Book Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

A Mickey Bolitar Novel #1
Author: Harlan Coben
Pages: 288 Hardcover
Reading Level: YA
Release Date: Septmeber 6th 2011
Review Source: Putnam Juvenile
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound

Summary: (from goodreads) A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan Coben
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.

First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben's latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author.

You guys may not believe me when I tell you but believe it or not, I read this entire 304 page book in 3 hours!!!! I couldn't focus on anything else. I wanted to get to the end to figure out all the clues and see how it all related to each other. This is the second book I read where the main character is a male, and I loved it. I will definitely be picking up more of Harlan Coben's book to read in the future. He's made my list of favorite authors that's for sure.

There's mystery and suspense from the very beginning and never stops until the very end. I kept asking myself what does his girl friend missing have to do with the Bat Lady and vice - versa. I asked myself throughout the entire book and when I read the end WOW! I did not see that coming and boy was it interesting to learn all these facts about something that happened so many years ago. I was intrigue from the very first page and couldn't believe that i finished the book in 3 hours. The way this book throws you off completely, then gives you somewhat of a clue, then throws you off again leaving you questing until the very end is amazing. That's what kept me on the edge and wanting to read everything before I put the book down. I loved how all the chips feel into place at the very end explaining each character's place in the story, but the best part was is the very end. I never understood why Mickey always said that he remembered the way the guy with the sandy hair and green eyes looked at him and through his eyes he knew that his father was dead. He stated this throughout the entire story however, it was more of a thought then an actual conversation between any of the characters. Until the very end I completely understood why he said it and can't wait until the next book comes out to learn about this, i am super excited to have come across this author and his amazing book. I highly recommend it.

Mickey has had one tough year and boy was it going to get tougher. He starts a new high school which is in a town his deceased father and uncle grew up in. He meets this beautiful girl in orientation at his new school and hit it off. But when she disappears one day without a word, he feels it's his duty to find her.

It's rumored that there's a really old wicked lady, that lives in this beat-up, run down house in the block who presumably takes children from their homes and you never see them again. Since she's never seen out in the day time and there are few people who have even seen her at night, she's known as the Bat Lady. One day, Mickey is heading toward school and sees the Bat Lady. She steps out of her house, and tells Mickey something that changes his life forever.

Mickey's father has recently died in a car accident that Mickey witnessed entirely. His mother has been in rehab for the past 6 weeks and is due to come home the next day.

While dealing with all of this, Mickey meets some people at his school that he never thought would be his best friends to help him and be there for him through the entire roller coaster of a year that Mickey has lived through.

That's all i will say for now, you definitely have to pick up this book to find out what the Bat Lady said to Mickey that changed his life forever, to know what happened to his missing girl friend and the rest of the twists and turns that Harlan Coben throws at your while reading this amazing novel.


  1. Wow I will add this one to my TBR list it sounds really good. I have read a couple books from a male point of view and loved them, so this sounds promising :) great review, but i have one question, is there a paranormal aspect to it or not? Im not really clear on that. I love paranormal though:)

  2. Thanks for this review! I have read some of his adult books and loved them, but I didn't realize he had written a young adult book!

  3. Unfortunately, there is nothing paranormal in this story, but don’t let that discourage you from reading it. It is an amazing book. The book is full of suspense and mystery. While I read the book I felt as if I was a detective gathering all the clues and trying to figure out how all these different problems/situations that are completely different relate to one another. And the best part was that i didn’t expect an ending like it or the history behind it. It completely caught me off guard. I don’t know your preference, and honestly I love me some paranormal as well but you will not be disappointed with this story at all. I really can’t explain too much about it without giving it away but just know that it’s nothing you’ll expect.

    Well I hope this answers your question and if you ever get to read this story, please let me know I would love to talk to someone about it!

  4. Great review! You definitely have me curious about this one! It sounds sooo good. I might have to get a copy for myself! I haven't read too many books from a male perspective either, but have loved those I have. Again, really great review. :)

    Kindle Fever


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