Study Guide

Shiver Introduction

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Shiver Introduction

Oh baby, it's cold outside. At least we've got our love to keep us warm. Oops, we got a couple of classic holiday songs mixed up, but Maggie Stiefvater got werewolves mixed up in our young-adult romance, so it works. If we were to summarize Shiver in musical form, a mash-up of these two songs with wolf howls added would be the best way to do it. Wolf howls are the new goat noises.

We'll try to summarize Shiver in text form though, if only because you so don't want to hear us try to sing. In Shiver, Sam is a werewolf who changes when the temperature drops. Grace is the human who loves him. Together, they kindle up a romance that they hope will keep them both warm, and keep Sam human and alive.

Shiver, published in 2009, is the first book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, which also includes Linger and Forever. Its author, Maggie Stiefvater, is a nigh-unstoppable young-adult powerhouse, having also written the ongoing Raven Cycle and Books of Faerie series, and the stand-alone novel The Scorpio Races. Despite being able to write from the perspective of a werewolf so well, we're pretty certain Stiefvater isn't one. There's no way anyone who is a wolf four months out of the year could be so prolific. Wolves can't type.

These wolves have quite the pedigree too. The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy has won more awards than we care to count and Shiver was optioned for a major motion picture (are there minor ones anymore?) by Warner Bros. so fast that we're not sure they even read the book first.

Shiver is told through two different points of view—Sam's and Grace's—giving you both sides of the story. So if you want to know what it's like to be a wolf, or to love one, or if you're just looking for a lush, intense romance, grab a copy of Shiver and lose yourself.

What is Shiver About and Why Should I Care?

There is nothing cozier than curling up next to a fire with a good book, right? But be honest: how many of you have actually done this? Show of hands?

What if you don't have a fireplace? Curling up next to the central heating vent with a good book just isn't the same. Or what if it's the middle of summer? Reading next to the fridge doesn't quite cut it.

No matter where you are, and no matter what season it is, Shiver, despite its wintry sounding title, is like a little winter cabin with a roaring fireplace in book form. Maggie Stiefvater's vivid imagery will chill your skin and tantalize your taste buds with the cool taste of peppermint. And the intense romance between Sam and Grace will warm you from the inside out and make you sweat. And we haven't even mentioned werewolves yet. So: werewolves. There.

Shiver Resources


Maggie's Space
Get horizontal with Maggie Stiefvater on her website. We're not being inappropriate, but as of March 2013, her website scrolls left and right instead of up and down. A unique perspective for sure.

Shiver Our Timbers
This site is devoted exclusively to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, and has all sorts of goodies, like foreign covers, downloads, and previews.


Cold and Lonely
While there's an IMDb page of the movie, it's about as empty as Beck's house during the winter. As of March 2013, there has been no casting news.


Mood Music
What songs inspired Maggie Stiefvater while writing Shiver and its sequel? She reveals the answer here, and we're dismayed there's no Duran Duran in earshot.

What's on Readers' Minds?
Maggie answers a variety of readers' questions and talks about everything from her favorite book to that time she almost ran over a bunch of old ladies at Walmart.

Sams Club
There are tons of werewolf Sams, it seems. Not only is there a Sam in Twilight, but there's one in Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series. Do you know a Sam? Could he be a werewolf?


Reject Your Labels
In this TED talk, Maggie Stiefvater channels Clint Eastwood in a monologue with a chair. Maggie's video is intentionally funny, though.

The Start of Something New
In this video, Maggie Stiefvater talks about starting a new trilogy and kissing. Ew! Cooties!

Falling Temps, Falling Leaves
Stiefvater isn't just an artist of words, she's makes visual art too, like this elegant trailer for Shiver inspired by the book's gorgeous cover. Or maybe the cover was inspired by this!


The Sounds of Shiver
One fan made an audio playlist from Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver playlist. Listen to it now, before they all get taken down for copyright violations!

The Call of the Wild
Five minutes of wolf howling. Need we say more? Either you're closing this window and seeing what's new on Pinterest, or you're putting this on repeat for the rest of the night.


Poster Wolf
Sam might look like this wolf. If you're Grace, you might consider this porn.

A Pile of Shivers
Wanna know what the author looks like? Here she is with a honking stack of books to sign. That must be tiring.

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