Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shelter by Harlan Coben

Penguin, 2011

Mickey Bolitar has lost everything. His father is dead, is mother in rehab. The only person left to care for him is his uncle Myron, which he isn't too thrilled about.

What is good, though, is the fact that finally Mickey is enrolled in a regular high school. When he was younger, he traveled the world with his parents, but not anymore. His first day of orientation, he meets Ashley, and they begin a slow, tentative relationship.

When the first week of school starts, Ashley has completely disappeared. Even stranger, the old Bat Lady in town (yes, the one who lives in the dilapidated house and everyone tells stories about her) tell Mickey his father is alive. But how could he be? Mickey saw him die....
The further Mickey gets entrenched in these circumstances, the more dangerous a game he's playing. And the people he meets may not be who they say they are.

Coben is best known for his adult mystery fiction, of which I'm a fan of. This is his first venture into young adult fiction, and he does an excellent job in transferring his writing to a completely different audience. YA readers of mystery will swallow this book in one sitting. The characters and their lives in high school isn't a shallow brushover, but conveys exactly how teens live in today's society. Readers will enjoy the relationship between Mickey and his peers with all of their quirks. When I read this, all I could think of was Law & Order: SVU - it has that kind of quality about it. Fast-paced, I'm looking forward to more from this author. These would be great segues into adult fiction for those teens ready to make that transition.

There's also a great book trailer for this one:
Shelter book trailer

1 comment:

Espana said...

This book is written as a young adult novel but can easily be enjoyed by adult readers too. Fans of Coben's other books will love this and really appreciate the in-jokes, references and familiar characters (Myron's parents are in it, Esperanza is mentioned but no Win I'm afraid). I found this an excellent, quick read with the usual sharp, witty dialogue and a thought-provoking mystery. The cliffhanger ending makes me look forward to the next in the series and I'm also very intrigued with how everything will all integrate with the next.