I read a few glowing reviews of this before I went to Book Expo America in May, so when I saw the ARC there I grabbed it. I was really excited about reading it, even though I'm generally not a huge fan of werewolves. With the exception of Carrie Vaughan's Kitty. :)
But I guess I'm coming around. I don't think I'll ever love werewolves like I love vampires, but for some reason that remains unclear to me I do love these paranormal love stories with high stakes and impossible odds.
When I started reading Shiver I didn't love it. I liked some of it. There's a passage early in the book I especially liked, so it wasn't the writing. The writing is lyrical and sweet. But I was just kind of uncomfortable with the idea of this human teenage girl being in love with a wolf. A wolf she didn't realize was also human.
Let me back up. Grace is but a child when she's attacked by some wolves behind her home. One wolf in the pack keeps them from killing her. And it's that wolf she ends up watching her whole life. But the wolves are becoming a problem for the town and a hunting party goes after them. When "her wolf" gets shot and turns human, this turns into the tragic love story.
I liked that the wolves in this book were different. Instead of the full moon bringing on the change it's cold weather. And instead of dealing with it one night a month, they have season...winter/wolf season and summer/human season. But eventually they won't change back into humans and will remain wolves.
Sam, Grace's wolf-turned-boyfriend, is afraid he's in his last human season. So they are spending all the time they have together until he turns, possibly for good. But there's a new werewolf in town and he's also trying to help her deal with that situation since the wolf is much more aggressive and not really hiding his wolfiness.
I ended up enjoying Shiver more than I thought I would initially. It's a little heavy on the romance and sappiness...in fact, they say they are obsessed with each other which is just a little icky for me. But Sam is sweet and tragic and Grace is a girl with a head on her shoulders. I also really liked Grace's new friend Isabel..I thought she was fun.
This is a book where the adults play almost no role. There's a lot of pain, an overall very somber tone to the book, I felt some of the characters could have been more fleshed out, but I still enjoyed it quite a lot, and I look forward to the sequel.
Things You Might Want to Know: Premarital sex, a little language, some violence
Source of Book: ARC picked up at BEA, but the book is in bookstores now.
Publisher: Scholastic Press