Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Pages: 392
Call number: Y Stiefvater (new YA fiction section)

As a child, Grace was attacked by the wolves living in the woods behind her house and almost killed. Her memory of the event is hazy, but she remembers the yellow eyes of the wolf that saved her, and since then she’s seen him every winter lurking just outside her backyard. In the summer, however, he’s conspicuously absent, and she misses him keenly. Sam, the wolf in question, is a werewolf, and while he watches over Grace as a wolf, as a human he can’t get up the courage to speak to her. When a boy from Grace’s school is killed by wolves, she interrupts the hunting party that forms, but not before wolf Sam is shot and, turned human by the injury, ends up bleeding on her back deck. Once they finally meet, their long-held interest in each other turns to romance, but staying together looks unlikely as Sam’s time as a wolf approaches.

Stiefvater offers a unique take on the werewolf mythology in this supernatural romance. Rather than changing with the full moon, her wolves change with the temperature: they are wolves in cold weather and humans in warm weather. The longer they are werewolves, the less frequently they change back and forth, eventually becoming a wolf for good. The temperature required to change varies, as does the length of time they have before losing their humanity for good, but in general the younger werewolves change with the seasons more often and have more time as humans ahead of them.

Continue the review, no spoilers

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits

firetalesAuthors: Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: YA Fantasy – Short stories
Pages: 304
Call number: Y McKinley (new YA fiction section)

I have a special love for books of short stories: I’m a huge fan of the form, but I’m sometimes daunted by the sheer number of stories in many of the thematic and “best of” collections. Somehow reading 26 short stories in one book feels longer then reading a novel of the same length. So, I enjoy collections like this one, where there are only five stories to read and they’re all by the same author (or, in this case, two authors).

This is the follow-up to McKinley’s and Dickinson’s first collaborative collection, Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits (Y McKinley). Dickinson’s three stories – “Phoenix”; “Fireworm”; and “Salamander Man” – are written with a storyteller’s rhythm, giving them the feel of legends. The word “old-fashioned” keeps coming to mind, but it isn’t really the right one – maybe “timeless” is better because it doesn’t have the negative connotations. As a nice contrast, McKinley’s stories – “Hellhound” and “First Flight” – are modern and humorous; they don’t feel weighty, like Dickinson’s, but they’re not frivolous. “Hellhound” takes place in the present day, so a modern-sounding narrator makes sense, but even the narrator in the pure fantasy story “First Flight” has a more every day, contemporary voice. I think this is why I liked McKinley’s stories so much better then Dickinson’s, even though all the stories are well-written; it’s all about tone.

Minor spoilers under the cut

Next Program: Writer’s Workshop with Denise Vega

Fol-bevelHere’s another chance to meet with a wonderful author for young adults and get some writing help in the meantime!

Saturday, Nov. 21, Denise Vega will be here to present her popular “What’s in a Word” workshop. Denise is the author of Fact of Life #31, winner of the Colorado Book Award in YA Literature.

3:30-4:30 p.m, Nov. 21. Perrin Room.

Please register by calling 303-762-2555 or stopping by the reference desk. And don’t forget to use your skills to enter our Twilight fan fiction contest! Remember, the deadline is November 30!

Program Cancelled: Fantasy and Science Fiction Writer’s Workshop

knight2This program has been cancelled. If you are interested in a future workshop with Hilari Bell, please e-mail me or respond in the comments. Thanks! November is National Novel Writing Month  and what better way to celebrate it then with writing workshops from local YA authors!

First up on November 7, Hilari Bell, author of the Farsala trilogy and the Knight and Rogue novels, among others, presents a workshop on creating believable fantasy and science fiction worlds and creatures. This is a fun, highly interactive workshop for you science fiction and fantasy writers, gamers, and role-players!

2-3 p.m. Perrin Room. Please register for this program by calling 303-762-2555 or stopping by the reference desk.