting
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2012
I just loved the first book but sadly the second and third lacked the spark of the first one. I read the ending of the last book three times because I just didn't get the ending. Some books should stand alone and not have two more to follow.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2012
I am a bit older than the "young adult" audience this was written for, and I absolutely loved these books. They are the most poetic prose I have ever read and the story is fresh in it's own way. I borrowed each one from the library and then decided I needed to purchase them. It is a beautiful love story for all ages!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2013
This is the most amazing series ever and i cant explain it any other way the one thing i didnt like was the ending i kind of wish it had shown the future and sam and grace had gotten married and moved in together but still i think that this series is amazing and i would reccomend it to anyone between the age of 12 and 16.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
Every page continues to excite, while the atmosphere of the story continues to draw you into the the world of Grace and Sam. Not only is it a riveting read, but it will ultimately sadden you when it ends. It felt like a part of my family had been lost until the next book came out, bringing with it relief and . Having all three books together was so comforting and very happy-making!
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