Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Grace has always been fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house – which is maybe a little strange, considering that, when she was a little girl, she was very nearly killed by them.  But one of those wolves saved her life that day, and ever since then, they’ve watched one another from a distance …

Shiver is the first book in the The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and it’s a great start.   We’re seeing the world through Grace’s eyes, and while in a lot of ways she’s a pretty typical 16-year-girl, there’s another side to her:  the side that’s drawn to the wolves that haunt the woods behind her house.    Her rural community is starting to worry about these wolves – they believe they’re dangerous predators, and everyone is at risk.  But Grace thinks they’re beautiful – one in particular.  The one that seems to watch her from the edge of the trees, that seems to look for her, wait for her – the way she waits for him.  She thinks of him as her wolf, and she can’t get him off her mind, even though her friends think she’s crazy.

So when Grace meets Sam and there’s something familiar about him, she can’t quite wrap her head around it.  Is it his golden eyes, the way he seems to watch her, his protective vibe, or the way it feels as if he’s known her for years?  And why is that alluring and not … creepy? Sam has a secret, that much Grace knows for sure.

And his timing couldn’t be worse, because things around Mercy Falls are reaching a fever pitch.  The town has been whipped into a frenzy by the disappearance of one of Grace’s classmates, and they’re blaming the wolves.  When Sam shows up at her house, wounded and on the heels of a massive wolf hunt, Grace knows only two things for her sure:  that she’ll help him, no matter what – and that nothing is quite what it seems.

Shiver is set in the real world, but there’s a magical quality to the story and the way it’s told.  Yet Grace is a practical girl, not a fairy tale dreamer.  She she takes care of her parents more than they take care of her, cooking and cleaning and making sure things run smoothly around the house.  So why is she suddenly so ready to believe the impossible?  And is she willing to risk everything for a boy she just met?

I really enjoyed this book.  Grace is smart, funny, and strong, a terrific heroine, and the story is fast-paced and exciting.  You find yourself caught up in it – it was one of those books I couldn’t put down.  Which is why it’s so great that the next book in the series, Linger, has just come out!  It’s brand new at IVPL, so make sure to check it out!


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