Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Shiver [Book Review]

Hi there!


A little heads up! If I'm not reviewing ARC copies, or am posting infrequently for a little while, it's because I'm currently going through exams. Bear with me ;)

Title: Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
Author:  Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Published Date:  1st August 2009
Rating: 2 Stars


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Synopsis: 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.

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Review: I was very excited when it came to starting this book because everywhere I turn, I see people who love Maggie Stiefvater’s books and writing. When I managed to pick this one up for a euro only at a book fair I was incredibly pleased and couldn’t wait to crack this one open. However, instead of falling in love with it like everyone else, this book basically brought me to the brink of a potential reading slump. I was so close I almost considered DNFing it, but then in the end I somehow managed to push through this one.

I’ve only ever read a few werewolf books, so that was another aspect of this one that attracted me to it. This one is really centered on the wolves, and in a sense it put a different spend on being a werewolf that I hadn’t seen before. Instead of the moon being the deciding figure of when they would shift forms, it was actually the temperature which would do so. If the wolf was warm it would become human, and if it was cold as it generally is in the wintertime, then they would be a wolf. I think you can pretty much understand where the title comes from.

So where did it all start to go wrong?


The first thing that bothered me the most was the parents. They were completely absent from this story and totally aloof. Not in the general way that happens with YA sometimes, but in a way where it was impossible to not start hating them. They were always out late at night, and totally ignorant of anything that happened to their child. I would rather that they didn’t exist or had mysteriously died rather than came and went like the plot demanded of them. Oh, and if they went to a friend’s house, in most cases the parents were conveniently not at home. I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to shake every single parental figure there was in this novel.

Then there was the main character Grace. I just didn’t get her, or what the author did to her character. When we first meet her she is shy, uninterested and inexperienced when it comes to boys. But then Sam comes into her like and suddenly her whole character turns into a flirtatious, confident girl who can’t get enough? I didn’t know how her character could do a complete 360 with no development whatsoever. She wasn’t consistent and even with the change, I just wasn’t feeling her jive. She also just happened to take the whole ‘werewolves are real’ thing way too easily. Maybe she had been wishing for it to be true her whole life, but it was still way too easy for her to grasp that phenomenon. Another thing was that every time her life was risked and she almost died she just pushed on and had a blasé attitude. Almost died? Whatever.
              

Generally, I felt like this book had little plot, and that the issues they were facing were relatively small, slow in coming and then easily solved. I wasn’t very interested when reading. I did want there to be a more prominent romance so that I could at least be intrigued by that, but nothing really happened. Sam decided he wanted to be a gentleman in everything he did and the whole romance was boring. Uninteresting from beginning to end.

Every now and again they would throw in some music lyrics so that it could be tied into Sam’s character. But again, that wasn’t really something well developed in the book and they kind of fell flat to me as well.


What was decently good about this book so that it could achieve the two star rating that it did was that Sam was a fairly nice character. I could like him well enough but he constantly remained at the level that a secondary character could’ve been at. And I also really liked Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. If there were better characters and more of a plot, then maybe I would like a book of hers. Maybe I should try a different series?

I own the second book in the series, so I’ll try the next one. I hope it gets better than this.

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Gif Summary

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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: Are there any unpopular opinions you have when it comes to generally loved books?

Olivia-Savannah x

30 comments:

  1. Totally with you on this! Shiver = How To Not Know Your Daughter Is Hiding A Wolf-Boy In Her Room, aka Neglect For Dummies!

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    1. Yeah... the neglect issue was far too big for me to ignore and was my main reason for disliking it!

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  2. I'm open minded about why some love a book and why some don't. Our personal experiences are unique and affect how we feel about stories. I respect our dissident voices.

    Lonna @ FLYLēF

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    1. I agree. There's different things which make people like and dislike stories, and its best to explain why and what it is clearly so others can make up their minds about the issue themselves.

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  3. I read this book many moons ago and have loved it then. I totally get your gripes, though. At the time, the absentee parents didn't bother me as much. But being a parent myself, I get freaked out when I leave my kids at home to do groceries or what not. So yeah, totally not relatable. Lol.

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    1. I guess it's much different thinking about this from the perspective of a parent now as well! But there must be good things about it, for you to have loved it the first time as well :)

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  4. I shouldn't be so glad that you didn't enjoy this book much but I am because finally someone feels the same way about this book as me! I was so so so disappointed with this book. I had hoped to love it. :(

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    1. It's okay, I understand! When I have an unpopular opinion about a book, I'm always secretly happy when I'm not the only one! But it's a shame we both couldn't like it :(

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  5. I haven't read this one yet but I do see it sitting on my bookshelves. It is in my daughter's section so maybe she picked it out. Sorry you were disappointed in it. I hope your next read is better.

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    1. Maybe your daughter or you will be able to like it more than I did! I hope so as well :)

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  6. Oh yikes. I got this one for free, I don't remember how, it was a long time ago, but I kept pushing it off, and tbh, I am probably not going to ever read it. I don't think that werewolves are my "thing" and if the MC is ridiculous... then yeah. I agree, you'd think she'd be suspicious of a dude claiming to be a wolf? And the parent thing is definitely irritating! I hope that the next book does get better for you! Great review!

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    1. Mine only cost one euro, so for the enjoyment I got out of it, it's not too bad for the price. I don't think this one will be one you like if you're not a werewolf reader... Thanks for stopping by Shannon <3

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  7. I think I'll wait for her to publish something new, instead of reading this series. I had a hard time finishing The Raven Boys (because of the writing), but I ended up devouring all the books and really loving them. I don't like absent parents in YA, either.

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    1. I haven't tried the Raven Boys yet, but I guess I'll give it a shot at some point. Maybe I'll like it more? Who knows ^^

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  8. I really enjoyed The Raven Boys series by Stiefvater but I've heard many mixed things about Shiver and that series in general and I'm just not interested in werewolfs enough to give it a go if I'm honest

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    1. I have to try that series because it sounds like it is generally more liked. But yeah, I wouldn't be able to recommend this one :/

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  9. I'm not a werewolf fan, so I've never been interested in this one, but the temp thing is cool, I've never seen that before either! The parents thing sounds frustrating though, and an inconsistent character? Ugh. At least you found a couple things you liked though. I've had second-in-series surprise me before, so who knows, maybe it'll get better for you :-)

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    1. The temperature thing was a nice unique addition. I don't read werewolf novels too often, but I quite like them. But the inconsistency really bothered me. Hopefully it will be!

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  10. Good luck on the exams. This book wasn't for me either.
    Jen

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    1. Thank you! I guess I'm not the only one :c

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  11. I had this book on my shelf forever because I had heard it was amazing. I finally passed it on to someone else who is more into books about werewolves than I am. Sorry you didn't enjoy it very much. I am thinking it was good that I passed it on instead of reading it after your review.
    ~Jess

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    1. Ah, hopefully they managed to enjoy it! Especially as they like werewolves a lot as well.

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  12. This was my first Stiefvater book, and I loved it, and the whole series. So sorry you didn't. But I think there are people who don't like her books unfortunately, and that's okay. Everyone has their own taste! Very good review, though!

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    1. I am happy you could love the whole series! Maybe it wasn't for me, but I am glad it works our for other people :D

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  13. I always love going back to books like this every now and then, I really enjoy all those paranormal love stories :)
    It's such a shame you didn't enjoy this one though! The thing about the parents actually made me laugh, I'm also like that. Just this weekend I was watching a TV show where someone's parents were going out at night, even though their daughter had a friend over, I was freaking out haha.

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. Paranormal love stories can be so much fun! This one just didn't work out for me. Ahaha yeah, I'm so like that with parents in books :P

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  14. Aw. Haha. Thanks for your honest review then. Maybe I should pass with this.

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  15. Too bad this book wasn't that good.
    After almost not finishing it up I would be surprised if you continued with the second book. Hope your next read is better!

    Dinh @ Arlene's Book Club

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    1. Sometimes I have it that I don't like the first book but then love the second. I just feel bad not reading the sequel if I spent money on buying it already :P

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