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.
A big reason I had kept this in my TBR so long was that I was kinda over werewolf stories – they all have nearly the same kind of ‘wolves’ and the stories about packs and loyalties were getting tiresome. But Stiefvater’s Shiver is different above the rest – it’s more like an improbable love story of a boy losing himself and a girl finding him then. The atmosphere of the book is mostly grim, like Sam has a terminal disease and they are spending all the time they have together. But it is also about how different Sam is than I would have imagined in this genre, and the slight role reversal – he is the fragile thing, she is his savior. He is traumatized from a childhood, and disconnected from his wolf and human sides, and she is the one thing that ties them both together. Grace has always been the adult in her family and she is independent and confident, and not afraid to go for what she wants. Sam, though so damaged, is still so cheerful and hopeful.
The world constructed around them is also intriguing – the fact of the wolves being a hibernation-like phase, and them slowly losing their human selves. The tension was a constant presence – with her fighting to keep him human long enough that they can think of solutions, the increasing risk, and their secret being out. It was a very emotional book, with me having to hold back tears at so many points, and the ending that made me actually cry out in joy. I know the story is far from over, but it was beautiful even at that. A brilliantly written book with intriguing characters.