So, how this will go is I will post Elyssa's review of the book. Then following that will be my (Jen's) review of the book. After, everyone will comment on which one they believe the most or feel should win and why. That way Elyssa and me can post our rebuttals (comebacks).
I hope everyone is as excited for this as we are, we've been working on our reviews for sometime trying to spice them up for the kill. We've pulled out all our verb weaponry and our artillery of expressions to bring to you a battle of epic proportions.
Please reply with all the comments you would like concerning our banter (just make sure it's clean and no profanity please). We cannot wait to find which one of us have conquered the book war and become the champion!
--Jen the Bibliophile
Title: Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
First Line: I remembered lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.
(UK Cover) Elyssa's Review
The most amazing aspect of this book was the ink. Yes. The ink. I loved that the ink was blue. To me it was the only demeanor of the book that I found unique. Even the cover to me seemed so similar to other books, for example: Her Fearful Symmetry.
Quite frankly, this book did not make me "Shiver" in a good way. This is a book I would not tell you to read. I would not want you to waste your time on a book with such huge plot holes and horrible prose.
(US Cover) Jen's Review:
Before you read this review, you have to understand something about me. My favorite genre is YA, specifically paranormal fantasy. The problem with this is that a lot of the books in that particular genre tend to be along the same lines, just with different characters. So, that being said, I'm always on the lookout for different books with stories I haven't heard before. Something different, something new, although that is not to say I will not read it. It just depends...
I remember skimming the synopsis for Shiver and seeing the word "wolf" and moving on to the next book.
I'm very glad I went back and re-read the synopsis when my book group read came out. This book turned out to be something different and something new (it also turned out to be something borrowed (library book) and something blue *winks right eye* the cover and the ink inside are blue!).
That evening after checking it out, I'd squished myself in between the ironing board and the door to the closet with a pillow between me and the wall. It was about 10:00 p.m. when I was finally able to start. I made it halfway through the 392 page book before I had to give into the evil sleep monster.
I finished it two days later, which was when I decided on 3 things:
1. This definitely makes my Top 10 best books I've ever read
2. Maggie Stiefvater is now one of my Top 5 favorite authors
3. I must now go out and buy a copy for my closet library (which I did this last Monday)
Stiefveter tells the story from a double first person narrative, alternating between the 2 main characters points of view. This, I think, above all else helps the beautiful development of Grace & Sams' characters.
Grace: Strong, Independent, Smart...thoughtful
Sam: Sweet, Intellectual, Loving, Sensitive...wolfy :P
It was a nice change to meet a younger female character who wasn't always questioning herself and whining about… well, everything. Sam though, he was a breath of fresh air. He was so... aware... caring, sweet, and even though it sounds contradictory, unaware of his wonderfulness. He was sensitive without the skinny jean look and still a nice slab of muscled 18 year old man.
I loved the unique story line of boy turned wolf in wintry cold and wolf turned boy in warm summery goodness. Of a girl that cannot understand why she is drawn to the woods outside her house and the wolves who live in them. Of a young wolf who saves a young girl and when they are all grown how she must try to save him. I loved the authors tone, her words. How she could make me feel like I was sitting there with Sam and Grace, feeling everything they were feeling. It was so beautiful, so eloquent, so real.
Yes, her parents were – out of control – weird. Like the fact that they didn’t know there was a wolf-boy staying in their house. Turns out those actual characters with the working all the time father married to the painting all day mother who party most nights was based upon an actual couple Steifvater knew (and she is from a small town in
Despite parents like those, Grace was strong. She could take care of herself. It was a nice flip from the whiny female characters of today who wait for the man/boy to rescue them. I loved her strength and stoicism throughout the book and how it lent to the mood in the novel. I loved the slow pacing of the poetic prose and how it facilitated the development of my feelings for all things Shiver.
Shiver was creative and alluring, pulling me into the plot making me never want to let go.
I will in fact be putting this book on my to re-read list. If you haven't read it...
"Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture."
"Sam: I didn't think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, waiting for me to follow, I knew I'd do anything to stay with her."
"right in this moment, I can´t even remember what unhappy feels like."
"Tuesdays were my favorite day. I don't remember why-it was just something about the way that u looked like when it was next to e that seemed very friendly."
"There was no sun; there was no light. I was dying. I couldn't remember what the sky looked like. But I didn't die. I was lost to a sea of cold, and then I was reborn into a world of warmth."
--Jen the Bibliophile (Broadcasting from my closet)