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Review: Shelter

January 27, 2012

Mickey has grown up all over the world because of his parents’ work for a charitable organization.  As he enters high school, they decide they need to settle down so he can attend high school in one place.  Unfortunately tragedy strikes, and Mickey ends up in the care of his uncle Myron Bolitar.

When Mickey attends orientation at his new high school, he meets Ashley, another new student.  When she goes missing a few weeks later, he and the friends he’s made search for her and find themselves in danger.

Shelter, by Harlan Coben, is the first book in a new young adult series featuring Mickey Bolitar, the nephew of Coben’s popular character Myron Bolitar, and it is great fun!  Mickey was rather mature for his age but, for the most part, I bought it because of his nomadic and unusual childhood, so I was able to suspend disbelief when necessary.

I thought Mickey was a great character and I appreciated his loyalty and determination.  I also liked the way he stuck up for the underdog and didn’t really worry about what other people thought.  Most of his friends are misfits and he appreciates, rather than mocks, their uniqueness.

The mystery aspect of the story was solid and a lot of fun.  The way the kids were able to solve it was a little far-fetched but that didn’t keep me from enjoying it.  Things were definitely set up for another book and I hope Mickey’s friends are in the rest of the series as well.  I think Shelter will appeal to both males and females – I would recommend it to ages 12 and up.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama on Saturday for Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Challenges: What’s in a Name 5

Review copy provided by Penguin. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
32 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2012 6:32 am

    Really! A YA series? I hadn’t heard that Coban had gone down this path. I like Coban but feel that his stories are hit or miss. My daughter will soon be participating in a “book club” type thing in her class, and isn’t sure yet whether there will be boys and girls in the group or not. She is worrying about what on earth they will read if there are boys in her group, in order to make everyone happy (the boys like war books). I’m thinking this one might fit the bill.

  2. January 27, 2012 6:33 am

    This sounds like a book that will appeal to both boys and girls. And kids don’t seem to mind suspending reality as much as adults too.

  3. January 27, 2012 6:45 am

    I actually got the audio from the library not knowing initially that it was YA. I ended up returning it without listening to it, but now I see from your review I should have tried it.

  4. January 27, 2012 7:29 am

    Sounds like an interesting book, but I’m having series fatigue right now.

  5. January 27, 2012 8:08 am

    I have yet to read this author’s books and maybe this is the book to start with since I like YA.

  6. January 27, 2012 8:14 am

    I’ll have to mention this to The Girl. She’s started to be interested in mysteries.

  7. January 27, 2012 8:29 am

    Sounds like a lot is going on here. The title really “Shelter” really struck me.

  8. January 27, 2012 8:45 am

    I want to try this also. I haven’t read Coben in a long time, and a ya series sounds like a good way to go!

  9. January 27, 2012 9:22 am

    I bet my kids would love this, and to be honest, it sounds like it would be interesting for me as well! I like the fact that Mickey is such an unusual protagonist, and that he hangs out with the eclectic and weird kids, as I was that way myself when I was growing up. This was a great review, Kathy, and you’ve totally got me interest piqued with this one!! Thanks!

  10. kaye permalink
    January 27, 2012 9:23 am

    Somehow I wouldn’t have expected this to be YA either. Sounds like a good place to start for budding mystery fans.

  11. January 27, 2012 10:50 am

    I’m a long time fan of Harlan Coben so I will read this at some point. I’m surprised he moved into the YA genre so I’m anxious to see how he pulls it off. I’m glad it was a good read for you.

  12. January 27, 2012 11:04 am

    I like that it will appeal to both boys and girls. I want to try him this year but one of the adult thrillers.

  13. MonieG permalink
    January 27, 2012 11:35 am

    I liked this one too. Coben is one of my favorite authors so it was fun to see him make the jump into YA.

  14. January 27, 2012 11:45 am

    I didn’t realize Harlan Coben was writing YA books now. I’ve read one or two of his adult series and they’re pretty good. This book actually sounds even better. I like the way he’s connected this book to the adult series with the character’s relationship.
    Great review, Kathy!

  15. January 27, 2012 12:27 pm

    Oh, a YA from him? Nice

  16. January 27, 2012 2:59 pm

    yes, I read that he was starting a YA series…cool.

  17. January 27, 2012 3:22 pm

    I didn’t know this was a YA read. It sounds good.

  18. January 27, 2012 5:13 pm

    I’ve never read any of his adult books, but would be interested to try them or his new YA series, sounds interesting.

  19. January 27, 2012 5:23 pm

    I never would have guessed “YA book” from that cover. The image on that cover was enough to freak me out and make me think it was some sort of horror/thriller.

  20. January 27, 2012 5:35 pm

    I do love his work. And I have seen this one pop up a lot…and I really do want to get to it…thank you for sharing…

  21. January 27, 2012 5:59 pm

    Mickey does sound like a great character (who has character). Great review, Kathy!

  22. January 27, 2012 6:41 pm

    I have this one on my shelf and I haven’t been inspired to pick it up until this review. 🙂 I liked one Harlan Coban book (Tell No One – the only one I’ve read) so I’m thinking I definitely need to give this a try. Thanks, Kathy!

  23. January 27, 2012 7:44 pm

    Good review …. did I detect mixed feelings, though? I think sometimes authors who’ve been writing adult fiction, such as Coben, are trying to play both ends against the middle when they take on children’s/young adult fiction. I’m not sure it actually comes off that well. I’ll be interested to see how his other books do in the series. You always give a great review for any book, though! :]
    Deborah/TheBookishDame

  24. January 27, 2012 8:07 pm

    I am so reading this one!! I have a copy on my shelves at school…must read it before the kids!! LOL! 😀

  25. January 27, 2012 8:47 pm

    Very good review! Seems like an interesting read!

  26. January 28, 2012 12:24 am

    I’ve read every other Coben so I know I will read this. He’s a consistently good writer.

  27. January 28, 2012 1:10 am

    Oh, I didn’t know this was YA! Interesting. I have loved some of Coban’s previous work and been bored by some, but it’s been a couple years since I’ve read anything of his. Maybe I’ll give this a try!

  28. January 28, 2012 12:05 pm

    Gorgeous book cover…

  29. January 28, 2012 5:43 pm

    I like his adult stuff on audio – maybe my youngest will enjoy these. Thansk for the review.

  30. January 28, 2012 6:38 pm

    I adore Harlan Coben and can not wait to get my hands on this one!

  31. January 29, 2012 4:20 am

    Hi Kathy,

    I love Harlan Coben books, but hadn’t realised that he had decided to launch out into the YA market.

    I am not sure that this change will be a god one from my own personal point of view, however I may use this ‘Shelter’ as a test book, just to make sure that it isn’t me being a complete ‘stick in the mud’ and avoiding change.

    I am finding that as I am asked to review more and more YA books, that in fact many of them are more than suitable for the adult market and that the edges are becoming very blurred between the two genres.

    I wonder if that is because, as adults we are willing to adapt our reading habits more readily, or whether the YA readers are maturing earlier and are more able to deal with books with more adult content …. and is that necessarily a good thing?

  32. January 30, 2012 1:35 pm

    Never heard of this author but not surprised he is jumping on the YA bandwagon. It is almost funny how many authors are making the leap.

    Sounds like a good mystery– I’ll tell students at school about it on my ‘speech therapy in the library’ day– I’m not a librarian but I play one on Tuesdays. 😉

    Visiting from Kid Konnection.

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