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Animal Obsessions Give Me the Shivers

Posh explains why she can only be pity friends with Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver.

Animal Obsessions Give Me the Shivers

BOOK REPORT for Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater

BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Yr Poetic License Has Expired
Bonus Factors: The Day After Tomorrow
Relationship Status: Pity Friend

The Deal:

Ever since she was attacked by wolves as a child, Grace has been obsessed with the pack of wild creatures that roam the woods behind her house. She's especially drawn to the wolf with yellow eyes that watches her every winter from the darkness (does that sound creepy? Because it is). After a local boy goes missing, the townspeople decide to take matters into their own hands and hunt down the wolves, including Grace's favorite. She discovers it, shot and dying, on her doorstep, except it's not a wolf anymore... IT'S A DUDE! And he's naked!!! Sweet holy Jacob!

See, Sam is a werewolf, but instead of fearing the full moon, he worries about the falling temperature, which transforms him into a wolf and practically obliterates all human emotions. Even worse, this might be his last year to be human, period. Grace quickly learns that Sam feels the same passion for her as she does for him, but as the weather gets colder, their relationship takes a backseat to the desperate race to find a cure for Sam before winter really hits and he's lost to dogtown forever.

BFF Charm: Meh

Y'all, I fear that Grace is in danger of falling into the Bella Swan trap. Girlfriend is kind of lame and blah. Even worse, she's not obsessed with a sparkly vampire, she's obsessed with a WOLF. Like, she doesn't know it's a person. So... that's kind of weird. Sure, it worked for Beauty and the Beast, but the entire time I was reading this book, I kept picturing Grace as this girl I knew in high school who always wore horse and wolf t-shirts. And not in the ironic hipster way.

Ok, well, that shirt is pretty sweet. But still. I just don't think I could hang out with someone who is thinking about wolves 24/7. Mac 'n' cheese, ok. YA lit, sure! Tim Riggins, obviously. But WOLVES?!!!! Let's just say that if i knew Grace in high school, I'd be Audi Five Thou the minute I saw her doodling a wolf with a heart around it. Yeeeeikes.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Once the wolves are out of the picture and Sam's a real guy, things do get pretty steamy between him and Grace. Stiefvater (I can't type her name without thinking of Darth Vader. Which is cool) is pretty skillful with the SPARKS, and I'm always a fan of that whole "I've watched and waited for you for so long" thing (see the Dark Visions trilogy by L.J. Smith). There were a few moments that didn't ring true for me, but overall, I enjoyed the chemistry and the bittersweet longing between Grace and Sam, especially as their situation grew more dire.

Talky Talk: Yr Poetic License Has Expired

Steifvater alternates between Grace and Sam's perspective, and while usually I kind of hate that, she handles it pretty skillfully. HOWEVER. Sam's got a penchant for writing song lyrics in his head... I KNOW. I guess this is supposed to make him all sensitive and artistic, but for me, it was simply cringeworthy. Like, towards the end, if I saw some lines in italics, I kind of just... skipped them so I could still kind of sort of maybe maintain my crush on him. Also, am I really supposed to believe that people can come up with four lines of a song instantaneously? Is this a wolf power thing?

Oh and guess what, there's more! Sam also likes to quote Rilke! Of course he does! Because he's a sweet, thoughtful, amazing dude! Girls like poetry, right? Hey Grace, have you heard of Robert Frost? LET'S GO OUT.

Bonus Factor: The Day After Tomorrow

FINALLY a book that understands the PURE UNADULTERATED EVIL OF COLD WEATHER! Everyone always makes fun of me for wearing long underwear when the temperature dips below 40 degrees, but SAM UNDERSTANDS! In fact, the scenes that hit me the hardest were the parts when he was desperately trying to stay warm and his entire humanity was at stake and OMG GET THIS GUY AN ELECTRIC BLANKET!!! Seriously, dude, I totally get you. Cold weather is horrible and should be avoided at all costs or Bad Things Happen. Like, losing the feeling in yr big toe. Or, you know, turning into a wolf.

Casting Call:

Taylor Lautner as Sam

Is this typecasting? Sure. Is it just another excuse for me to think about Taylor's abs? YOU BETCHA.

Random t-shirt model as Grace

This girl is wearing a wolf t-shirt. Therefore, she is more than capable of portraying Grace.

Relationship Status: Pity Friend

You guys, this wasn't a bad book. It just... creeped me out a little bit. I guess I wish that Grace could've simmered down on her wolf obsession, ESPECIALLY since she didn't know it was a dude until later (I mean, am I the only one who kept seeing the word "bestiality" flash through my head? Am I just a total perv?). And although there was great chemistry between Grace and Sam, and several of Stiefvater's plot twists were pretty inventive, the book was just so... earnest and unabashedly emotional and GAH it kind of made me uncomfortable! So yeah, if I saw this book in the halls, I would give it a half-smile, and if it asked to sit with me at lunch, I would say ok, but only because I wouldn't want to be mean, not because I'd actually want to hang out with it. There's only so much I can say about wolves before I need to change the topic to, um, ANYTHING ELSE.

P.S. Maggie Stiefvater actually made a rather lovely stop motion trailer for this book, PLUS she wrote the music! So, yeah, girlfriend has way more talent than I do, and now I feel even worse for only being pity friends with her book.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).