Monday, December 12, 2011

MEN in YA: Shelter by Harlan Coben (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Thriller
Publication.Date  September 6th 2011
Published By:  Putnam Juvenile
WebsiteHarlan Coben
Shelter - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC received from the publisher
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Please note:  Quotes are from an ARC and will be verified against a published copy.
“Getting into a fight with a popular senior. Pissing off a school teacher and the local chief of police. Hanging with two major-league losers." She slapped my back. "Welcome to high school.”
“Do you know she used to date your buddy Troy?"
I made a face. "Eew." Then:"Used to, right?"
More eye rolling. "Talk about shallow. The hot cheerleader going for the basketball captain? Only one thing you can conclude from that."
"She's rigt," Spoon said, looking at me solemnly. He put his hand on my shoulder. "You got to figure a way to become basketball captain.”
I had no idea how she knew my name.
“Your father isn’t dead,” Bat Lady said.
Her words sent a jolt that knocked me back a step.
“He is very much alive.”
But standing there, watching her vanish back into her decrepit
cave, I knew what she was telling me wasn’t true.
Because I had seen my father die.
She looked me straight in the eye. “You saved the fat girl.
I bet you’re really proud of yourself.”

     Harlan Coben is a phenomenal author. He's a master of his craft. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of reading a Coben's book will confirm that. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan, as I have only read two of the many bestselling mysteries/thrillers he wrote, but those two books I've read - they were awesome. Coben has a way of putting ordinary people in extraordinary situations that really gets under your skin and keeps you frantically turning the pages. He is sharp. His books are clever, well thought-out, fast-paced, gripping and full of tension. And I'm talking real tension, the kind that doesn't let down until the very last page, sometimes not even then. He is good. Really good. That being said, it's no surprise that when I heard about him venturing into the YA genre, I was trembling with excitement. I knew I just had to get my hands on this book. I knew it was going to be big. I knew I was going to love it. What I didn't know is just how big of an impression this book will make on me...

      Mikey Bolitar is fifteen years old when his whole life changes drastically. He witnesses his father's death in a car accident and then watches his mother slowly fall apart, not being able to cope with the loss. With  his mom locked up in a rehab, Mikey has to try and start a new life in a new home, in a new city and in a new school. Trying to adapt to the new environment isn't easy, but things get even worse when the crazy, old "Bat Lady" tells him that his father isn't really dead. This weird encounter starts a chain reaction of bizarre and dangerous events, all leading up to a shocking discovery of a mysterious and powerful organization. And that's only the beginning of Mickey's problems..

      Like all of Coben's previous books, Shelter has an unbelievably brilliant and compelling plot. It's thrilling, but also very touching, deep and complex. It isn't just a teen mystery. This book is so much more than just that. It's a story of love, friendship, trust, sacrifice, being brave and not giving up - whether it's on your dreams, your parents or yourself. Coben's superior storytelling shines with sensitivity and tenderness. At the same time it's taut and atmospheric, making this book impossible to put down midpoint. I literally couldn't stop reading. It took me one day to finish it (yes, that's really fast - I'm a slow reader).

      I loved the characters. Mickey, Spoon and Ema made an adorable, bad-ass team. I enjoyed observing their friendship springing into life, their bond getting stronger with every passing day. Each of these three was very unique, distinguishable, special. They were all so different from each other and yet somehow they connected so easily. It was very sweet and often hilarious to watch them interact with each other. Ema and her sarcastic, prickly remarks was especially entertaining and fun to read about.

      Overall, this book makes a fab, quick, blood-pressure-rising read. It's tremendously gripping and fascinating. I was in awe of Coben's plotting skills. He created something brilliant, convincing and powerful. I can promise you, by the end of this book you will be waiting impatiently for the next installment.

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This review is posted as a part of the MEN in YA event (Nov 20th - Dec 20th)

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Jenny said...

Wow Evie!!! This book sounds absolutely brilliant, I love how you described his writing, and I'm a huge fan of tension so this book sounds like one that needs to go on my list immediately. The characters seem like they're highly entertaining and well-written and I look forward to "meeting" them! Awesome review:)

Bonnie said...

Loved your review Evie, this book sounds fantastic! I love it when an author can create a fantastic plot and characters and then back it up with amazing writing! :)

Kathy said...

This sounds amazing. Your review has made me really curious about it. I like the mystery part, and trying to reveal lies, and what is the truth.

It also sounds like it was well written.

Fantastic review as always!

Giselle said...

Excellent review Evie I love the sounds of this one I don't thin I've heard of it before!

Ps - Love your new blog banner design :D

Xpresso Reads

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

i've seen this book and was really curious about it. i haven't read all that many of the thriller-type, but this one sounds great, actually.

thanks, evie. you're killing my tbr. i love it. <3

Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads said...

Evie!!!!!!!!! wonderful review! like always yey! This is the first time I read a review of Shelter in a blog! seriously, Im glad you did review it because now I seriously want to read it. Before I was very indifferent towards the book but it sounds really good and well written with significant themes! thanks you for the thoughtful review =) muah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dazzling Reads

Evie said...

Ladies!!! Your comments just made my day :) Do you know how much I love you all?! :D Like sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!! :D You rock and I'm so happy to have fab friends like you! :)

THANK YOU for commenting! :) You made my day so much brighter!

LittleRedReads said...

excellent review, evie! I saw this book at the bookstore the other day and was intrigued. Definitely going on my list of books to read :D


Anonymous said...

I would never have given this book a chance because I'm always intrigued by "pretty cover books" (you know what I'm talking about LOL) but after your lovely review I feel like it would be a travesty to NOT read this book. I put it on my goodreads shelf and I'll be reading it soon. Thank you :)

♥ Trish
Just a YA Girl

Ari (Reading After Midnight) said...

Between that wonderful cover, those quotes and your review I am pretty much interested in this book.

LisaILJ said...

I wasn't sure about this book because I had never read any of Coben's books and I didn't know if I would be lost. It seems as if I would be fine without knowing any of the history of the adult books.

Suz said...

Great review! I knew Coben wrote adult books but didn't know he also wrote YA! After reading your comments and how much you liked Shelter, I'll definitely have to add it to my TBR list!

susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

Julie W said...

I've read so many of Harlan Coben's adult mysteries and I've loved every one of them! I was so happy when I heard he had written a YA book because I love YA books too. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but after hearing how much you liked it, I'm moving it to the top of my TBR list! Thanks for the awesome review:)

Stephanie said...

I enjoyed this one, too, and am curious to check out Coben's adult mysteries now.

Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

AmelArmeliana said...

Harlan Coben is one of my favorite author. I'd read a lot of his books and collected them also. The Woods is my favorite so far. So curious his YA book, that's why I'd like to read this book so much.

Thank u for your review. Great review :)

Jaime Lester said...

I have heard of Harlan Coben several times. Always good things. I had no clue that he wrote a YA novel. The book sounds like it could be an exciting thrill of a ride, especially after your review. I do believe I will go check out my library's website and see if they have a copy. I think its time I try something a little different than usual. THanks for your review, Evie!

Varjohukka said...

Wow! Nice review. I love this writer and I really can't wait to read this book! Even more after your review! I've already ordered it so now I just have to wait when I find it in my mailbox :)

Grace Lo said...

Fantastic review! I've only started hearing about Harlan Coben recently but it seems great to have the chance to read a review of one of his earlier books!

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

I've got a review copy of this one, still need to read it. You really sold it for me. Whenever I need a blood-pressure rising thriller of a book, I know what I'll turn to!

Biondy said...

sounds like a great book to read.

Lindy Gomez said...

Evie, if you consider yourself a slow reader and read this book in a day, that says a lot about how much you loved it. I love the idea of the bat lady telling Mickey that his father is still alive even after he saw his father die in a car accident. This sounds like an interesting mystery that needs to be unraveled. I enjoyed reading your review and favorite quotes from the story :)

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