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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater by Maggie Stiefvater

Opening line--"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves."

When I first read this, I had a hard time getting through it. I made it to about page 52 and then stopped. I had lots of other books to read, and I read them. But you know, I loved Lament and Ballad and I couldn't just give up. So I came back to Shiver and was glad I did. Almost immediately the story picked up and I got sucked in.

I suspect that part of the problem was my weird hang up about alternating narratives (funny that the last time this came up was over Ballad). But here I think that, after those first 50 pages or so, the alternating part was a little less obvious and somehow it worked better.

So, all in all, I loved the book. I really liked Sam and Grace's relationship--I liked that it took some time to develop. And it just had these quirks which made it seem real and down-to-earth, rather than being EARTHSHATTERINGLY DEEP (because the author says so).

As with Ballad I had a slight preference for Sam's narration over Grace's, which intrigues me somehow. It's not that I disliked Grace--I didn't at all--but somehow when Sam's chapters came, I found them more something than Grace's.

I also liked that, in defiance of certain annoying stereotypes, Sam loves poetry and Grace is extremely practical. Again, it made them seem more real and actually human than certain other teenage fantasy romances I could name but won't.

One of the other things I really liked was the way Stiefvater made the wolf pack so nuanced. That not all of them react in horror to their fate, and on the other hand that not all of them react with joy. I also liked the fact that the change doesn't mean that they're a different person--that their personality carries over from before.

Book source: public library
Book information: Scholastic, 2009

Originally published here