A young girl gets dragged off into the snow-covered woods by a pack of wolves and comes out alive. Nearly ten years later, a boy is killed by the same pack and his body disappears from the morgue. Something interesting is happening in the Boundary Woods of Mercy Falls, Minnesota, and Grace has a feeling it has to do with the wolf with the yellow eyes.
I am not much of a fan of all the vampire and werewolf stories that are increasingly popular these days, but Maggie Stiefvater’s “Shiver” pulls the supernatural off very naturally. The werewolves don’t shift in the full moon like conventional werewolf tales; they live as humans in the summer and wolves in the winter. The stories don’t pull you into a parallel dimension where such creatures exist, but pull these creatures into our own world very plausibly.
“Shiver” introduces us to Grace, the girl who was attacked by the wolves and often longed to be one, and Sam, the boy who longed to never turn into a wolf again. Grace finally meets Sam as a human when he gets shot by Tom Culpeper after Tom’s son was found killed by the wolves. Grace doesn’t want Sam to ever leave her, but he knows it’s his last year to shift into human form and Grace has never shifted for some reason. Together with Tom Culpeper’s daughter, Isabel, and a few others, they devise a plan to keep Sam from changing forever, but it may end up killing more than just the wolf inside Sam.
This story is incredibly vivid, written in first person between Grace and Sam’s viewpoints. Unlike some other Young Adult supernatural novels, it doesn’t remind you every three words that the people are werewolves. Instead, werewolfism is treated as a normal, albeit secret, disease. The characters explain themselves naturally, when the time is right.
I would recommend this book for fans of YA fiction, especially older teens and young adults. This is particularly a good read for fans of supernatural and romance novels, though it was enjoyable if you, like me, aren’t much of a fan of either genre.