Friday, December 23, 2011

Harlan Coben. SHELTER

You may know Harlen Coben from his adult thriller novels. In fact, Mickey Bolitar, our main character in SHELTER, was introduced in the latest Myron Bolitar novel LIVE WIRE. I didn't realize this until after reading the book. I knew Coben wrote adult novels, but I didn't realize that Mickey was in another of his book. I love it when characters show up in different storylines like that, so now, I'll want to read that book next...

Back to the novel at hand. SHELTER is Coben's first young adult novel and it's great! Mickey Bolitar and his parents had just settled into a new life. Previously, Mickey's parents did charity work around the world, so he lived all over. His parents decided to settle down and give Mickey a "normal" life for the remainder of high school. Ironically, tragedy struck shortly thereafter. After choosing a "safe" life, Mickey's father gets killed in a car accident.

His mother doesn't take it well and ends up in rehab, so Mickey moves in with his uncle Myron. He begins adjusting to high school life somewhat. Meeting pretty Ashley, also new to the school, helps a lot. They become close and he even begins to think of her as his girlfriend. But one day, she vanishes without a trace.

Mickey can't help but investigate and ask questions about what happened to her. But he's also piqued by another mystery. The neighborhood crazy, everyone calls her "Bat Lady," makes a rare appearance outside her house one day. She tells Mickey that his father isn't dead before rushing back in her house. He goes after her, but can't get her to respond to his questions.

Having two mysteries to solve takes a help. Mickey ends up with a few unlikely friends. Spoon is a geeky guy that gets picked on by all, except Mickey. Spoon has a few technical skills that come in handy. Ema is girl who had no friends until Mickey. She's sharp, funny and a great asset to Mickey.

I loved this fast moving mystery. It ends up more complicated than you think it'll be. I loved the varying threads of history woven throughout. Finally, I have to say - thank God there is a sequel! The ending leaves you hanging and you will be dying to read the next book! I highly recommend SHELTER!

Check out the website for the book here and the trailer below: