Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater Aw, Sam.

At first, I admit, I thought this book was kind of [b:Twilight|41865|Twilight (Twilight, #1)|Stephenie Meyer||3212258]-y. When they were still just longingly staring at each other, I was like "oh, another girl and guy who are MEANT TO BE TOGETHER, only the guy is a werewolf instead of a vampire." But once they actually met and started talking, I liked them together a lot. They are a far cry from Edward and Bella. Sam is sensitive and kind and doesn't try to control Grace. Grace is practical and capable and has way more personality than Bella. Plus, they have great sexual tension. (Also, there are no half-human/half-werewolf babies with ridiculous names... yet.)

People have complained about Grace's parents being largely absent, and how this seems like a plot device in order to allow Sam and Grace to spend more time together. But it wasn't just "yay, my parents are gone!" Grace was actually genuinely hurt by her parents' lack of interest in her life. I would like to see some backstory or reason for why they didn't parent her very much, other than them just being scatterbrained and in their own worlds all the time. Maybe this can be answered in sequels? Or maybe there is no answer. Not all parents are good ones.

Speaking of bad parents, Sam's backstory was just heartbreaking. The scene with the bathtub... just painful. In a well-written way, I mean. One of the things I liked best about Sam was his vulnerability. He wasn't just some manly guy; he liked to read poetry and daydream and write songs. My kind of boy.

A lot of the reviews on Goodreads say there are too many plot holes in this book. I disagree. (The only time I went "wait, what?" was about Olivia's sporadic absences.) All the loose ends that don't get tied up in this book are probably going to be part of the sequel(s). That said, I would have liked more of a denouement at the end, but I see why there wasn't one.

I like this book overall and I'll definitely read the follow-up, [b:Linger|6654313|Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)|Maggie Stiefvater||6848948]. Between this and [b:Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception|3112850|Lament The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1)|Maggie Stiefvater||3144132]/[b:Ballad: The Gathering of Faerie|6076413|Ballad The Gathering of Faerie (Books of Faerie, #2)|Maggie Stiefvater||6252991], Stiefvater has some solid YA fantasy worlds going. If you're thinking of reading it, rest assured that there are no grown men imprinting on infants and toddlers.