Grace has been watching — and listening to — the wolves in the woods that border her house for years. One wolf in particular watches her, gazing steadily, seeming to hover protectively, but usually at a distance.
Then one day her wolf is shot by hunters, and he shows up on Grace’s back deck, but now as a young man. But she knows by smell and instinct that he is her wolf. Now, Grace and Sam have the opportunity to get to know one another as humans.
But there are obstacles: there are rules to werewolf life, and changing between the two forms, and those constraints are threatening to cut short the time Grace and Sam have together. Add to that some other wolves who are doing strange and dangerous things, and every minute is precious and weighted with uncertainty.
Maggie Stiefvater has created a lovely story of young love facing supernatural odds. Shiver is invariably going to be compared to Twilight because of the werewolf theme and the love story, but comparisons should stop at the writing. Stiefvater’s story has supernatural elements, yes; it has peril and against-the-odds love. But it is a little quieter than Twilight, more subdued, more grounded and richer. Much of it is poetic; Rainer Maria Rilke is read and referred to, for instance, and Sam likes to write songs, often just thinking in poetic lyrics.
Shiver is a fine novel about young love and, yes, werewolves.
Rated: Moderate, for some mild and moderate language and teen sexual activity, though there are very few details.