Shelter, by Harlan Coben

Shelter (Mickey Bolitar Series #1)Finished 3-21-12, rating 4/5, YA, 304 pages, pub. 2011

Book 1 of a new YA series.

I don’t read many young adult books, so I’m fairly picky when I do pick one up, but this is by one of my favorite authors and a continuation of the Myron Bolitar series so it was a no-brainer.  For those who love Myron this is a nice way to transition out of the series (if that is what Coben’s planning).  Myron is still around, but only marginally and his ward/nephew is a lot like him.

Mickey’s dad is dead and his mother is a junkie in rehab.  His uncle Myron, who had been estranged from his dad since before he was born, agreed to take him in while his mom cleaned herself up.  Mickey is living with Myron in the house his dad where grew up, going to the same school his dad did, and being lured in to the same urban legends of the neighborhood.

The Bat Lady is someone feared and ridiculed so when she tells Mickey that his father is not dead he doesn’t know what to think.  But he has other more pressing problems, like being the new kid at school and having your brand new girlfriend disappear.  He also befriends or is befriended by  two of the school outcasts, Spoon and Ema, who help him get into and out of trouble depending on the day.

This book felt very similar to Coben’s Myron series and as a fan I appreciated that.  Mickey is a boy who grew up a nomad, living around the world with his parents until he was 14, only a year before, so it stands to reason that he may have more worldly smarts that most kids.  Only he may have been too much like Myron in his propensity to find trouble for him to truly seem like a kid.  And the bullies at school seemed a little like caricatures.

I really liked the story and, as always, the plot was intricate and moved along at lightning speed.  There was a cliffhanger at the end, but the second book is coming out this fall so I don’t have to wait long to find out more.

I thought this was a good foray into the YA genre and I loved visiting Myron, even if only for a few minutes here and there.