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Better than Twilight or most of its imitators,
This review is from: Shiver (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)I was expecting another "me-too" attempt to emulate the success of the "Twilight" franchise, but Maggie Stiefvater's novel is an intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written piece of young adult fiction.
Its dual first-person narrative splits the storytelling duties between teenage Grace and her beloved Sam, a boy she first encountered as a terrified child victim of a wolf attack. After surviving her injuries, she is still drawn to the woods behind her Minnesota home - and especially to one wolf which watches her silently from the forest's edge, like a protector.
This isn't a predictable story of werewolves who howl at the moon. These wolves - like Sam - are shapeshifters, but the condition is rooted in the physical rather than supernatural, a medical malady which may even have a cure. When they change, these stranded forget much of their human lives: eventually they stop changing altogether, and their human history is lost. The wolves' transformation is a fevered agony of bone and muscle, a kind of endlessly repeating birth trauma which forces their frames to bend and distort, their minds to obey different rules and instincts.
Love is the redeemer here, as it is in other supernatural romances: but there is more going on in this book than just a gothic take on boy-meets-girl. Stiefvater even works some of the poetry of Rilke into her narrative, which becomes at times a kind of meditation on what makes us human, and what makes us free.