Monday, July 26, 2010

Mini book review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Anyone who has even glanced at more than one of my book reviews knows that (a) I like fantasy and (b) I am unafraid to read YA novels in the genre.  There's just so much out there right now that's so good.  Shiver, first in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater, is not one of them.  To quote the WoMF microsite, Stiefvater writes "about werewolves and kissing."  Don't get me wrong: I am a big fan of both werewolves AND kissing.  But this book just fell short for me.  The two protagonists, schoolgirl Grace and Sam, the werewolf who loves her, are pretty flat despite daring to be a love story to end all love stories (meh); other characters fade in and out without any insight into their characters at all.  The pacing is slow ... until it rushes to a climax at the end of this first book, and in doing so it feels like there are whole scenes that were dropped.  And the writing is just too simplistic to be compelling, and saying that well, it's for young adults is not valid.  I've read several YA fantasy novels recently that had fantastic writing (here, and here, and here, and here, and here (altho' that one is maybe more adult than some of the others), and here ... you get the point, I guess.).  It can be done.  Stiefvater has a nice idea here with her werewolves in love - it would be wonderful if she could execute a little better.

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