Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shelter by Harlan Coben

Katie stops by to tell us about one for fans of Rick Riordan who can't wait for his new book. An adventure you'll want to get your hands on---

Shelter by Harlan Coben

This was a book of surprises for me. Mickey Bolitar’s school year is off to a bad start. His dad is dead, his mom is in rehab, and his girlfriend is missing. The cherry on the top is that he is also at a new school without any friends. Note: Those aren’t spoilers; that’s just page 1.


Surprise #1: Despite a rather rough patch of luck, Mickey isn’t your typical angsty teenager.

Harlan Coben jumps the reader right into the action and mystery of the book. And while Mickey has every right to be bitter and angry, he turns out to be a really great guy--exactly the sort you want to root for when the going gets tough. And rest assured, the going gets very tough.
 

Surprise #2: In the midst of the almost non-stop suspense, there is a lot to laugh about.

Mickey has a full plate of problems to contend with in addition to homework, and it quickly becomes clear that he isn’t going to have much success if he tries to tackle all these issues on his own. Enter Spoon and Ema and maybe even Rachel. It would be easy to write them off as cliches--the nerd, the goth, and the popular girl--but each of them has a unique personality that jumps off the page and combined they make for a pretty spectacular teen crime fighting team. Spoon in particular kept me laughing with his compulsion for sharing random trivia and coming through in a pinch.
 

Surprise #3: This book was so addictive, I found myself reading it while walking down the street.

Reading and walking is sort of like driving and texting--probably not the best idea (and something I usually only reserve for books filled with magic). I just really couldn’t help myself with this book, though. Without giving anything away (because I don’t want to ruin the surprises for you), I can only say that Mickey and his friends have their work cut out for them searching for Ashley, tracing the meaning of a butterfly, delving into history that many thought was dead and buried, and figuring out who exactly is dead... and who might be still alive.
 

Harlan Coben writes in a style that reminds me a lot of Rick Riordan. Mickey Bolitar will help you get through the Percy Jackson-less months with the same thrill-ride style, offbeat sense of humor, and cover-to-cover suspense. While Shelter comes to a satisfying conclusion, there are many questions left unanswered and hopefully many more Mickey Bolitar adventures to come.

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