Shelter - Harlan Coben

Shelter by Harlan Coben
Genre: J/YA Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Image result for shelter bookBlurb (on back of book):  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 enstranged 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, Life 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.

MY OPINION: ****

4.5 stars.

Before I start, I want to say sorry for any possible typos in this post. Right now, it's getting late, I just read a whole 200 pages, and I plan to read more. Also, my keyboard is not agreeing with me, so sorry for any mistakes. I will try to read through it, but I might miss something.

Ok, this book is not a five stars. I read it for book club so it was a forced read, which is what I like to call it. I mean, my book club and I agreed to read it, but we still had to read something. This book wasn't bad and I liked many parts of it, but it didn't reach the five star mark. I feel as if it didn't live up to its full potential.

I liked the plot. There was so much to know. First, there is a kid named Mickey who just transferred and is now a new kid at high school. He has to live with his crazy uncle, according to the blurb. In truth, I found Uncle Myron to be a pretty nice guy. He didn't seem mean and he seemed as if he actually cared about Mickey. He prolonged marrying or seeing his fiance because of Mickey, and I think that shows something. Anyways, Mickey's father died in a car accident, and Mickey was there. When Mickey's father died, Mickey's mother also "died" too. She was sent to rehab after getting an addiction. So Mickey is alone with a crazy uncle and a new kid at school.

His uncle and his dad never got along. Neither did his uncle and his mom. Mickey and his uncle have some complications according to relationship, but I didn't see anything particularly mean or wrong from either of them. I think it's just the bad relationships with the parents and Myron that made Myron seem to be a bad guy. Or a crazy guy.

Mickey meets a girl named Ema or Emma. Ema is her nickname from a bully, but the author and the characters and Ema herself chooses to call her Ema instead of Emma. I think Ema sounds better anywhere and the spelling is pretty. Ema is slightly "overweight". I don't know how to better word this. In the book they use the f** word anyways, and I think that this is more polite. Ema is also a loner, and she is gothic. Mickey befriends her, despite her rudeness at first and her being slightly offended by Mickey's "saving" her in a PE assignment. Ema plays an amazing role in this story. She is basically the Ron if this were Harry Potter. Not the Hermione because...

There is this kid nicknamed Spoon. He is definitely the Hermione if they switched genders. I mean, he spews random facts and is definitely smart. He can hack and find surveillance camera films. He is basically the geeky smart guy of the book. Definitely my favorite character. He was so funny and he wasn't serious and that made the book really lighten up. Also, at the end, when Spoon was the "hero", I think that is when the book really let Spoon live up to his full potential.

Read the book to find out how he got his nickname. Gross, but hilarious.

Rachel Caldwell is the popular girl who has eyes for Mickey. Apparently, that's all she's good for: looks. But soon Mickey learns that Rachel is completely different. I didn't particularly like Rachel for no specific reasons, but Rachel really came through at the end. She was the one who helped Ashley, did stuff for Mickey, and was basically one of the main characters.

Ashley was not drawn upon in this book as much. She was only ever shown at the end. For the rest of the book, she was missing and all we knew about her was what Mickey remembered and narrated or what was shown in the security cameras.

Troy. Funny guy. I mean, I know he was a bully and he was incredibly rude and mean, but I kind of think it isn't his fault. In truth, I really think that it was his dad's fault, being an evil chief of police. Even Myron had problems with that guy. Troy was so rude but he was terrible at fighting, had problems with saying great comebacks, and was just amusing instead of saddening. I mean, I don't like bullies at all, but his role in this particular story was actually not 100% mean. This also counts for his little buddy sidekick, though he wasn't drawn upon as much.

The Bat Lady. Wow. Who knew? At the end, she was Lizzy. HOW?? And why was there a grave? Also, wouldn't she be dead by now? How old must this lady be? She started off the whole story and basically ended the whole story of this book. There is a book two and I believe three, but she ended this certain story. I honestly feel as if there is something more to her that we are going to find out in the second book.

There was just so much action in this book, I can't even talk. Also a little bit of violence, especially at the end.

That ending! Why leave off at the best cliffhanger ever???

I can't say anything, so please go read the book!

I know this was geared to YA readers, but I honestly feel as if the writing was MG. I think it's because the author normally writes adult fiction, so his try at YA was bound to be different from most normal YA writers. I don't judge it though. I would recommend this book to YA readers, not MG readers, just because the plot and ideas in the story are geared for older readers.

I think the only problem with this book for me was that it was way too cliche and predictable.

Short read!

Main Character: Mickey
Sidekick(s): Ema, Spoon, Rachel, Ashley, Juan, The Bat Lady, etc
Villain(s): Darrick, bouncers, Buddy Ray, etc
Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Elements: This had a ton of mystery, was filled with thrills, and was very suspenseful.

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