I honestly expected to adore Shiver The Whole Night Through because it had three of my favourite things:1) ghosts, 2) Ireland, and 3) ghostly murders. YES PLEASE. But it took a brain on a fizzing spiral downwards that makes me cry a little because I really wanted to like it.
But emphatically (and unfortunately) did not.
Mostly this is because of the narrator.
Aiden is a whiny piece of work. He’s bullied, which makes me feel sorry for him…and then he’s such a whingy kid who’s rude to his friends and his parents and cares for only himself and is so immature. URGH. ADIEN. STOP. I’d had just about enough of his brattish attitude after 90-pages.
He has this completely weird hangup over names too. I don’t think it’s part of the plot. It’s just him. But he hates people from names alone.
His ex-girlfriend pronounced her name “wrong”, in his kingly opinion. (I also admit, it was so extremely awkward reading about his girlfriend, Caitlin, when that’s my name and I never EVER see it in books.
Caitlin: she prounced it like ‘Kate-lin’ in the American style, not ‘Cate-leen’, which is how the original Irish name sounded. That had always annoyed me about her; it seemed so dumb. (pg. 11)
Um, sorry, Aiden, but you seem so dumb being so annoyed over this. IT’S HER NAME, ISN’T IT?? I actually feel Aiden has huge control issues. But maybe I’m reading into things too much.
I said, in a soft and weary voice, ‘You know what’s wrong, Caitlin-with-your-stupid-incorrect-pronounciation-of-your-own-name? Nothing, that’s what. Or nothing I’d want to discuss with you anyway, no offense.” (pg. 192)
So he says that to her face (she dumped him and hooked up with another guy, yes, but she also is apologizing here and asking if he’s okay). Plus anyone who says “no offense” totally is being offensive.
Aileen Aacheson. Aileen and her stupid alliterative irish-German name. (pg. 146)
WHY IS THAT A PROBLEM?!! Seriously, Aiden. Firstly: grow up. And secondly: stop hating on people’s names.
He falls instantly in love with Slaine (the dead girl/ghost) even though he didn’t know her before she died. But BOOM – deadness equals love! (Death does amazing things for your love-life.) And Aiden is cruelly bullied, but he wants sick revenge. Like when strange things start happening in his town and “wild animals” take down his bullies? Aiden is all gleeful. It’s…freaky.
“I kind of don’t give a shit that Chris Harrington got his ass torn up like that.” I looked at Podsy, feeling ashamed but not ashamed. “Does that make me an evil person?” (pg. 74)
Kind of…um, yes it does make you an evil person. He goes on to say this frequently about various people who get torn up. He’s also seriously rude to his parents (he just grunts at them) and he totally uses his friend Podsy, but dismisses his questions and just stalks off when Podsy “offends” him. It’s a horrible friendship!
It’s all ghosts and ancient forests and freezing weather and mysterious murders. And, of course, the ghost: Slaine. Ghosts are cool. To be honest: I liked the story, but not the execution. The writing and story dragged on and on, and I couldn’t stand Aiden, so I didn’t have much to look forward to.
I LOVE IRELAND. I’m intensely interested in anything and everything Irish. (I love Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy!) And the bits and pieces of Irish lore and slang and culture were fabulous.
The ending is really open and leaves you flipping pages going, “WAIT. IS THAT ALL?!!”
That pleased me. I like open endings.
Unfortunately, this book and I had an awful time together.
It’s a ghostly, frigid Irish mystery with ghosts and murders and a snivelling brat with no manners who is obsessed with a dead girl. I wasn’t happy with the writing (too slow) or the characters (too unbearable) but the setting (IRELAND) and the ending (eep!) were fantastic.
Which means you need to read it and find out, and then compare opinions with me.
Thank you Hot Key Books for the review-copy! Shiver the Whole Night Through by Darragh McManus came out in November, 2014.
After months of bullying and romantic heartbreak, seventeen-year-old Aidan Flood feels just about ready to end it all. But when he wakes up one morning to find that local beauty and town sweetheart Sláine McAuley actually has, he discovers a new sense of purpose, and becomes determined to find out what happened to her. The town is happy to put it down to suicide, but then one night Aidan gets a message, scratched in ice on his bedroom window: ‘I didn’t kill myself.’ Who is contacting him? And if Sláine didn’t end her own life… who did?
Cait isn’t always this grumpy about books she reads, SHE PROMISES. Although, with ghosts being her favourite, this more than a little disappointing. But moving on! Currently she’s eating fruit mince pies (huzzah for Christmas!) and reading graphic novels and comics.