Jan 28, 2011

Shiver, by Maggie Steifvater

Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian stand-point. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.

There's just something about a really good book--the one that has that perfect start that carries through to a perfect ending.
Shiver, by Maggie Steifvater, is not that book.

I house a weakness for books with attractive covers. But I hate when a lovely cover is ruined by black sludgy contents. The first few chapters are brilliantly written (the reason behind my buying the book) and the last chapter is perfectly conclusive, but the middle is sadly lacking. :(

Grace, the main characteress (yes, I made up this word) is obsessed with the wolves that tried to kill her as a child. Actually, she's obsessed with the one grey wolf that saved her from being devoured by his own pack. She stares at them from her swing in the backyard, they stare at her through the trees lining the edge of the wood. But these wolves are more than just wolves--enter the love story. Werewolves.
Fight for survival against the odds (of which there are many) while discovering a new world that Grace always hoped existed. Can she and Sam do it together? Will she have to do it alone?

This normal-person-loves-a-freakish-myth genre needs to come to an end. There are only so many ways to write about a human in love with a vampire, werewolf, angel, demon, zombie, plant, or faerie, but I must give Steifvater some credit--Shiver at least has some writing talent in it. Her words come together like the chime of an old clock. Toss in a cheesy plotline and her talent alone can keep it ticking.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a new teen-book tornado. Contents? Rebellion, selfishness, and sex. Still keeping it at the "appropriate level" (whatever that means), Steifvater indulges in a bit of character-intimacy.
First, I dislike any sort of sex-mention in a novel because of the message it sends to young readers concerning "love" and "standards" (or lack thereof). Also, I didn't even like the main characters that much. Grace's obsession with Sam (her wolf-man) is a bit unfounded and Sam's infatuation with her is borderline creepy.

Swearing also crops up like spring weeds. Not too much, but enough to notice and enough to take the novel several notches down from whatever level of opinion I granted it. I suppose I should just say it:

I like clean novels. And....I like clean movies.

Contrary to popular argument, clean is not weak. Teens are told that if you like anything clean then you're boring. You're lame. You're weak.
You're NOT.
If you've got the nerve to stick to your standards, do it. It takes way more nerve to stand than to lay down and be someone else's carpet. Trust me, I've been a carpet before and it's unpleasant.

From a Christian standpoint, there's not much on the "religion" side, but I can say that this book is not something that will benefit you. It won't turn you closer to God. It won't teach you more about Him. My taste in books may not be perfect, but I still try and steer clear of the books that take me backward. All this to say, I do not recommend Shiver, despite the pleasant wintery name. I've never liked wolves and this book is full of them. If you do read it, please do not venture into the woods to pet wolves. It's not a safe habit.

Violence Level: **

Romance Level: ***
Christian Focus: *
Readability Level: ***
Story Depth Level: **
Recommendation: **

For a more detailed explanation of the above ratings, visit the 6-Point Nutshell post.

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, releases 2014 from Marcher Lord Press. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at http://nadinebrandes.com.


  1. <3 at liking clean things. Me too!

    Your review made me think of this story (I don't consider Creed a Christian rock band though...). Interesting if true.


  2. I love'd shiver and I think that books cant just be all Good and Peacefull, and (not have cussing and stuff) Because thats not the real world and its not all "clean"

  3. Thank you for both of your comments. I appreciate the feedback. :)