Monday, January 10, 2011

Cover Review (8): Shiver

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by Tawni at The Book Worms where a beautiful cover is featured each week for all of us to admire. I am going to use my Cover Crazy posts as an opportunity to review a book cover I love or review any cover (even the ones I don't love) from a book I've read. This week's Cover Crazy is for a cover I both love and have read the book: Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

Previous Cover Crazy posts:
The Adoration of Jenna Fox
More of my Cover Crazy posts. 

I have a love/hate relationship with the color white. For all my girlyness (my love of sparkles, pink, pretty things), I’m actually a lot like a little boy. I’m always getting things dirty and playing rough with my stuff. As much as I love pretty, delicate things, they aren’t long for this world if they’re in my possession (unless I put them on a shelf far away from me and admire them from a distance). So for this reason, I have an unspoken ban on the color white.

But I love it. There’s something calming about pristine white. It reminds me of snow, where everything becomes blanketed in clean, sparkling (!) white. All of the blemishes of the world get smoothed over. Even ugly gnarled trees or paint-peeling mailboxes suddenly look beautiful with a light dusting of snow. The snow also brings with it a hush and stillness, like the entire world is suddenly empty. I love it.

This hush is completely captured by the cover of Shiver. All of that white, I feel immediately taken to a forest blanketed in snow. The light blue heightens this effect. The trees seem at turns both frightening with their bare, pointy branches and yet also inviting with their almost heart-shaped leaves.  I wondered at this contrast. Is there a similar conflict between love and danger between the characters?

The sense of danger is heightened again with the splotch of red dotting the “I” in the title. The bright red mars the beautiful clean white, making it seem even more startling and scary. Who is bleeding? Will they be ok? I wonder how this blood ties in with the story.

The title adds to the sense of coldness and danger. There are a number of situations in which people may shiver. We shiver, most obviously, when we are cold. This association plays on the snowy whiteness and barren branches. We also shiver when we are in a, ahm, romantically heated situation. The heart-shaped leaves and the premise of the story both lend themselves to this particular shiver. Finally, we also shiver when we are frightened. Something scary might “send a cold shiver down our spine” and the sharp, bare branches closing in around the splash of blood underscore the danger implied by the cover.

My favorite part of this cover is something I didn’t actually notice for quite a while: the wolf. He lurks in the bottom right corner, blending into both the branches and the background. His eyes stare out at you, boring into you. Yet they are ambiguous. Is he a friendly wolf? Is he frightened of you? Perhaps he is the hunted and the one who bleeds. Or is he dangerous, staring at you, his prey. His shadowy presence adds a sense of danger and vulnerability. Wolves are stealthy and quiet, able to effortlessly sneak up upon you. Much like real wolves, the fact that I didn’t even notice this wolf until much later on makes it feel like this wolf has also managed to sneak up upon me.

Unfortunately, I did not actually like this book very much. I couldn’t even finish it, but this cover remains one of my favorite covers out there. The cover does compliment the story well, though I did get some incorrect impressions of the nature of the story.

What do you think about this cover? Do you like it? Dislike it? Does it make you want to read the book?

Interested in covers? Be sure to check out another Cover Crazy post by Gina from My Precious. 


  1. To me, it feels like, someone is hiding behind the branches and looking out at the scary wolf. Is this one a series. The cover Linger looks similar to this one.?

  2. That's true! I never looked at it that way, but that hole does sort of look like a little "window" someone could be looking out.

    Yes, this is the first book in the series and Linger is the sequel. There's also a third book, but I don't remember the title now. The cover is red and white.

  3. The third is Forever. :)

    I never actually noticed the wolf in the cover, until I read your post. I'm not very perceptive.

  4. Love this cover and the story. My favourite elements would be the wolf hiding in the branches and the red dot on the i looks like a drop of blood on the snow. It different from the other covers out there.

  5. I am so glad you mentioned the wolf! I have this one sitting by my chair to read soon and until I seen your post here... I had not noticed the wolf. :)

  6. Love this cover as well as the series. I like the the cover intertwines with the series.

  7. Great cover critique! I like this cover, but overall I prefer the UK covers for this series. I really liked Shiver, but Linger didn't impress me all that much.

  8. Angelic Nytmare, Thank you! I think I read this book and never noticed the wolf either!

    Nic, yes, this one is very different. It really stands out among all the other darker covers.

    Sheila, :) That little guy hides very well!

    Savannah, I do too. I much prefer it when the cover has some connection to the story. I think this one really captures the feel of the book.

    Leanna, Thanks! The UK covers are a lot darker, right? They seem a little more menacing to me.

  9. I really like the cover for Shiver, but I didn't like Linger, and I'm not a fan of Forever...weird, right? It's so funny because I'm probably the only blogger that really can't connect with this all haha :)

  10. I quite enjoy this cover as well, and you did a beautiful job analyzing it! I honestly didn't even see the wolf until you pointed it out, my eye tends to go straight to the spot of blood that dots the "i" in Shiver. I also love the contrast between the branches with all the leaves at the top, and the stark, empty branches at the bottom that surround the wolf. Keep these covers coming, I love this segment:)

  11. I really love this cover, too. And I love all three of the covers taken as a whole. It's a very simple cover compared to other covers that are popular in YA. There's something sort of lonely about it... anyways, I loved reading your thoughts on it.

  12. I liked this cover so much. I like the shapes in the leaves and the wolf, but I have a great affinity for wolves, I love them.

    I wasn't a fan of the story, but the covers were lovely, and I like that they fit together very well

  13. Melissa, you are not alone at all! I couldn't get into Shiver, so much so that I couldn't even finish it. I love the first cover, but I like the sequels less and less. I think the blue works really well with the cold theme, but the other colors don't evoke the same atmospheric feeling. Their figures (the girl, the wolf) are also a lot more obvious in the sequels, and I prefer the wolf being more hidden like in the first book.

    Jenny, Thank you! My eyes go straight to that red dot, too.

    Aylee, Yes, I know what you mean. I couldn't pin point it, but you're right, there is a very lonely vibe from this cover. That really works with the story.

  14. AnimeGirl, I love wolves too :) The covers do fit together nicely. Every time I see this cover I wish I liked the book more :P

  15. I love this cover, but have mixed feelings about the book, which I finished this weekend. I'm putting up my review on Thursday and I still can't quite figure out exactly what I didn't like about it.

  16. I like this cover also. I really like how the books in this series all have covers that are similar. It ties them together and makes them unique.

  17. I like how all the covers share the same elements; the forest and the wolf. Especially this one, because cold and temperature becomes a really important element in the story.

    And I've awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award :]
    You can check out my post here:

  18. I too agree somewhat with the white. My Hardcover of Matched because it is pure white...i now have like dirt and scuff marks just from being on the top of my bag. It's ugly now. Not enough though that it still isn't white but just little bits of smudges. Why Oh Why was it white!

  19. I love this books, sorry to hear you didn't like Shiver. I like the US covers, but I actually prefer the UK black, white and red covers. They're definitely more simplistic, but I think much more beautiful!

  20. Oops, I forgot to mention that I gave you the Stylish Blogger Award!

  21. I have yet to read Shiver, but I will that positive blogger reviews as well as the pretty cover made me buy it :) It does convey a certain ambiance, doesn't it?

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  22. Great choice, The Wolves of Mercy Falls Covers are so pretty and telling.

  23. Logan, I’m looking forward to reading your review, because I didn’t like this book very much either.

    Lisa, Me too. I love it when I can tell books in a series go together based on their cover art.

    Laura, Yes, I like this one the best because it really relates to the cold, which plays a very important part in the story. Thank you for the award!

    Braiden, Haha, aw poor dirty book! Those little smudges show up so clearly too. :(

    Shannon, It’s funny how the UK ones are similar, but so different. I wonder why one country chose to go with dark colors and the other chose light colors. Thank you for the award!

    Linds, I didn’t like the book, but it seems I’m in the minority, so definitely give it a shot! If you liked Twilight you should like this one. They have a similar romance, I think.

    Pixie, Thank you, I agree.

  24. I love all of The Wolves of Mercy Falls covers, but my favorite has to be this one. I love the blue tones and that touch of red for the blood drip!

  25. I really like it. I thought the colors and design of the cover matched the tone of the story really well.

  26. Tawni, Me too! They did such a good job with the packaging for this book. The blue color is perfect.

    Jenny, I agree. :)

  27. I absolutely love this cover. I think its strength comes from its clean, abstract look. We see so many crowded covers every day that this one stands out.

    I just had a little creepy moment there, because I hadn't noticed the wolf in the back. When I did see him for a second it looked like he was coming at me.

    Your cover posts are great ^^

  28. Haha, that's how I felt about the wolf when I first noticed him!

    Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy them. :)

  29. The last time i participated in Cover Crazy (which was a week ago!), this came up in one of the posts or one of them from the series! All the covers seem slightly similar, with color being the difference!:D
    I agree,the blur does have a coming affect!

    Here is my Cover Crazy post..


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