ShiverShiver is a bittersweet love story, with longing and forbidden love, but set in a werewolf story. Grace has always loved the wolves that live behind her house, especially the one with the yellow eyes, but she's never really sure why they fascinate her so much. All she knows is that when she was a little girl the wolves attacked her but didn't kill her. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives, one as a yellow-eyed wolf who watches over Grace each summer, and the other as a solemn boy who lives with his pack, afraid to connect to the rest of the world. Each year, he gets less and less time as a human, and this year might be his last.
by Maggie Stiefvater
NY: Scholastic Press, 2009.
ages 12 - 16
When one of Grace's classmates is killed by wolves, armed townsmen head into the woods to get rid of the wolves once and for all. Grace throws her self into their line of fire in an attempt to save her wolf. Imagine her surprise when a bullet grazes the animal and he turns into a stunning young man named Sam right before her eyes. She acts quickly, saving his life as he saved hers all those years ago, and soon a passionate romance blossoms between them.
Teens will be hooked by Grace's strong character and Sam's sensitive but strong, protective nature. Stiefvater does an excellent job of describing their longing for each other, the way they wrestle with wanting to be careful and take things slowly, but being overpowered by their yearning to be close. Teens will have fun with the werewolf story, seeing how the wolf side takes over. I enjoyed this book, but found the mystery a little obvious. But then, I'm not a teen. A better indication - when I added this to our middle school library, it was snapped up in 10 minutes of hitting the shelves.
Want a taste? Listen to the author reading the first two chapters aloud here.
The passion between Sam and Grace does become physical. They clearly have sex, although the consumation happens when the chapter ends. I would not recommend this for 5th and 6th graders.
Drop by your local independent bookstore - I'm sure they'll have it. Or you can find it at your local public library, or on Amazon.