Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

   Title: Shiver
   Series: Mercy Falls, Book 1
   Author: Maggie Stiefvater

   Publisher: Scholastic Press
   Year Published: 2009
   Pages: 390

“I could still smell her on my fur. It clung to me, a memory of another world.

I was drunk with it, with the scent of her. I'd got too close.

The smell of summer on her skin, the half-recalled cadence of her voice, the sensation of her fingers on my fur. Every bit of me sang with the memory of her closeness.

Too close. I couldn't stay away.

Shiver is hardly a new book, and I've seen it around for a while, knowing it was quite popular, but I never quite seemed to get to it. This week, however, while getting to know the new batch of year 7 readers, one girl borrowed the last in the trilogy and talked to me about how much she had enjoyed it. That was all the prompting I needed to tick this one off my list.

Shiver is the first book in a trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater. It is a love story between a girl named Grace and a boy named Sam - but Sam is no ordinary boy. Every year, during winter with the temperature drops, Sam becomes a wolf. A wolf among a pack of wolves who live in the forest behind Grace's house. The very same pack that attacked Grace when she was a little girl. This is a story about growing up, about love, about danger, and about sacrifice.

fanart by connorose

Grace is seventeen years old, very practical and responsible. She looks after herself, her family, and her friends. She likes numbers and things that make sense. Sam, on the other hand, is dreamy and creative. Eighteen years old, he has spent a large portion of his life shifting back and forth between being a wolf and a human. He likes music, and poetry, and above all, Grace.

I particularly enjoyed the way this story was told. These days, first person narratives that jump back and forth chapter to chapter between characters are very much the norm. But unlike some other YA romances in this format, the voices where clear and and distinctive, even when the pattern of changes shifted. (To be fair, I did listen to an audiobook which made this impossible to miss, but I still feel the characters were clearly separated).

fanart by finncollins

I found Stiefvater quite lyrical in her writing, very fond of descriptive passages romanticised imagery. That being said, overall the novel wasn't overly sappy or cheesy, due in no small part to the character of Grace being relatively practical and stoic. 

I would like to say this book was a must read, as I truly found it pleasant and, at places, even a beautiful novel - but it's not groundbreaking. At it's core it's a paranomal YA romance, like the many written at the same time. It is certainly well written, and has rounded enough characters that I'm quite happy to suggest it to a wide range of students at school, but it doesn't have anything all that new.

fanart by dearbrigan

Recommended Age Group:
I'll be steering to the 15+ crowd based on the age of the characters and some hints towards sex (though nothing at all graphic). It would be acceptable for mature readers a little younger if you felt they were capable. All the covers I've seen have been very girl oriented, but it has it's share of action and quite a believable male voice, so it might be worth extending a suggestion to some of the boys also.

Content Warnings:
- some mention of sex (not graphic or lewd)
- some violence
- trigger warning for suicide backstory

Similar Reads:

Other Reviews Have you written a review for this book? I would love to include it, comment below and I'll add your link!

Kids say the Darnedest Things

Me: Are you eating in the library?
Yr 7 Boy: *looks at giant biscuit in hand* ... just a little bit.

Me: *approaching a small group of year 8 boys* Hello hello, do you all have something to read over the holidays? Are we needing books?
Year 8 Boy: Nah I don't read. Books are dumb.
Me: Well that's okay if you don't like reading, but you shouldn't say that in front of the books. They'll hear you and then they'll be sad.
Year 8 Boy: ... *reaches over and picks up a book* You're dumb.
Me: Well then okay.

Books read in 2016

Total: 300


  • Albom, Mitch - The Strings of Frankie Presto
  • Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice
  • Barker, Kathryn - In the Skin of a Monster
  • Blume, Judy - Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
  • Bukowski, Charles - On Cats
  • Brooks, Geraldine - Caleb's Crossing
  • Burnett, Frances Hodgson - A Little Princess
  • Cabot, Meg - The Princess Diaries #1
  • Carey, M.R. - The Girl with All the Gifts
  • Courtenay, Bryce - The Power of One
  • Crossan, Sarah - One
  • Dahl, Roald - The BFG
  • Donoghue, Emma - Room
  • Donoghue, Emma - The Wonder
  • Estes, Eleanor - The Hundred Dresses
  • Fink, Joseph and Jeffrey Cranor - Welcome to Night Vale
  • Genova, Lisa - Inside the O'Briens
  • Gino, Alex - George
  • Gleitzman, Morris - Boy Overboard
  • Gough, Erin - The Flywheel
  • Grabensteinm Chris - Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
  • Grant, Michael - Hunger
  • Graudin, Ryan - Wolf by Wolf
  • Hawkins, Paula - The Girl on the Train
  • Hendrix, Grady - Horrorstör
  • Hoge, Robert - Ugly
  • Howey, Hugh - Wool #1: Wool
  • Howey, Hugh - Wool #2: Proper Guage
  • Howey, Hugh - Wool #3: Casting Off
  • Joyce, William - The Guardians #1: Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King
  • Kesey, Ken - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • Kostakis, Will - The First Third
  • Kostakis, Will - The Sidekicks
  • Lange, Erin - Dead Ends
  • Larbalestier, Justine - My Sister Rosa
  • Levithan, David - The Realm of Possibility
  • MacLachlan, Patricia - Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • Maguire, Gregory - Matchless: A Christmas Story
  • Martin, Emily Winfield - Oddfellow's Orphanage
  • Mee, Benjamin - We Bought a Zoo
  • Morgan, Sally - Sister Heart
  • Moyes, Jojo - Me Before You
  • Murray, Martine - Molly and Pim and Millions of Stars
  • Ness, Patrick - A Monster Calls
  • Ness, Patrick - The Rest of Us Just Live Here
  • Picoult, Jodi - Leaving Time
  • Picoult, Jodi - Lone Wolf
  • Picoult, Jodi - Shine
  • Picoult, Jodi - Small Great Things
  • Pullman, Philip - Lyra's Oxford
  • Riggs, Ransom - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  • Riordan, Rick - Kane Chronicles #1: The Red Pyramid
  • Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Rowling, J.K. - The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Saliba, Sue - For the Forest of a Bird
  • Scalzi, John - The Dispatcher
  • Shriver, Lionel - We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Stead, Rebecca - Liar & Spy
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
  • Stiefvater, Maggie - The Wolves of Mercy, #1: Shiver
  • Stiefvater, Maggie - The Wolves of Mercy, #2: Linger
  • Sugg, Zoe - Girl Online
  • Vonnegut, Jr., Kurt - Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Wilkinson, Lili - The Boundless Sublime
  • Williamson, Lisa - The Art of Being Normal
  • Zevin, Gabrielle - The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry
  • Zorn, Claire - The Sky So Heavy


  • Kwame, Alexander - The Crossover
  • Murphy, Sally - Pearl Versus the World
  • Powers, Kevin - Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting


  • Albee, Edward - The Zoo Story
  • Kaufman, Moisés - The Laramie Project
  • Russell, Willy - Educating Rita
  • Tiffany, John, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

Non-Fiction (excl. NF picture books and graphic novels)

  • Affirm Press - She Sheds
  • Anthony, Tobias - From Ace to Zowie: The Ultimate Guide to Hip Baby Names
  • Barker, Brooke - Sad Animal Facts
  • Bennett, Alan - The Lady in the Van
  • Bigler, Kami - Washi Tape Christmas: Easy Holiday Craft Ideas with Washi Tape
  • Blair, Adele - Home
  • Bloom, Cameron - Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family
  • Bronson, Fred - The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook
  • Bryson, Bill - At Home: A Short History of Private Life
  • Bryson, Bill - Down Under
  • Bryson, Bill - Notes from a Small Island
  • Bryson, Bill - The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
  • Bryson, Bill - A Short History of Nearly Everything
  • Bryson, Bill - A Walk in the Woods
  • Campos, Cristian - Tattoo Magic
  • Cave, Michael - Fabulous Places of Myth
  • Carrington, Colleen - Benedict Cumberstitch: Cross Stitch Mr Cumberbatch in 15 Great Patterns
  • Chamberlain, Kim - 365 Games and Puzzles to Keep Your Mind Sharp
  • Davies, Steven Paul - Out at the Movies: A History of Gay Cinema
  • Duncan, Ken - Walking in the Light: Ken Duncan's Iconic Australian Images and Their Stories
  • Fey, Tina - Bossypants
  • Finnanger, Tone - Tilda's Fairytale Wonderland
  • Fisher, Carrie - The Princess Diarist
  • Fisher, Carrie - Wishful Drinking
  • Friedman-Siegal, Kate - Mother, Can You Not?
  • Fry, Stephen - The Fry Chronicles
  • Fry, Stephen - Moab is My Washpot
  • Fry, Stephen - More Fool Me
  • Gaiman, Neil - Make Good Art
  • Graham, Lauren - Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between
  • Gray, Tanis - Cozy Knits: 50 Fast and Easy Projects from Top Designers
  • Halpern, Justin - Sh*t My Dad Says
  • Hanffe, Helene - 84 Charing Cross Road
  • Hanffe, Helene - The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street
  • Hart, Alexander - Jar Salads: 52 Happy, Healthy Lunches
  • Hart, Miranda - Peggy and Me
  • Hoshi, Mitsuki - Sparkling Crochet: Make Amigurumi Animals with Yarn that Glitters
  • Johnson, Kylie - Melancholy and Bright: Quotes of Wisdom and Wonder
  • Katauskas, Fiona - The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made
  • Kendrick, Anna - Scrappy Little Nobody
  • Knight, Sarah - The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have With People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do
  • Kramer, Sibylle - Green, Hidden and Above: The Most Exceptional Treehouses
  • Kyle, Chris - American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
  • Lannister, Jammy - Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine
  • Leunig, Michael - Leunig's Carnival of the Animals
  • Leunig, Sunny - The Book of Uninspiring Quotes to Complement Your Empty Shell of an Existence
  • Lewis, Michael - The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
  • Lonely Planet - You Only Live Once: A Lifetime of Experiences for the Explorer in All of Us
  • Lord, Aileen - The World as 100 People: A Visual Guide to 7 Billion Humans
  • Mackintosh, Michelle - Care Packages: Celebrating the Art and Craft of Thoughtfully Made Packages
  • Marley, Christopher - Biophilia
  • Mooncie, Vanessa - Crocheted Wild Animals
  • Overbeek, Hester Van - Crafting with Mason Jars and Other Glass Containers: Over 35 Simple and Beautiful Upcycling Projects
  • Perkins, Sue - Spectacles
  • Perry, Neil - Easy Weekends: Food
  • Piers, Helen - How to Look After Your Kitten
  • Quentin, Blake - Tell Me a Picture
  • Reeder, Stephanie Owen - Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony
  • Rice, Brian - A Pictorial History of Santa Claus
  • Ridge, Judith - The Book That Made Me
  • Sander, Gin - The Big Bucket List Book: 133 Experiences of a Lifetime
  • Sparrow, Rebecca - Ask Me Anything: Heartfelt Answers to 65 Anonymous Questions from Teenage Girls
  • Stanton, Brandon - Humans of New York
  • Starke, Ruth and Robert Hannaford - My Gallipoli
  • Strayed, Cheryl - Brave Enough
  • Usher, Shaun - Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
  • Various - Handmade Christmas: Over 35 Step-by-Step Projects and Inspirational Ideas for the Festive Season
  • Wilson, Mara - Where Am I Now?

Graphic Novels

  • Aaron, Jason, Russell Dauterman, and Jorge Molina - Thor, Vol. 1: The Goddess of Thunder
  • Aguirre, Jorge, Rafael Rosado, John Novak, et al - Chronicles of Claudette, Vol. 1: Giants Beware!
  • Allison, John, Lissa Treiman, and Whitney Cogar - Giant Days, Vol. 1
  • Anthony, Jessica - Chopsticks
  • Backderf, Derf - Trashed
  • Beaton, Kate - Hark! A Vagrant, Vol. 3: Step Aside, Pops
  • Demetris, Alex - Dad's Not There Any More: A Comic About Dementia
  • Dorison, Guillaume, Delphine Dubos, and Elyum Studio - The Little Prince, Vol. 1: The Planet of Wind
  • Duggan, Gerry and Phil Noto - Chewbacca
  • Gaiman, Neil and Eddie Campbell - The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains
  • Gaiman, Neil and Lorenzo Mattotti - Hansel and Gretel
  • Gillen, Kieron and Jamie McKelvie - The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act
  • Gillen, Kieron and Jamie McKelvie - The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium
  • Gillen, Kieron and Jamie McKelvie - The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide
  • Hill, Bryan, Matt Hawkins, and Isaac Goodheart, et al - Postal, Vol. 1
  • Jones, Joëlle, Jamie S. Rich, and Chelsea Cain - Lady Killer
  • Kim, Susan, Laurence Klavan and Faith Erin Hicks - Brain Camp
  • Larson, Hope and Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel
  • Layman, John - Chew, Vol. 2: International Flavour
  • Layman, John and Rob Guillory - Chew, Vol. 3: Just Desserts
  • Layman, John - Chew, Vol. 4: Flambé
  • Loeb, Jeph, John Cassaday, David Finch, et al - Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America
  • Moon, Fábio, Gabriel Bá, Dave Stewart, and Sean Konot - Daytripper
  • O'Malley, Bryan Lee - Seconds
  • Ottaviani, Jim and Leland Myrck - Feynman
  • Pearson, Luke - Hilda and the Midnight Giant
  • Roberson, Chris, Mike Allred, Laura Allred, et al - iZombie, Vol. 1: Dead to the World
  • Ruth, Greg - The Lost Boy
  • Sandoval, Tony - A Glance Backward
  • Simmons, Josh - Black River
  • Soule, Charles, Paulo Sequira, Tony S. Daniel s, et al - Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Power Couple
  • Soule, Charles, Paulo Sequira, Ed Benes, et al - Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 2: War and Peace
  • Snyder, Scott, Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, et al - Wytches, Vol. 1
  • Spencer, Nick and Ramon Rosanos - Ant Man, Vol. 1: Second-Chance Man
  • Stevenson, Noelle - Nimona
  • Stevenson, Noelle, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, et al - Lumberjanes, Vol. 3: A Terrible Plan
  • Stevenson, Noelle, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, et al - Lumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of Time
  • Stinson, Barney - The Playbook: Suit Up. Score Chicks. Be Awesome
  • Telgemeier, Raina - Drama
  • Telgemeier, Raina - Ghosts
  • Thompson, Craig - Carnet de Voyage
  • Thompson, Craig - Good-Bye, Chunky Rice
  • Thrash, Maggie - Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir
  • Vaughan, Brian K. and Fiona Staples - Saga, Vol. 6
  • Wiebe, Kurtis J. and Roc Upchurch - Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery
  • Yeldham, Joshua - Surrender: A Journal For My Daughter

Picture Books

  • Allen, Ed and Sarah Hardy - Hokey Pokey
  • Allen, Pamela - The Big Fish
  • Baker, Jeannie - Where the Forest Meets the Sea
  • Baker-Smith, Grahame - FArTHER
  • Balchin, Lance - Mechanica
  • Bell, Hillary and Antonia Pesenti - Alphabetical Sydney
  • Bell, Hillary and Antonia Pesenti - Numerical Street
  • Bell, Hillary and Matthew Martin - The Marvellous Funambulist of Middle Harbour
  • Bemelmans, Ludwig - Madeline
  • Bemelmans, Ludwig - Madeline and the Bad Hat
  • Bemelmans, Ludwig - Madeline and the Gypsies
  • Bemelmans, Ludwig - Madeline in London
  • Bemelmans, Ludwig - Madeline's Christmas
  • Bemelmans, Ludwig and John Bemelmans Marciano - Madeline in America and Other Holiday Tales
  • Blabey, Aaron - Babies Don't Suck
  • Blabey, Aaron - The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon
  • Blabey, Aaron - I Need a Hug
  • Blabey, Aaron - Pig the Fibber
  • Blabey, Aaron - Pig the Winner
  • Blabey, Aaron - Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas
  • Bland, Nick - The Very Noisy Bear
  • Bogle, Eric and Bruce Whatley - And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda
  • Booth, Christina - Welcome Home
  • Brian, Janeen and Ann James - I'm a Hungry Dinosaur
  • Brian, Janeen and Anne Spudvilas - Where's Jessie?
  • Brian, Janeen and Matt Adams - Meet... Ned Kelly
  • Brunhoff, Jean de and Merle S. Haas - The Story of Babar
  • Burningham, John and Helen Oxenbury - There's Going to Be a Baby
  • Cali, Davide and Maurizio A.C. Quarello - My Father the Great Pirate
  • Child, Lauren - Slightly Invisible
  • Cohen, Sigi and James Foley - My Dead Bunny
  • Cooper, Jenny - There's a Hole in my Bucket
  • Cleave, Rohan and Coral Tulloch - Phasmid: Saving the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect
  • Crumble, P. and Chris Kennett - If You're Cheeky and You Know It!
  • Daddo, Andrew and Bruce Whatley - Monster
  • Davey, Owen - Foxley's Feast
  • Edwards, Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton, and Christine Davenier - The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage
  • Fox, Mem and Judy Horacek - This & That
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - Baby Wombat's Week
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - Christmas Wombat
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - Cyclone
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - Diary of a Wombat
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - Grandma Wombat
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - Josephine Wants to Dance
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - The Secret World of Wombats
  • French, Jackie and Bruce Whatley - Wombat Goes to School
  • French, Jackie and Mark L. Wilson - A Day to Remember
  • French, Jackie and Sue deGennaro - Hairy-Nosed Wombats Find a New Home
  • French, Jackie and Sue deGennaro - The Tomorrow Book
  • Gaiman, Neil and Adam Rex - Chu's Day
  • Gaiman, Neil and Adam Rex - Chu's Day at the Beach
  • Gaiman, Neil and Adam Rex - Chu's First Day of School
  • Gaiman, Neil and Charles Vess - Instructions
  • Gaiman, Neil and Dave McKean - Crazy Hair
  • Ghosh, Ronojoy - No Place Like Home
  • Ghosh, Ronojoy - Ollie and the Wind
  • Gleeson, Libby and Armin Greder - The Great Bear
  • Gleeson, Libby and Armin Greder - An Ordinary Day
  • Gleeson, Libby and Freya Blackwood - A Friend and a Pet
  • Godwin, Jane and Anna Walker - What Do You Wish For?
  • Graham, Bob - A Bus Called Heaven
  • Gravett, Emily - Again!
  • Gravett, Emily - Blue Chameleon
  • Gravett, Emily - Matilda's Cat
  • Gravett, Emily - Meerkat Mail
  • Greder, Armin - Australia to Z
  • Guojing - The Only Child
  • Hart, Caryl and Ed Eaves - Plunge into the Pirate Pool
  • Hathorn, Libby and Gaye Chapman - Incredibilia
  • Honey, Elizabeth - Hop Up! Wriggle Over!
  • Jay, Alison - Bee & Me
  • Jeffers, Oliver - A Child of Books
  • Jeffers, Oliver - This Moose Belongs to Me
  • Jolly, Jane and Sally Heinrich - One Step at a Time
  • Joyce, William - The Mischievians
  • Kittinger, Jo S. and Steven Walker - Rosa's Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights
  • Landman, Tanya and Richard Holland - Mary's Penny
  • Latimer, Alex - Pig and Small
  • Lessac, Frané - A is for Australia
  • Louise, Zanni and Anna Pignataro - Too Busy Sleeping
  • McCarney, Rosemary - Every Day is Malala Day
  • McCartney, Tania and Andrew Joyner - Australian Kids Through the Years
  • Omerod, Jan and Freya Blackwood - Maudie and Bear
  • Owen, Chris - Pandamonia
  • Parker, Danny and Matt Ottley - Crusts
  • Percival, Tom - Herman's Letter
  • Rockliff, Mara and Iacopo Bruno - Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France
  • Riddle, Tohby - Irving the Magician
  • Rudge, Leila - Gary
  • Sanna, Francesca - The Journey
  • Scieszka, Jon - Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables
  • Shea, Louis - The Bear Went Over the Mountain
  • Silvey, Craig and Sonia Martinez - The World According to Warren
  • Smith, Craig - My Daddy Ate an Apple
  • Stanton, Beck and Matt Stanton - This is a Ball
  • Teitelbaum, Michael and Jonathan Apple - The Very Hungry Zombie: A Parody
  • Tellegen, Toon - The Day No One Was Angry
  • Van Allsburg, Chris - Queen of the Falls
  • Vass, Coral and Brad Howe - Meet... Don Bradman
  • Watkins, Ross and Liz Anelli - One Photo
  • Wild, Margaret and Freya Blackwood - Harry & Hopper
  • Wild, Margaret and Michelle Dawson - Let's Go to Sleep
  • Wild, Margaret and Stephen Michael King - The Pocket Dogs and the Lost Kitten
  • Willems, Mo - The Pigeon Needs a Bath!
  • Whiting, Sue and Mark Jackson - Platypus
  • Zee, Ruth Vander and Roberto Innocenti - Erika's Story