Rated Reads

Shelter (Mickey Bolitar, book 1)

by Harlan Coben

Rated: Moderate

Mickey Bolitar is the new kid at school, which is bad enough; but add in his dead father, his drug-addict mom, and his missing girlfriend, and he is destined for the reject table. Mickey and his outcast friends, Ema and Spoon, begin to look into the disappearance of Mickey’s girlfriend, Ashley. There hunt turns even crazier when Mickey has a run-in with the town’s resident crazy, the “Bat Lady,” who tells Mickey his father is still alive. Is there any way Mickey’s dad’s situation and Ashley’s disappearance are connected?

I enjoyed this book. I have read several of Harlan Coben’s books for adult readers and enjoyed them as well. I was pleased this book was appropriately toned down from his adult books, which are generally so intense I literally have an adrenalin rush just reading them. My one complaint is that I was not aware this book was setting up a series, so I was expecting more resolution at the end: be forewarned.

Rated: Moderate. Content-wise this book really was mild. There were several instances of mild language. However, the subject matter is a little more mature. As mentioned, Mickey’s mom is a drug addict and there are several conversations about addiction and an instance of drug use. Further, later in the book, Mickey goes to a strip club using a fake ID. The description of the strip club is not detailed, but it leads to some violence and passing reference to human sex-trafficking; the reference may go over some readers’ heads. There is also a story retold of a young girl witnessing her father’s murder during the Holocaust and while not graphic, even the barest details are very depressing, to say the least.

— Reviewed by Corryn Brown

Corryn Brown is an avid reader and law student. She strives daily to find and maintain equilibrium between life, law, and reading.

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  • Shelter (Mickey Bolitar, book 1)
  • by Harlan Coben
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: