Why do I like this book? I’m not quite sure how to answer that, but there’s something about it that just attracts me. I liken it to my feelings for the film The Major and the Minor
, starring Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland. I’ve never been a real fan of either Ginger’s or Ray Milland’s work, but there’s something about that film that gets me. The film’s plot is rather silly: A young woman disguises herself as a girl in order to get a cheaper train ticket and then finds herself at a military academy and falls for the Major, who thinks she’s just a girl. Yet, there’s something about it … the acting, the characters—I don’t know—that draws me in and makes me laugh every time I watch it.
I think if you approach Shiver
with a sense of humor, you’ll like it. Sam Roth is definitely not your typical macho, tough, yet handsome heartthrob; he’s more sensitive, poetically descriptive (he feels like a “leaky womb”), is musically inclined, reads Rilke, and has a nose that wouldn’t look good on a girl. Like Grace, I couldn’t help but like him, as he appealed to my sense of humor. I could even sort of understand Grace’s desire to test her parents by having a live-in boyfriend without their knowledge: Sam doesn’t really seem to be that much of a threat. I’d probably think differently if Sam’s demeanor were more like Patch’s from Hush Hush
I also enjoyed Stiefvater’s descriptive writing style. She’s able to convey to the reader the overall sense of foreboding for the oncoming chills of winter: You feel the cold as you’re reading. That’s not an easy feat. So far the only other book that I read that had achieved this was Heart of Darkness
: I experienced the all consuming heat and fog that Marlow felt on his journey through the Congo on that steamship. Though, I'm not comparing Shiver
to Heart of Darkness
by any means. Both works are vastly different. It would be like trying to compare The Major and the Minor
to Gone With the Wind
or Wuthering Heights
. Stiefvater's novel is not what I would call great literature. Nevertheless, I did find it entertaining.
And to give Stiefvater credit, some of the scenes in Shiver
are well done. I loved the candy shop scene… so visual that I could almost taste the scents and flavors wafting from the back kitchen. The final scene was also visually great. But, there were certain events in the story that were left unexplained, such as the set of footprints Grace had found outside of the candy shop and the pile of clothes left by the post. Though I suppose these plot hints will be further explored in the future books.
If you're looking for something light and entertaining in the paranormal romance genre, this could be the book for you.