Shiver is a beautifully written story about the bonds of family, friendship and love...and the lengths one would go to in order to save those most important to us. It's written in a way that allows the reader to feel as if you're inside the characters heads instead of on the sidelines watching something unfold.
The story focuses on Grace and Sam, and their small town of Minnesota. They've both watched each other from a distance over the years but don't actually meet until they're teenagers. Grace has always loved the wolves who frequent the woods in her backyard, especially the one with the yellow eyes. Her parents are flighty and all but ignore her so she feels most at home with "her" wolves and spends many a lonely night listening to the sound of their soft howling as they lull her to sleep.
As a result of her parents neglect (let's call a spade a spade here) she's constructed some pretty good walls (also pretty funny) and uses sarcasm as a self defense. She does have two good friends, Olivia and Rachel who love and accept her and Olivia even shares Grace's passion for the wolves. Rachel, while good intentioned, seems pretty lost in "Rachelworld" most of the time.
Sam, who has secretly loved Grace for years but never had the nerve to talk to her, is a gentle and sweet guy, a hopeless romantic, but he's also strong, and fiercely protective. (He's also easy on the eyes which never hurts.) He's always striving to do the right thing or make the right choice because he knows he has more than just himself to consider. He's not your typical teenage guy and when you learn how different he could've turned out (his parents won't win any awards either), you can't help but love him. *sigh*
Did I mention there's romance in this story? No? Well, there is. The kind that will make your heart race, your blood pressure rise and have you reaching for something to fan yourself with. Ready to read it yet? You should be. No pressure though...
I have to mention Isabel who is the resident "Mean Girl" but I actually LOVED her! (not because of her meanness though...you can stop judging me now.) She's fiesty, witty and unrelenting in her efforts to help her brother. I laughed out loud many times (much to the chagrin of the other parents at swimming) when she showed up. She was hilarious in her retorts but we were also given a glimpse of her vulnerability behind the veneer that she puts ups.
As with most stories, you can't have the summer without the winter, love without loss. But thankfully, this is Book 1 of a trilogy so it's on to "Linger" (Book 2).
If I could make one small change to Shiver, it would be to the cover...I think the wolf on the over needs to have yellow eyes. :)