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Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3) Paperback – May 1, 2012
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"If Shiver left fans wanting more, Linger will have them begging." -Romantic Times
* "Beautiful and moving...The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money." - SLJ, starred review
* "Stiefvater leaves the faeries of Lament and Ballad for a lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love....her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face." - PW, starred review
"All readers will be able to enjoy Stiefvater's fast-paced storytelling and dedication to the old-fashioned art of creating a believable and enduring romance. Shiver is beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages." - BookPage
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The writing is... Okay. It's a teen fiction, so you can't expect Anne Rice levels of writing, but it's better than twilight, so at least that's something. The premise is interesting, hence the two stars instead of one, but there are way too many ways around it. Move to a warmer place, maybe? I connected with the main character at first because she has a longing to run with the wolves. I think anyone that likes werewolf novels could relate, but other than that she was completely void of any qualities. She likes books and fantasizes about wolves. That would be anyone reading this book. Her parents are always gone for the sake of plot convenience, and even when they are home remain completely oblivious to everything. Even the town just seems very unbelievable. Nothing is fleshed out so you feel like it could be real.
Don't even get me started on Sam's poetry. If someone is only human for three months out of the year, at best, since they were eight, they would hardly have a fourth grade reading level. They wouldn't have a driver's license either.
I wanted to like this, I really did, but instead it just became a learning experience of mistakes not to make when writing a novel.
The book is told in four unique viewpoints: Sam's, Grace's, Isabel's and Cole's. Each one shades the story through their perceptions and together we get a complete picture.
When the story begins, Sam is "cured," Grace is spending most of her time as a wolf, Cole is desperately trying to find a "cure," and Isabel is dealing with her feeling for Cole, grief for her brother's death, and her friendship with Grace.
Things are getting hard for the wolves as Isabel's father is determined to get the wolves removed from protected status and organize a helicopter hunt to exterminate them. Sam is coming to terms with his relationship with Beck as he learns things that change what he thought he knew. I really liked getting to know Cole better through this story. I also really liked Sam and Grace's romance.
Though the ending is somewhat ambiguous, I am going to believe that Sam and Grace live happily ever after.
Shiver was written so beautifully. It was a slower paced, descriptive novel, which I enjoyed. I felt like I really connected with Grace, the main character. She was independent, curious, organized, and also a little alone. Her family was very self obsessed, focusing more on their careers and social life, leaving Grace to fend for herself often. Grace’s curiosity about the wolves, especially one she vaguely remembered from her attack as a child, seemed a bit weird at first, but not in an unbelievable way. I was drawn to the story in Shiver. I couldn’t help it because of the way the author writes and the way she creates a sort of magic between the characters, the setting, and emotions.
The thing about Shiver is that I’m so in love with the writing and the connection between Grace and Sam. It is beyond what I expected. Which is weird because the plot didn’t ever really grip me and that’s probably why I put off reading it for so long. When I hear people talk about Shiver, especially those who didn’t like it, it sounds horrible. A girl who fell in love with a wolf before she knew he was actually a person? That’s so weird. Absentee YA parents? Aggravating! Another introverted quiet girl? Boring! But for all of the things that make Shiver a run of the mill YA paranormal story, there are twice as many things that make it different, unique, and not at all annoying.
Honestly, I think the only bad thing Shiver had going for it was the timing. It was released post-Twilight at a time when people were either craving more of the same or scoffing at the idea that a YA romance should even be a thing. The scathing reviews I see for Shiver are typically written during that awkward post-Twilight time period that I think was really hard for many YA authors. People either hated it because it was too much like Twilight or not enough like Twilight and I think that’s a real shame.
I liked Shiver because it was elegant and gripping. I cared about the characters in ways that I think sometimes only Maggie Stiefvater can make me care. I rooted for them. I understood Grace and her parents and the way her circumstances shaped her. I understood her curiosity for the wolves and I even understood how she felt protective over the wolf before she ever knew he was more than a wolf.
I think it’s been long enough after Twilight that YA authors and novels don’t have to be compared to it. I think YA has come into itself and if ever there was a time to pick up Shiver, it’s now when you can fully appreciate it without silly expectations and comparisons. If you are a fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s writing, I don’t see how Shiver will be a disappointment, even if wolves aren’t your thing.
A Note About The Negative Reviews: Some of the reviews that aren’t positive mentioned that the author’s prose was too much, the characters were too mature, Sam was too poetic for a teenager to be, and Grace was a terrible friend because of how she let Sam take precedence over her previous friends. I only mention these because I couldn’t disagree more. When I was a teenager, I loved the sort of style that Stiefvater used in this novel. All of the books I read over and over again were similar in tone. I connected to characters like Grace. I was poetic like Sam (and so were guys I went to school with, so the idea that guys can’t be poetic just infuriates me. While I’ve never been romantically drawn to these types of guys, to assume they don’t exist and having characters like that is unrealistic is ridiculous). I hate the idea that YA novels are judged half the time for having characters who are too mature and then half the time for having characters who are too immature. I think people ought to remember that, while teens tend to have similar characteristics, they are quite different from one another, too. Not only would Shiver have been probably one of my favorite books as a teen, but I think in many ways Sam and Grace were like me. And I felt like Grace’s friends took her for granted some of the time and didn’t always let her be fully herself and Sam did. And we should all remember how often we let new people who we connected with more have the front seat in our lives as teenagers, leaving some of our old friends in the back, forgotten. None of this things seem unrealistic to me at all.
Sometimes I feel like people read YA even though they are too closed minded and they stick too much to their own preconceived notions of what teenagers feel/want/need/like/should be to really enjoy it.
I highly recommend Shiver. It’s a great book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
Most recent customer reviews
The romance between Grace and Sam is completely twisted. There are numerous signs of this being a dangerous, messed up relationship.Read more