Shiver was the first book I ever added to my TBR on Goodreads, way, way back in the day. Since The Raven Cycle ended up being my favorite series of 2018, I figured I should finally read some of Maggie’s other stuff. Shiver is, um… very different. It’s basically your standard late-2000s YA paranormal romance, much like Twilight if Twilight just featured werewolves.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, I loved Twilight when I was a teenager. But does it hold up in 2019 (and now 2020)? Not really. In this day and age, we’re much more skeptical of teenage boy (actually grown men) paranormal creatures who spy on unsuspecting teenage girls and those girls whose lives basically cease to exist while they’re in a relationship. There’s a lot of iffy stuff in this book. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a problem, but do I think it would be nearly as popular now? No.
As usual, the writing is good. Maggie’s created a really interesting backstory for the wolves complete with some present-day wolf conflict. It’s just very, very heavy on the insta-love and it uses a lot of the tropes that were common for the time it was written.
If you’re going to read one of Maggie’s books, I’d recommend The Raven Boys over this.
I read Shiver and All the Crooked Saints back to back, because why not. I ended up feeling pretty conflicted about this book, hence the three stars, because it goes from really boring to really interesting and right back again.
I think the main problem I had with this one was that I spent more of the book bored than interested. There are a lot of characters and there’s a lot going on, but it also seems, a lot of the time, that absolutely nothing is happening. The most vivid part of this book wasn’t the plot or the characters, it was the setting.
I usually love Maggie’s writing, and I can admit that it was beautiful in this book. But instead of being beautiful in that magical way I’m used to, it was beautiful in a very over-the-top way. It reminded me a lot of the writing in Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. (If you liked that book, you’ll probably love this one.)
I can see why a lot of people enjoyed this, but it just wasn’t my kind of book.
Have you read either of these books? Do you like Maggie Stiefvater’s writing?
Let’s talk in the comments!