Check out Scott Reads It for more reviews! I think Shiver is the most surprising book I've read all year. For years I have seen Shiver literally everywhere: bookstores, libraries, Goodreads, book recommendations, and so many other places. Yet despite the fact that Shiver is a literary sensation, I wasn't too interested in picking it up. I was kind of afraid of not liking it and being disappointed due to all the hype. Shiver surprised me completely and exceeded all expectations I had for it. This book is one of the most moving and emotional novels I've read in such a long time. Shiver is the story of Grace and Sam who meet under extremely unpleasant conditions. Grace has always watched Sam in the forest with his yellow eyes. One day Grace meets Sam in human form and everything changes for better or worse. Sam has to struggle to fight the wolf inside of him to be with Grace and it's not going to be easy. Shiver is unlike any paranormal book I've ever read and probably will ever read. It tosses out everything you know about werewolves like the full moon, how silver is their weakness, etc. Instead of using the classic mythology, Stiefvater creates her own new rules that govern the werewolves and their ability to shift. They can't shift on command or shift only on the full moon like most werewolves in the media. Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver is beautiful, emotional, and truly heart-breaking. At the end of the audiobook I was listening to, Stiefvater said she wrote Shiver to make readers emotional and cry. I felt like Stiefvater wrenched my heart out and shattered it a thousand times. The last time I was so attached to characters in a novel was Clockwork Princess and that ended in a waterfall of tears. Maggie Stiefvater turned me into an emotional wreck and she plays with a reader's emotions at so many points in this book. The protagonists, Sam and Grace, are two characters I got extremely attached to. I felt this connection with them and I understood how they feel and why they acted the way they did. I definitely think it's because I'm kind of a mixture of both Sam and Grace. Rarely is an author truly appeal to capture what being a teenager is truly like and the cavalcade of emotions that flood through you. Stiefvater hit the bull's eye with her chapters from Sam's POV and they sounded exactly how a guy would think. Grace's chapters were distinctly different from Sam's yet they were also executed perfectly. I loved Grace's snarky attitude and humor which contrasted Sam's more serious, grave situation. Stiefvater helps the reader understand why Sam and Grace act the way they do with their rich, developed backstories. I think a writer has succeeded writing a fantastic novel, when the reader can empathize with the writer's characters. I didn't just empathize with the characters, I felt like I was living through the pages feeling Sam and Grace's pain, love, and joy. It sounds crazy but it's so true. Authors can't only write fantastic protagonists, they have to write also superb supporting characters. Stiefvater created such an interesting bunch of supporting characters and I also felt this tugging connection to them. The supporting characters were so lifelike and they reminded me of people I went to highschool with. Even though Stiefvater makes her characters read like high school students, she manages to avoid all the cliches that usually come with these types of characters. Stiefvater even made characters who didn't seem so likeable like Isabelle Culpepper evolve and change into characters I admired. Stiefvater's writing style is very poetic and helps the reader immerse the reader into the world of Mercy Falls. Her descriptions are well-written and helped paint vivid pictures in my mind of what was happening. Stiefvater knows how to write a compelling story and she left me longing for more of Sam and Grace. I felt this need to immediately pick up Linger and Forever, and read them back-to-back. Shiver is a deep, emotional, profound novel that I could read again hundreds of times and I probably would find new things to obsess over each time. This book perfectly explores what it means to be human and how easily our humanity can be torn away from us. Shiver is a thought-provoking, and meaningful novel that is nothing at all like Twilight despite the fact that the two books are constantly compared. This is a book that I probably wouldn't have appreciated years ago when I first saw it in stores, I'm glad that I read Shiver at this point in my life. I could re-read this book many times in the future and I definitely can imagine doing so.