Let me sum up how I felt about this book in two words: LOVED IT.
I've been searching for some new books to read for a little while now and I guess my biggest reservation about starting a new series is that it will let me down. But this was not the case for Shiver. I'd kept seeing it crop up here and there - on Twitter, GoodReads, etc. I'm not really a "werewolf kinda girl" - I mean I'm not necessarily a "vampire girl" either (Please don't get me started on Team Edward vs. Team Jacob..that is an entire post in and of itself). What I mean to say is that I initially shied away from Shiver because werewolves just weren't something I was interested in. But this isn't a werewolf story..this is a LOVE story. Beautiful and sad - just like Sam. Some people might find Sam a little..depressing? mopey? emo? Yes, he has more feelings than probably any boy that I know but that is what I love about him. So I prefer the term sensitive or maybe tender-hearted when it comes to Sam.
This book is so good for many reasons. First, much like Beth Revis' Across the Universe, I really enjoyed the dual perspectives of the protagonists Grace and Sam. I was able to really get a good feel for both of these characters, who they are when they're together and who they are when they're not. I don't think I would have understood how they felt about each other if it had just been one-sided. I might have thought that the other one was a little obsessed, as opposed to in love.
Also, the premise of the book is really unique. That werewolves don't change by the moon cycle but by the seasons. Wolf when it's cold and human when it's hot. Ingenious. And that eventually after a while, they stop shifting and become wolves forever..well you can see what the problem seems to be since Sam and Grace want to be together.
I also really liked the minor character development of Isabel. She seemed rather sketchy to be in the beginning but she has grown on me and her love for her brother Jack is something that though I don't understand much since I don't have a brother, is something that I can appreciate and admire. The lengths that she is willing to go for him proves to me how strong of a person she is. Especially since Jack is kind of a jerk. (I wish I had read this before last week's Top 10 Jerks because Jack would have definitely made my list.)
PS: the title of the book is very appropriate because after I read the last page, I had goosebumps. Oh, Maggie Stiefvater - how could you end a book like that?!