Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

By Harlan Coben
Published: September 6th 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Hardcover, 304 pages

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.
3.5 Stars

As you may have, or may not have known, I am generally not one to (want to) sit down with a contemporary YA novel. I have this reading mentality that if I'm gonna read a book, I'm gonna go all out. Why read a book about real life when I can just live my own and be done with it? That's mainly why I enjoy reading some fantastical crazy story that I won't get anywhere else. So why did I pick up Shelter? The world may never know. (Actually, Jenny practically shoved this book into my hands and said, "Read it," and read it I have.)

One of my new years' resolutions (that I have just pulled out of thin air) is to definitely broaden my reading horizons. Although I did read this before 2013, I still think it's quite important to do so. After reading Shelter, I am neither satisfied nor disappointed. I had (little to practically) no expectations to begin with, so to come out feeling "Meh," is not so bad I should think.

Being a new reader of Harlan Coben, I had no idea who this Mickey character was. Reading the summary now from GoodReads, I see that he was earlier introduced in Coben's earlier series. Some backstory might have been a teeny weeny bit helpful, but I was alright. Moving on.

Reading the story through the eyes of a teenage male full of angst, love, frustration about drug-addict mother and dead father really was quite a different experience for me.

First: Me, being a girl (you know, having that second X chromosome)
Second: I am not full of angst
Third: I have no relatives that are drug addicts (that I know of)
Four: I am not a loner
Five: I do not walk into strange houses on an impulse that are under the care of an old mysterious woman named the "Bat Lady"
Six: I am not (that) full of raging hormonal imbalances.
Seven: I am not six foot four
Eight: I am not obsessed with Rachel Caldwell's boobs/face/hair/smell/smile.

All of these factors contributed to my ill at ease feeling with the style of writing.

Oh, I don't know what to say. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to, nothing really resolved that much in the end that you wouldn't want to read the sequel, blah blah blah. It was all very boring, boring, boring. I do not like contemporaries!!
Bah humbug. I have nothing more to say.

Happy Reading?

Order or purchase Sheltered here: Amazon/ B&N/ The Book Depository

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