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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

In this book, Maggie Stiefvater takes the werewolf myth and gives it the Twilight treatment. When Grace was a little girl, she was attacked by a pack of wolves. They were going to kill her, but one wolf, the one with the yellow eyes, stopped them. Now Grace is a teenager. Instead of being afraid of the wolves that roam the woods near her home, she is fascinated by them... especially the one with the yellow eyes. Sam was bit by a wolf when he was a little boy. Now he doesn't know what he is. When the weather is warm, he's human. When it's cold, he changes into a wolf. Regardless of the form he's in, he always has yellow eyes. And those eyes are always looking for Grace. He is as fascinated by her as she is by him. When the wolves attack a boy from Grace's school, the town decides to destroy the wolves. Sam is shot trying to escape and the pain forces him back into human form despite the cold. He is rescued by Grace and it doesn't take her long to make the connection between the wolf with the yellow eyes and the young man with the yellow eyes that she found bleeding in her backyard. There is no question that they are destined to be together, but fate is trying to force them apart. Why didn't Grace change when she was bitten and is that the answer to how they can be together?

Sam would probably be considered more of a shape-shifter than a werewolf if you want to get technical. I love the cool twist where the temperature is the cause of the change instead of a full moon or anger management issues. A unique story within a classic theme. Nicely done.

BEST FEATURE: Temperature as the shifting catalyst. A unique idea which the author cleverly drives home by putting the temperature at the beginning of each chapter.

WORST FEATURE: Throwing the parents under the bus. In this book, parents are either self-obsessed, homicidal or absent altogether. Ouch!

PARENTAL WARNING: minor sexual content and some violence; appropriate for teens

RATING: 4.5, this one scores major points for creativity and entertainment. It would also make a great movie. Watch your back Twilight!

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