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Shiver and Linger: Reviews and a Contest

Filed Under: Book Related, Reviews/Giveaways
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Let’s talk about werewolves, shall we?

I know, I know. You think you’re all werewolved out, what with the whole Twilight thing. Heck, even if you’ve never seen one of the movies or read one of the books, you’re sure to have seen one of the many, many commercials.

The main reason I bring up the Twilight series is half because of the werewolf stuff and half because since I have read the Twilight books and one of them deals heavily with werewolves, I can’t help but compare Shiver and Linger to the Stephanie Meyer’s take on werewolves – something I’m sure just thrills Maggie Stiefvater. I’m sure she’s never heard that before.

Sorry, Maggie.

So, whose werewolf lore is my favorite?

Stiefvater’s.

And here’s why: it’s more [kinda-sorta] scientific and logical. No. Really. Stay with me for a minute. Meyer’s werewolves are created based on bloodlines and the presence of vampires. The more vamps, the more werewolves. Mortal [immortal?] enemies and all of that.

The werewolves of Shiver and Linger are created by a bite from an infected person/wolf. After that initial bite, there’s a sickness and eventually a change. Changes occur most readily when it’s cold and for about half the year, the people are wolves with wolfy thoughts and wolfy pack structure. Maybe you’ll read the books and think I’m full of it but it was easier for me to suspend reality with Stiefvater’s books.

The books are told in first-person narrative style. The first book, Shiver, is told by Sam and Grace. The second book, Linger, adds two more people to the viewpoints shared. Even for a person like me who’s riddled with ADD, the switching of viewpoints wasn’t hard to handle or distracting.

Shiver

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.

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.

If I had written that, it would have taken me about five or six hundred words since I would want to discuss each and every thing I made notes on.

You’re welcome.

Big things I enjoyed about Shiver:

  • The strength of Grace. She has absentee parents and has taken care of herself for just about forever.
  • How believable the characters are.
  • The pacing of the book. Not too slow, not too fast. Just right. And now I feel like Goldilocks and stuff.
  • It’s a character driven book and though there is definitely a plot going on in there, you don’t get plot at the expense of character development.
  • A very refreshing take on mature, young relationships. And, no, that is not a contradiction. Stiefvater does a hell of a good job showing what that first love is really like yet keeps it responsible. You know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to ruin it for the less swooft of my readers.

What I wasn’t so hot about in Shiver:

  • The ending. I’m warning you, listen to me. You are probably going to be more than just a bit pissed at the ending of Shiver. When I got done with the book – It took me a day to read it. – I cussed Mrs. Stiefvater. Like no holds barred cussing. I’m amazed my neighbors didn’t hear me since I was sitting outside finishing the book. I was able to chuckle at myself and the ending. BUT, that was only because I have a review copy of Linger. I knew I would be able to start right up from where I left off. I pity any of you who don’t win this contest and then decide to only buy Shiver. Buy them both at the same time. Trust. Me. You’ve been warned.

Also, when you buy – or win – Shiver, know the book has been optioned to be made into a movie. That makes me a tad nervous since I can’t get the HORRIBLE CGI wolves from New Moon out of my head but hopefully the movie studio will do the book justice.

Linger

Synopsis:

This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.

Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn’t cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend.

But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it’s only me who’s not firmly in my own skin.

At the very beginning of Linger I was annoyed at the intrusion of two characters into the conversation – that whole first-person narrative deal.

I had gotten so wrapped up in the Sam and Grace story that I didn’t want to give up that exclusivity. But, as things moved forward, I became to respect and maybe even like the additions. Stiefvater shines at the craft of creating believable, flawed characters and that was her saving grace with these otherwise rather unlikable folks. I will say that by the end, I liked both Cole and Isabel. Maybe I even like Isabel before the end of Shiver but you don’t get things from her perspective until Linger so let’s just say I didn’t care for her until Linger.

Things I liked about Linger:

  • The whole Sam/Grace relationship is deepened and expanded.
  • Stiefvater does a kickass job of showing how parents tend to interpret young relationships as hopeless and not worth the anguish.
  • The science thing is introduced even more and y’all know how I’m a big science nerd.
  • Cole actually isn’t as bad as he seems and has a heck of a lot more layers than you’re led to believe in the beginning.
  • The chemistry between Cole and Isabel is popping. Seriously.

Meh moments for me in Linger:

  • The amount of time it takes to explain the connection between the dead wolf in the woods and Grace.
  • The tiny bit of disconnect I felt between the end of Shiver and the start of Linger. Then again, they probably weren’t written in as tight of a succession as I read them.

Bottom line?

It took me two days to read these books: one day for Shiver and one day for Linger. Good character driven fiction that’s believable and the characters are characters that feel “real”.

Good books.

Third book hits the shelves in 2011; I can’t wait.

Contest time.

Leave a comment here. Anything will work [Other than “I entered” because that’s boring.] but it would be sweet if you would leave some sort of remembrance of your first love since, even with all of the supernatural stuff, these books boil down to a love story.

Just like with The Iron King, you get a second entry for sharing this contest on your most favoritest social networking site/blog/forum/whatever but you only get one extra entry. All you get for the other sharing is my gratitude. Make sure you leave a link in the comments to your sharing so I’ll know about it.

One lucky, lucky person will win 5 copies of both Shiver and Linger and a $50 Visa Cash Card. Oh. Yeah. A nice, fat prize.

This giveaway will run from now until the 12th of July at 10am at which point I’ll kill comments on this post. Once I draw a winner via Random.org, I’ll edit this post with the winner’s name and email said winner via the email address they provided in the comment form. US residents only. If the winner doesn’t respond within seven days, I’ll go on down the list. So forth and so on. Ad nauseum.

Good luck!

***

Congrats to Beth for winning this righteous contest! Also, thanks to all of you who commented. I’m sure I’ll have more great contests like this in the future.

***

Edited again to add I am very sorry I closed the contest early. I had it down in my planner as closing the same day as The Iron King. I’m sorry for any inconvenience but it’s not fair for me to reopen the comments and for me to take the prize from Beth. In the future, I’ll be sure to double check my dates.

Comments

  1. I LOVED Shiver and have been telling everyone about it while I patiently wait for Linger to come out. I read Shiver months ago, in a day like you, and I have died a little while waiting so long.

    My first love felt like what you read in stories. We dated for 3 years, got engaged had the whole wedding planned and paid for…then I came to my senses and reality hit me. HE WAS A JERK!! Sorry, no happily ever after with my first love story.

    *Fingers crossed for Linger*

  2. I think I love you…. or maybe you can just be my girl crush. Justin will love that!
    These books sound really good! I think we share a lot of the same likes/dislikes in books from what we have talked about in the past…

    I’ve read the twilight books as well, and have not been a bog fan of her writing – and especially her take on vampires (sparkles really?) and werewolves. I think she veers too far from what they always had been in other stories.

    So I’d love to win, but regardless I think I will check Shiver out!

    and….

    My first love…. Was this guy from High School. My best friend at the time introduced us, and the three of us were great friends. I got to know him better, and spent more time flirting in Algebra than learning. We went on a couple dates between Junior and Senior years that were a blast, but my friend confided that she had a crush on him. Our friendship was so important to me, that I broke it off with him. We spent senior year growing closer as friends. He never knowing that my friend had a crush on him.
    We graduated and went to the same school. After the first semester we began dating again and my friend was mad that I had done so….. She never forgave me.
    Justin and I have been married for 9 years 🙂

  3. These sound great and I’m looking forward to checking them out…PICK ME! PICK ME!

    My first love was John Denver. I was in kindergarten and my parents had a couple of his records. I used to love to listen to him and, even at age 5, I guess I thought he was cute because I told anyone that would listen that John Denver was my boyfriend and that someday I would marry him. That didn’t exactly work out for either me or him. My next first love was a guy I met early into my freshman year of high school. We officially dated for a short time, broke up and proceeded to meet clandestinely for several years after that. The whole John Denver thing was much less painful…

  4. My first (and still lingering ~sigh~) love was Johnny Depp. I suppose, after him, my husband counts, too. Married my high school sweetheart and all that jazz:)

  5. Jennifer says:

    I am intrigued. Both books sound right up my alley (supernatural, young love, parents just don’t understand) and now I want to read them. So I better win.

    My first love was a boy named Paul. He was your garden variety nice young boy and while it didn’t work out for us, we are still in contact and pleased that each other went on to find happiness.

  6. Sarah T says:

    Great contest! I loved Shiver and can’t wait for Linger.

    Love is funny. If you would have asked me ten years ago, i’m sure I would have had lots of stories about first loves. Now though, I realize those boys weren’t love. Nothing like I have with my husband. Or my iPad. *Le sigh*

  7. My first true love is the guy I’ve been married to for 16 years now. I’m so glad I decided to go ice skating that fateful day!

  8. Margaret Smith says:

    What a wonderful prize. This book sounds wonderful.
    My first love, was my brothers best friend. We knew each other for years and started dating on the hush,hush, so my brother wouldn’t know. Since we were always hanging around each other, us dating really didn’t stand out at first. We dated for about two years. When we broke up, it was on good terms. My brother knew we were dating by then. Now years later, we’re both married to other people, but sometimes we do run into each other and catch up.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

  9. donna says:

    A friend told me about “Shiver” – said it was fabulous! I am looking forward to reading both Shiver and Linger.

  10. nicole says:

    I have been looking for a new scifi series to start.

  11. I met my first love when I was fifteen. His name was Sam. I would love to be entered for these books!
    smchester at gmail dot com

  12. Benita says:

    My first love is the love of my life. I met my husband in a school cafeteria. He walked in and my life froze. I saw nothing else, just him. I do believe in love at first sight.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. Carol says:

    I was my husband’s first love, he was my, I’d say, 18th. 28 years laters, we’re still going strong. He’s very cute. And makes good money. He’s a keeper.

  14. ky2here says:

    My first true love was when I was 14. My heart broke FOREVER (well at least until I met my next hostage). Ah – Tennessee Williams said it best – sweet bird of youth……

  15. ky2here says:
  16. I’ve heard such great things about these. Thanks for the giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  17. Shiela Hickmon says:

    I really want to check these out! You make them sounds amazing, I love that you cussed at the end of the first. I’ve been known to do that a few times! Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Shiela Hickmon says:
  19. christopher h says:

    you’ve certainly made this sound good

  20. Amber G says:

    This is going to sound so pessimistic, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in love yet. No worries though, I know I’ll find it one of these days.

  21. Michelle R. says:

    Thanks for the cool contest. My first love was my science lab partner in 9th grade. He did all the cutting on the frog so I wouldn’t have to. Sigh.

  22. *sigh*

    My first love…very sweet boy in high school. We dated for three years and he set the bar VERY high for all boys that followed. The only reason I didn’t marry him was I just didn’t want to marry young…probably was a good move. 🙂

  23. Leslie Price says:

    Thanks for having such a cool giveaway! Ordinarily I wouldn’t have any interest in a werewolf story- and I am *beyond* over Twilight… but your review actually made this sound like a must-read!

    I’ve been with my first love for two years and I’m quite a bit older than most people who would say that! It’s just that I never thought I was capable of love before he came along and convinced me I wasn’t damaged goods!

  24. Christy says:

    My first love was a guy I’d known all my life. We (finally) got together our Senior year of High School and rather than hang out with me, he wanted to go hunting, fishing and camping. I never saw him so I ended it. It was a disappointment but we remained friends. I haven’t seen him in years.

  25. Stephanie V. says:

    First love was all consuming. Lived together for 3 years when we sadly realized wasn’t going to work in long run without destroying one another. (long sigh)
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  26. Elizabeth I says:

    Thanks for the contest….ah, regarding first love. I listened to the song I listened to again and again, after we broke up. Crown of Thorns by Mother Love Bone. However, I realize that the song…just doesn’t apply to me anymore. The song is dark and well, I am much more joyful now.

  27. Brenda H says:

    This is so funny, so true my first love seems so funny now compared to my true love that I have now, but back then I would have climbed mountains, bungee jumped, even swam across the river, and I can’t swim for the goofy boy. Still get a little excited when I think about him though. Thanks for my memories, and good luck to all.

  28. Thomas Gibson says:

    My First Love

    Once upon a time there was a land full of love. People were smiling. Kids were running and playing. No one was crying, not a tear in sight. Death was not on the minds of the people, because it never existed. Pain? Whatever that may have been. There was a dog of a past, distant memory. He approached me and licked my hand. I knelt down and gave him a big hug. Then as I looked up, I saw a familiar face from years and years ago. It was a little girl that drew a paternal insinct within me. She was only 4 when it happened. I picked her as in times past and carried her over to a gentleman that introduced himself as Pops! Yes. He once held me as I was holding her. I finally realized that it was this place that I had heard about as a child and how this was a very happy place. As I grew older, I had forgot about this happy place. But my Father brought me back to my first love.

  29. Linda Fish says:

    I love these kind of books, sounds like it would be great reading

  30. Anne D says:

    My first love was in middle school. I still remember him to this day.

  31. My first love….hmm forbidden for sure!

  32. I remember taking walks with my first love.

  33. I met my first love when I was 16 and we worked together. We have been together for 9 years and married for 7 now. When you look at all the real drama in a relationship I am glad I don’t have to contend with supernatural things as well!

    I follow you on twitter (@GMERRELL) and tweeted at http://twitter.com/GMERRELL/status/17966597416

  34. Linda Lansford says:

    My first love was a highschool boy named Harry. We nearly got married

  35. Mellissa C says:

    My first love is now my husband. Our first date was on July 4th , 10 years ago to see the fireworks together and our love has been spectacular ever since.

  36. Tawnda says:

    wow… I’d love to have these books!

  37. evelyn says:

    I’ d love to read

  38. I love an author who focuses on characters (though not to the exclusion of the rest of the story, of course).

  39. latisha depoortere says:

    I don’t really have a love story but I love to read about them. I love the vampire academy books which are my favorite. I have not read shiver but heard alot of good things about it and would love it. I heard linger was going to be good, great giveaway and thank you very much 🙂
    tishajean@charter.net

  40. Jacob says:

    I am still with my first love. She was my first kiss and I have never been happier. I truly hope never to have a first kiss again!

  41. Jacob says:
  42. Kris T. says:

    Thanks for the chance at such a great prize! And my first love? Second grade. Scottie. He sat in the row in front of me! Such cute curly brown hair.

  43. Kris T. says:

    I tweeted at: http://twitter.com/krstrpp/status/17994705432
    Thanks again for the chance to win such a great prize!

  44. Crystal F says:

    Every since reading Twilight, I’ve been into the supernatural books. I’ve been reading the Morganville books, The Vampire Diaries and another other that has to do with vampires and werewolves. I can’t get enough of them. I would love to read these!! thank you!!

  45. Angela Winesburg says:

    My first love was when I was 16, it only lasted 3 months, my second love, I married and am still madly in love with him. I think I’m the luckiest woman in the world! Thanks for a great giveaway!

  46. Marilyn Wons says:

    My first love was Freddie. We played together and one day I remember asking him why people look different when they are old. Freddie and I concluded it was because they get new faces every so often. We were four years old.

  47. I’m only 20 and can’t say I know what true love really IS!
    I know what lust is that’s for sure…and infatuation.
    I’m guess i’m still into playing love games. And i like the guys thinking of me as “the one who got away”~ *sigh* There’s so much more i need to learn about life before i meet that special someone. It will happen, in time–I know it!

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  1. Amy Tucker says:

    Shiver and Linger: Reviews and a Contest http://bit.ly/bWTXlM