Name: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal | Romance
Summary:For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.
Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
Final Rating: ♥♥♥ and a half / ♥♥♥♥♥
I wanted to pick this book up for several reasons. First, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it from some of my favorite BookTubers. Second, I’ve wanted to read Stiefvater’s “The Raven Cycle” for the longest time, but I wanted to read her preceding series first. Lastly, I really like werewolves. So, I finally picked this book up.
I won’t say I was disappointed, but I wasn’t expecting a lot of romance, and the romance was intense and just a slap on my face. Which is why the rating went down.
The story was interesting and unique. I knew there would be werewolves involved, but I was surprised by the lore behind it. The ‘werewolves’ are wolves during the colder months, and humans during the summer months. Every year, their time as a human decreases, and they need an increasing amount of heat to turn into humans, and a lesser amount of cold to turn into wolves. Until they just never turn back to human again, and they very literally turn into wolves, with a normal wolf life-span and everything.
I wasn’t expecting that, and I enjoyed reading about this. I liked the pacing of the story, but I really disliked how the romance too over completely. I didn’t mind any of the characters much, but the romance between Sam and Grace was overpowering. Often, I would read it and be strongly reminded of Bella and Edward. In fact, a lot of the plot points seemed similar to Twilight. I’ve heard this said before, and I agree whole-heartedly that this book is Twilight for Team Jacob-ers. And perhaps because I liked Jacob a lot better than Edward, I didn’t mind this.
But yes, more plot, less romance. That’s what I would like from the second book.
There were a lot of characters in this book. We had our two main characters- Grace and Sam. Then, we had Grace’s parents and her friends. We had Sam’s pack. Some characters were given a back-story, like Sam’s pack leader. But a lot of them were just THERE. They didn’t really do anything for the story. But the other characters that DID contribute to the plot were likable. I wouldn’t say I was invested in them, but I liked them. Especially Isabel- I enjoyed her snarkiness quite a lot.
Grace, our main female lead, didn’t have a lot to her. After four hundred pages, I still didn’t really care about her, because she was flat and dull. Sam, on the other hand, I liked. I wasn’t swooning over him, but I thought he was a good character who had a lot of back-story, and that always works to a character’s advantage. I would like to see more development for Grace’s character in the second book. And more of Isabel, because she was great.
So here’s the thing. Maggie Stiefvater is a fantastic writer. Even though I didn’t like this book as much as I had hoped to, I will continue with the story. And I can guarantee you that even if I dislike the entire series, I will move on to “The Raven Cycle” because I just wanted more of her writing. It’s flowery but not overbearing, funny but it’s not like she’s trying too hard. She’s talented, a natural, and I could tell this by just one book.
Would I recommend? To a very specific audience.
Would I re-read? I wouldn’t mind re-reading it.