Shelter by Harlan Coben

I figured I was in for a treat when I read the synopsis of SHELTER by Harlan Coben. The story seemed right up my alley – a mysterious disappearance, a struggling hero, and what seemed like twist and turns galore.

I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed. While Shelter wasn’t the most exciting thing that I’ve read all year, it certainly wasn’t bad by any means. Our main character – Mickey Bolitar is having a horrible, HORRIBLE year.

His father passed away, and the after effects of this caused his mother to become an addict. Poor Mickey is now living with his uncle Myron pretty much against his will. He flat out tells Myron that he will not have sole custody of him, and if he tries to take him away from his mother, Mickey will try for emancipation. Myron agrees, and the two have a mutual respect for each other.

Meanwhile, Mickey is adjusting to life at a new school, life in a new town, and life without his father and his mother in a rehab clinic. Then one day his girlfriend disappears from the face of the earth, and since he’s lost everyone else in his life, Mickey sets out to find her. Through this, he runs into twists turns and other (very) strange happenings; including a person that tells him his father is not dead.

Strange, right?

While Shelter is marketed as a young adult novel; and parts of it certainly are, I don’t think adults will find it below their level or difficult to get into. Aside from the typical high school stereotypes (during his first lunch period, Mickey is introduced to the “cliques” of the high school: jocks, theater kids, skaters, etc.), Shelter really didn’t read like a typical young adult novel.

Mickey and his two outcast sidekicks are fun characters, easy to relate to, and you find yourself rooting for the trio throughout the novel. Mickey especially will get under your skin – you just want the kid to find what he’s looking for so his life can get back on track.

All in all, I was happy with Shelter – a fast read, but an entertaining one!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Putnam Juvenile | Pages: 288 | Source: BEA | Buy on Amazon

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