Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

Author: Harlan Coben
Publication: Putnam Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 6, 2011)

Description: A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan Coben

Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train-wreck of a life is finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury - and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.

First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben's latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author.

My Thoughts: SHELTER was an exciting mystery with charismatic characters and a well-developed plot. Mickey Bolitar is living with his uncle Myron in New Jersey. His father died in a car accident and his mother became a drug addict. Myron and his father were estranged and Mickey is not warming to his new uncle. 

Mickey is only a sophomore in high school but is very mature for his age. He and his parents traveled the world working for a non-profit organization. They came back to the US to make a more settled home for Mickey for his last three years of high school. Mickey is a talented basketball star, much like his uncle Myron.

Now that Mickey is living with Myron while his mother is in rehab, he is starting school in the town where his father and uncle were raised. He makes friends with Ashley, who is also a new kid, and is then distressed when after three weeks of school she disappears. He also makes friends with Ema who is an overweight, goth girl who is one of the school's social outcasts and Spoon who is a unique character and who adds some humor to the story with his non sequitur trivia. Of course, Spoon also has access to school keys since his father is a janitor there. Together the three investigate Ashley's disappearance and learn about the white slavery trade, Nazi war crimes, and what Mickey's parents were really doing in their time overseas.

I liked all the characters and especially liked Mickey. I look forward to reading the next book in the Mickey Bolitar series—especially since this one left some tantalizing questions that need answers.

Favorite Quote:
A dozen thoughts hit me all at once. The biggest was a one-word command: RUN! I had watched the horror movies, the ones where the mentally malnourished airhead goes into the house alone, sneaking around like, well, like me, and then ends up with an ax between the eyes. From the safety of my seat at the cineplex, I had scoffed at their idiocy and now, here I was, in Bat Lady's lair, and someone else was here, in the basement.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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