Jan 26, 2012

Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

5 hard to stop eating oatmeal butterscotch chip cookies.

Cover Love:  It's ok.  Definitely holds a hint of mystery.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I read the first chapter online and I like the idea of an adult mystery writer writing for YA.  Some of them turn out really good.  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:

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.
I Kept Reading Because: I actually couldn't stop reading!

Romance?:  No, but some potential for one.

What I Liked (& Didn't):
First off, I loved Mickey.  Great teenage, male character.  Slightly super hero-ish, very good-hearted and smart.  He is just plain made of awesome.  If I was in high school I would want him to be my boyfriend for sure.

I loved how he collected himself some misfits for his crew--Ema was great, can't wait until she finally opens up to Mickey (in fact, maybe a future book will have to do with all her secrets); and Spoon was so smart and earnest.  Rachel even came into her own, love a pretty girl who is tough and willing to step outside her world to help others.

The best thing about reading a book written by a well known adult mystery author is that he knows how to pace a mystery.  There were nuggets and string to follow in each chapter, enough to keep me interested in reading and wanting to see how all this was going to come together!

I haven't read any of Harlan Coben adult books, but I really want to start some to read about Myron, Mickey's uncle.  Many layers to that man I believe.

I wish that there would have been a showdown between Mickey and Myron, because I know there has got to be more to that story. Mickey has only ever heard his parents' side of the falling out, I want him (and me) to hear Myron's side.

And there was a mention of an incident years before involving Myron and Mickey's parents, I want to know more about that!

To Sum Up:  Fast paced, well written, great mystery and characters.  Plenty of loose ends for a few more books.  Great series for middle schoolers through high school!

Book bought for my school library.


  1. Guess what? I haven't read this one, either. I HAVE to read anything that gets 5 stars from you, though! :-)

    1. You are too kind. I just loved this one.

  2. Mickey has gone to live with Uncle Myron after the death of his father in an auto crash (with Mickey in the car), and with his mother in rehab due to drug abuse. He makes some "unlikely" friends at his new high school, including the "fat girl" Ema and a nerd nick-named Spoon, and later, hottie Rachael. He also gets spooked by the "Bat Lady" who of course lives in a decrepit house that supposedly is haunted or whatever. When a potential girlfriend Ashley turns up missing after only a week in school, Mickey joins forces with his friends to figure out what happened to her, suspecting "Bat Lady" might have a role in her disappearance. Eventually we get involved with a cruel go-go bar, Holocaust survivors, and plenty of bad guys; but some interesting information about Mickey's dad puts the icing on the book, and seems to set the stage for several follow-on's, as the author intends.