Spreading the Awesome*:
When I first saw the cover to Maggie Stiefvater's book Shiver, I thought, how endearing. Then, I looked at the author's name and thought, how the hell do you pronounce that? 'stife vader', 'steef vatter', 'steve ate her'***, I was dumfounded, but the cover won me over and I possessively carried it home along with another based-on-the-cover pick: The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian (amazing, pick it up when you are buying Shiver.)
Once home, I flipped open the cover and immediately found myself enthralled with the blue ink on the pages. I didn't even know they could do that! I was impressed and jealous of the blue. I may or may not at some point have used the word pretentious to describe the blue ink, but I rescind that stance, and know that envy does not look good one me. Odd, since green totally does. It matches my eyes. Yup, but not envy.
The beginning of Shiver is unlike any book I have ever read. You quickly sense and intense story coming on and you keep reading, totally oblivious to the pages whizzing by as you furiously whip through intent on finding out what. happens. next.
I'll be honest, there were moments that I found, um, boring, but looking back on them once I was in the second half, I called my inner cynic a jerk and told him to talk the hand because the face was plastered to the book.
All of a sudden, just after the hundredth page, I thought to myself, why am I still reading this? Girl likes wolfboy, wolfboy likes girl. The Twilight similarities could be seen from a mile away, by the wrong person that is. But me, I have watchful eyes (like Sam, read the book to find out what this reference means) and I knew they were beholding something far different than Twilight.
Shiver became something else entirely, for me, which is a feat in its own right. The plot itself moved beyond the normal boundaries of teen romance and gave us something profound. I found an emotional channel for myself and the Romantic in me (I keep him at the bottom of a twenty foot pit with little food and water) was finally released when Maggie described a date scene between our teenage yet-to-be lovers. They visit a candy store, as the weather gets cooler in Northern Minnesota (temperature being an important and intriguing element to the book), and Maggie goes beyond putting us in the story, she teaches us how to experience things the right way, the way they were meant to be felt. She plants us right in the middle of this gourmet candy store and it is like heaven. We are in her clutches and she doesn't let go. Maggie melts our cynical hearts and turns everyone one of us into a groupie by forcing us to shake with frustration because Shiver's sequel, Linger, doesn't come out until July 20 of this year.
I have not read Maggie's other books, Lament and Ballad, which are about fairies, or faeries, or whatever they are called. I am probably a bad fan for not having done so, but I am saving them for after Linger. I do manage to get my Maggie fix, through her prolific blog and her purely awesome YouTube channel, where her videos push on the edges of creativity and inspire me everyday. And she plays the bagpipes.
* Spreading the Awesome is Elana Johnson's blog event and it is epic, clearly.
** Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) photo from goodreads.com because I know nothing about copyright laws.
*** It turns out it's 'steve otter'.
For another review on another amazing book, visit the Texas Sweetheart PJ Hoover who will introduce you to PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles.