For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.
Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
The Raven Cycle was my first encounter with Maggie Stiefvater, and it made her an immediate favorite author. She is talented in so many different ways, writing, art, music, cooking, she just constantly amazes me.
Going back to Shiver, which was not her first novel, but at least one of her earlier ones, I was interested to see how it compared to The Raven Boys, and while TRB is a much more complex story, there is plenty in Shiver to like. I actually ended up listening to this one, and the voice for Grace just seemed too young to me, but then it's been quite awhile since I was that age. Yes, it is an angsty teen werewolf story, there is romance, and friend troubles, but the main characters are well done, with back stories and family challenges that add depth to their story. The method of becoming a werewolf is traditional, being bitten, but there's more. Grace herself is an anomaly, having been bitten in her childhood, but never turned. Turning isn't moon driven in this story, it's based on temperature, but they can still only hold it off for so long, and there comes a time when they may not turn back, so there is the tragic aspect of losing your humanity forever. While some revel in the wolf and never want to turn back, Sam wishes he could stay human, to be with Grace.
I can definitely see Maggie has matured and grown as a writer over time, but I feel like whatever she does, she adds a unique spin, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this series, and catching up on everything else she has done, and will do! In fact, I had to pre-order All the Crooked Saints because she was offering to draw doodles on a limited number and I couldn't resist! Here is artwork she made for the Raven Cycle books, along with music she wrote for The Raven King, which I believe they used in the audiobook:
I may just be a little bit of a Stiefvater fan girl. ;)