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Book review by
Edward T. Sullivan, Common Sense Media
Shiver Book Poster Image
Does for werewolves what Twilight did for vampires.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 70 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The couple works together to solve their challenges and to make their nontraditional relationship work.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters are appealing and intelligent, and are mostly positive role models. They do have sex, but it's clear that they are very much in love, and they treat each other respectfully.


Although one of the protagonists is a werewolf, this story is more about romance than killing. There are occasional discussions of killing and other acts of violence after the fact. The bloodiest scene is a fight between dogs and werewolves in the forest. 


The main characters, seventeen-year-old Grace and eighteen-year-old Sam, have intercourse (safe sex) in a tasteful, fade-to-black scene near the end of the novel. The encounter is not described in detail. Prior to that, the couple share a bed several times without having sex but do engage in some passionate kissing and caressing.


"Damn," "hell," "smart-ass," "cocky bastard," and one use of "bitch."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this is a werewolf story, there's more romance than horror. It's a love story between a boy and a girl; the boy just happens to be a werewolf. The passion between the characters grows throughout the story, and they do have sex once in a tastefully written fade-to-black scene. Compared to other paranormal romances like the Twilight saga, this novel stands out in the genre. The writing is fresh and lyrical, and the characters well-developed and credible.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 year old Written byTeacherlady10 January 21, 2010


As a high school English teacher I was shocked, disappointed and actually horrified at the glamorization and romantization of inappropriate sexual behavior betw... Continue reading
Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byreadresponsibly June 4, 2010

Beautifully written, not appropriate for young teens

Maggie Stiefvater is an incredible writer, uses metphors beautifully, and really pulls you into the story. The story, I thought, was good. However, as a parent... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byVeldori November 8, 2009

Beautiful, enthralling piece of literature.

This book is, hands down, beyond the slightest shred of a doubt, the most breathtaking, beautiful, solemn, heartbreaking piece of literature gold that I have ev... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byMizKitty January 26, 2011

What was Ms. Stiefvater Thinking

This book is totally not on for kids 13+. The youngsters that read this book should know that sex is a bad thing to do at seventeen and eighteen. Also that they... Continue reading

What's the story?

For years, Grace has watched the wolves outside her Mercy Falls, Minnesota home every winter. She is particularly drawn to one with stunning yellow eyes. She is certain that it is the same wolf who saved her from its pack who attacked her when she was a young girl. When Grace meets the wounded and temporarily human Sam, she knows from his yellow eyes that he is her wolf. Immediately drawn to one another, they fall in love during their first encounter. Sam leads two lives. He is human in the spring and summer, but he turns into a wolf when the temperature turns cold. The problem Sam faces is that the longer he remains a wolf, the less time he spends in human form. A time will eventually come when he will not change back and will forever be a wolf. That time is coming soon...

Is it any good?

Elegantly written, Stiefvater's story offers a unique and interesting take on werewolf lore. Grace and Sam, the two protagonists, are mostly defined by their love for each other, but the author avoids brooding melodrama by injecting a fresh and playful sense of humor in their interactions. They have great chemistry. The characters are appealing, intelligent, and well-defined. Their willingness to use their intellects to deal with the challenges they face is refreshing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it is that makes Grace and Sam so drawn to one another. When Sam transforms from human to wolf, will he retain what it is that makes Grace love him?

  • What is unique about humans that sets us apart from other animals?

  • What can we learn about ourselves from observing and interacting with animals?

Book details

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