Shelter by Harlan Coben
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (288 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla
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.
In an instant, Mickey Bolitar’s life is turned inside out. He was living the perfect life with his parents when a car accident takes his father’s life and sends Mickey spinning and grasping for control. Now that he and his mom are somewhat settled, the real chaos is about to begin with the disappearance of his sort-of girlfriend, Ashley. When he makes it his priority to discover what really happened, the race to separate the truth from the lies starts in earnest.
Fifteen and angry, Mickey Bolitar is on a mission. First, he wants to save his mother from the grips of addiction. Next, he wants to put his overbearing uncle, Myron, in his place so he can start to feel like himself again. Lastly, but most importantly, he needs to find Ashley. What Mickey doesn’t realize is how things are going to get a thousand times more turbulent before they finally settle down. During his investigation to find her, he learns a lot about himself and his family, causing him to question many things he’d never considered before. With the aid of his two very odd friends, Mickey solves the mystery and comes to understand a lot about who he really is.
Shelter was an intense and action-packed mystery that was hard for me to put down. The deeper you get into the mystery, the more questions you have. I love it when a novel does that, answering just enough to keep you happy, but not showing all the cards at once.
Mickey and his friends are fun and exciting and really make the story more enjoyable with their presence. The author leaves you with a major revelation at the very end of the story making me hope that another in this series in on the way soon. A definite must-read for mystery lovers of any age.