I started reading this book and a curious thing happened. Suddenly my house was sparkling clean, my bills were filed away, I started playing Farm Story and reached level 13 in one day, I did my tax, I spent two hours chatting to the chatbott, Jabberwocky...Anything, and I mean ANYTHING to avoid the boredom of reading Shiver. Shiver, the story of a girl drastically into beastiality, only to find out her wolf lover was really a boy. As I read this book I had the strange urge to lock up my German sheppard should Grace ever decide to visit my home because she really does fall in love with a dog... for YEARS before she ever finds out it's a boy or that things like werewolves exist. I can't even begin to express how creepy her obsession with a wolf is.
I get the whole eternal love thing. Perhaps Stiefvater was trying to show that Sam and Grace's connection transcends all the things love actually isn't supposed to transcend. Maybe I'm just weird and completely unromantic, but I've never looked at Fido and found a kindred spirit. I never passed a dog down the street and found that I couldn't be attracted to men because they just weren't going to cut it for me anymore.
So, other than the fact that this book disturbed the fucking hell out of me, bored me to death and dragged on like a visit to the old folk's home, it was also poorly edited. The writing wasn't TOO bad. Some of the poems were down right rubbish, and some of the others were alright.
Grace and Sam's voices were near identical. Oh, and another thing, Sam was annoyingly chaste for way too long. Where were all of these careful, thoughtful boys when I was in high school? It's a disturbing trend, really. Edward Cullen, Sam Roth, Daniel Gregori... they all came pre-pussy whipped and I'm kind of wondering what the attraction is.
Maybe I'm just a sucker for bad boys. Maybe I like boys that I COULDN'T imagine comfortably playing bridge with my 80 year old grandma (not to mention enjoying it!) What is with the sudden need to keep us women in line? If I read one more paranormal, male hunk refuse the supposed love of his life, who is literally flinging her naked body onto him, then I think I'm going to start a convention... a Ball Replacement Convention.
C'mon, Stiefvater! Give the boy his balls back, please! He complained that a jacket made him look bulky! He wrote a poem about a leaking womb! What teenage boy doesn't shudder at the thought of menstrual blood? What next? Chipped nail, PMS cramps? Is he going to stamp his foot and mutter, "Drat! I can't believe Jennifer is wearing the same dress as me! I think I might just die!"
Look, I know I'm being incredibly sexist. After all, it was kind of nice to read about a "stoic" female character and an emotional, gentle male character. But Sam felt and read far too much like a middle aged woman and not like a teenage boy. I didn't feel like he was well characterized or fleshed out enough.
So all in all, I can't muster the energy to rant about this book. It was REALLY boring. It was average on the writing scale. It's secondary characterization was pretty good but the main characters didn't do it for me. The plot was SLOW.
Her parents were stupid. I could complain that they were unrealistic - but I've met some fucked up parents over my life, so I'll buy that they really could be that moronic. What I will complain about is where they get this amazing and varied social life in a small town. It never explains why Sam's fate is mysteriously different to Jack's. Maybe I'm just stupid... No. I don't buy that. Was it because he was out in the freezing cold so it kept his temperature reasonable? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of giving him a crazy-ass fever? Was it actually because he processed it as a wolf? Well that doesn't make sense because Grace never changed.
And what's with the dramatic ending? Really? He gets cured and goes home and gets dressed and reads a few books, checks his mail, gives himself a mani and a pedi, goes on a diet, waits for his skin to clear up, buys the perfect set of shoes and THEN tracks down the love of his life who he thought he'd never see again? I DON'T FUCKING THINK SO! How about stumbling through the forest naked and desperately arriving in Grace's backyard because he can't believe the complete miracle of his cure and can't wait to have the love of his life back in his arms? Yeah, that ending makes so much more sense.
I don't get why this is popular. But then, I don't get why Fallen is popular either. It's just all beyond me. Now I'm off to see if I can cram the word "balls" into this review anymore.
Balls, balls, balls. Oh my goodness she fell in love with a dog! Balls.
This review can also be found on my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.