Teen Review: Shelter

Shelter: A Mickey Bolitar Novel, by Harlan Coben

Teen Reviewer: Jade Johann

This book is about a teenage boy named Mickey Bolitar who is facing major life changes. How would you feel if you witnessed your father’s death, had your mom go into rehab, and then have to live with your uncle and move to a different school? These are things Mickey is dealing with. His life is a roller coaster spinning out of control.

Before Mickey starts his new school he is forced to participate in team building exercises at his orientation. There he meets Ashley and Emma, otherwise known as “Ema.” Ashley becomes his girlfriend, then strangely disappears. This gets him wondering where she is and why she hasn’t tried to contact him. He is also worried that his dad is still alive because his creepy neighbor they call “Bat Lady” filled his head with these thoughts. At school Mickey also meets Spoon (Mickey nicknamed him that) and they soon become friends. Mickey, Ema, and Spoon join forces to try to find out what happened to Ashley.

I really liked the characters that the author created. Mickey’s friends were very entertaining. Emma transforms from a person who doesn’t like people into a person capable of being a friend. Spoon is the comic relief of the book, he loves to spout random facts. He is also the son of the high school janitor, which allows him access to the building as well as security footage. I did not like that the book did not explain more about the aboena shelter and what they do. The book became confusing switching between the main focus of finding Ashley to trying to decipher what exactly the Bat Lady was talking about when she said Mickey’s father was alive. Overall the book was a good read.