With classes, homework, sports, extracurricular activities, and social lives filling our schedules, we high-schoolers rarely have time to sit down and read a quality book for leisure. In between soccer practice, math homework and annotating Jane Eyre, who has time to read a novel?
Luckily for us, Harlan Coben’s novel Shelter is a vacation from the thought-provoking and challenging literature assigned by our English teachers. The novel is fast-paced, highly readable and utterly intoxicating. With a plot wracked with mystery and suspense, it will be easy to sneak in a chapter or two during the day.
The novel is written in the eyes of Mickey Bolitar, a talented teenager in a rather unfortunate situation. After his father died in a car accident and his mother was sent to rehab, Mickey is left to live in his father’s childhood home with his estranged uncle. Ashley, his girlfriend and only friend at his new school, has disappeared without a trace, and to make things worse, the creepy old lady down the street is claiming that his father never died.
In an attempt to recover his girlfriend, Mickey follows Ashley’s trail into a sketchy and dangerous world that he never knew existed. Along the way he picks up loveable misfit friends Ema and Spoon, and together the three uncover webs of secrets that make Mickey question the pasts of both Ashley and his father. Nobody is as they seem, and the constant changes in the story make it all the more intriguing.
Shelter is everything a suspense novel should be: nerve-wracking, addictive and loaded with plot twists. Coben masterfully intertwines numerous sub-plots within the story, constantly giving the reader something else to focus on. The characters are funny and relatable, and the storyline is intense and interesting enough even for someone who doesn’t like to read.
Coben’s book is fun to read and flies by in the blink of an eye. Even better, it’s followed by two equally addictive sequels, Seconds Away and Found. With its quick pace and riveting storyline, Shelter is definitely worth a try.