Before you even crack the spine of Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater, the blue, gray, and white cold tones of the cover make little goose bumps break over your skin. Your breath quickens. It's that little red splash of blood over the 'i' that draws the eye. And, after you memorize the pattern of leaves and branches, darker in the upper left hand corner, you see the wolf in the bottom right.
You can probably tell that I love this cover. It's so simple, but at the same time sets the entire tone for the novel before you even get to the first line. What's the first line you ask? Excellent question my super smart readers.
"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves."
Dark, creepy, mysterious, a touch morbid... all beautiful things. Here are the things that should be going through your mind: Why is she in the snow, bleeding, surrounded by wolves? (see how much you can get from one line, and yet not know anything?) Who is she? Why are the wolves there? But here are the other things you know: it's cold, snowing, there are wolves, she is bleeding. You also know that this is a memory, and, at the very least, she probably doesn't remember much, but she is going to tell you what she can remember, which turns out to be the important stuff.
This is a great first line. The action starts page one, line one.
Ok, I'm a little out of order today. Here is the synopsis:
"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.I know what you are thinking: "Another werewolf book? Really? Vickie, you are off your rocker." I thought the same thing when I picked it up. However, that cover, and the idea that heat controls werewolves and the romance has an expiration date, decided it for me.
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."
Beefs: My biggest issue with this book is that it started to border on obsessive, teenage angsty, emo, love at first sight, love (I'm a skeptic). But other characters and sub plots manage to bring this book to the next level. All of the characters are smart, have fantastic quirks, and are utterly real.
Ending: Satisfying. Unexpected.
The sequel, Linger, came out in July, so you don't have to wait to read the next one!