Shelter is the first novel in Harlan Coben’s first young adult series, “Mickey Bolitar.” Mickey, the main character in this novel and the series’ namesake, is featured in some of Coben’s adult crime novels as the main character’s nephew. After these adult books became such a hit, the author then began writing this series in order to tell Mickey’s story.
Mickey Bolitar witnessed his father’s death and sent his mother to rehab. He is then forced to move in with his uncle Myron and switch schools. To top off a great year, the sweet girl he meets at his new school, Ashley, goes missing. He makes it his mission to find her, no matter the risks. After looking for clues, though, he begins to realize that the risks are much higher than he realized.
Mickey follows Ashley’s trail, which leads him into a seedy underworld. The more he uncovers about Ashley, the more he realizes that she is not the sweet, innocent girl he thought she was. In the process, he also uncovers things about his father that he never expected to find, as well as a conspiracy that makes him question everything he thought he knew.
This novel will leave your heart pounding and your anxiety level sky-rocketing. It is fantastically written, with characters that are relatable and a storyline that makes readers beg for more. It is a good read for both pre-teens and teens alike, as it contains little questionable material. Some parts are a little intense, however, which might not be suitable for younger readers. Overall, Shelter by Harlan Coben is a must read for anyone with a taste for riveting mysteries and unforgettable adventures.
-Kaelyn L., 10th grade