Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (October 2009, Scholastic, ISBN: 9781407115009)
I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.
Review: Grace is very young when she is attacked by the wolves which live in the woods at the bottom of her garden. But she is rescued by one of the wolves and she never forgets its eyes. Every winter she looks out for her wolf and is disappointed when the wolves disappear in the summer. What the reader knows before Grace is that the wolf turns into a boy, Sam, every summer.
When the wolves attack an obnoxious boy from Grace's school in the autumn, it leads to a wolf hunt and a shot which unexpectedly brings Sam to Grace in his human form. Sam and Grace finally have the relationship they've been waiting for but there is a catch. The next time Sam turns back to a wolf he'll lose his human self forever.
Shiver is a fairly leisurely but absorbing story of Sam and Grace's relationship and a reveal of their characters and back-stories. In a nice role reversal, Grace is the pragmatic one, unable to read people whereas Sam is the artist, musician, poetry lover. The point of view switches between Sam and Grace so we get to know the depth of feeling on both sides. I did feel that the pace was a bit slow but the writing is lovely and both leads are equally interesting and likeable so I never felt impatient to get to the other person's pov, and the pace cranks up near the end with some heart-breaking chapters. Shiver is a quick read and a very enjoyable one and there is a sequel, Linger, out in July. I look forward to finding out what happens next.
Cover: A very enticing cover which reflects the wintry woods in the story.