Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review, With Notes on the Audio Production

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Note: I first read this book last fall and really enjoyed it. More recently I listened to the audiobook as a refresher before reading “Linger,” which I will be reviewing next week (also look for a giveaway of both Shiver and Linger).

Being attacked by the wolves six years ago hasn’t lessened Grace’s love of the majestic creatures in her backyard – particularly the wolf with the haunting yellow eyes. Unfortunately, another boy was attacked by wolves lately, in a manner that has gotten the entire town of Mercy Falls, MN up in arms against the wolves. When a boy with haunting yellow eyes shows up on Grace’s back porch with a gunshot wound, she knows immediately that, somehow, he must be her wolf. The two fall in love quickly, but what does their future consist of if Sam will soon be a wolf again forever?

Isn’t the cover of this book gorgeous?  I love how it is a tangled forest, but if you look closely, the leaves look like hearts. Very apropos for this book.

I actually really enjoyed “Shiver.” It is to me all of the things that people say they like about “Twilight” but without some of the things I disliked about “Twilight,” (misogynism, bad writing, stalker-ish relationship). I was slightly annoyed by the way Grace’s parents didn’t seem to know or care much about what was going on in her life, but that is a problem that many YA books have and is not limited to “Shiver.”

I thought that Stiefvater’s take on werewolves was very interesting, I liked her mythology as to when and why they changed between their wolf and human forms and the fact that they were either wolves or they were humans, but they were never monstrous hybrids. Stiefvater’s mythology of the wolves also gave me a better explanation for the immediate connection between Grace and Sam – a relationship that otherwise might have really annoyed me.

I wasn’t really pleased with the audiobook, however, when I used that for the reread. I thought the narrator for Grace’s sections sounded a bit too young and ended up overemphasizing her naiveté. Sam, on the other hand, sounded far too old to play a teenager and I didn’t really care for his narration style. They weren’t bad narrators, but they didn’t match up well with the book for me.

This is a fun, engaging YA series, but I would really only recommend it in print, not on audio.

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