Author: Harlan Coben
Series: Mickey Bolitar, Book 1
Release date: September 6, 2011
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
If you like mystery and adventure in your YA literature, Shelter is the story for you!
Mickey, at 15, has lived a very big life. His parents have traveled the world as a part of an organization that helps people in need. Unfortunately, Mickey’s father dies in a car accident, and his mother becomes a drug addict as a way to cope with her grief, so Mickey finds himself living with his Uncle Myron. He is attending high school for the first time in his life and has to learn how to live and survive in that crazy world.
However, his world gets even crazier when the odd Bat Lady tells him his dad his still alive, his recently acquired girlfriend suddenly disappears, and men in dark glasses start appearing at his basketball games. At this point, Mickey must figure out what in the world is going on, and with the help of his new friends, Ema and Spoon, he may just uncover the truth behind each of these mysteries.
My Thoughts: This was a quick, enjoyable read. It took a little while to get into the story, a slow exposition, but once I met Ema and Spoon and they became involved in the mystery plot, I was in. I have to say, it was the supporting characters who really made this story for me. I loved Ema with her sassy attitude and shocking tattoos, and I also loved Spoon with his odd-ball ways and random chatter. Mickey was interesting, but, at times, I struggled to reconcile him with the 15-year-old boys that I know. He seemed a little too worldly and smooth to fit into that age group. However, I did try to remind myself that he had quite a different upbringing, so that might account for his maturity.
The ending was filled with action—I couldn't put the book down when Mickey got into a fierce brawl with a bouncer. And, of course, the mystery was solved—w ell, one of them. Now, I’m curious about the larger mystery that Mickey uncovered involving his parents. Looks like I’ll have to pick up the second book!