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(Mickey Bolitar #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  21,893 ratings  ·  2,328 reviews
Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train-wreck of a life is fin
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,893 ratings  ·  2,328 reviews

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Gail Jones
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben
Hmn, mixed feelings about this one. This is a young adult spin off from the well known Myron Bolitar series. I read it with great eagerness but couldn’t shake off a feeling of dissatisfaction.

This book is based around Mickey Bolitar, Myron’s fifteen-year-old nephew who came to live with him in the book ‘Live Wire’ when his father, Myron’s brother died in a car crash and his mother ended up in drug rehab.

If you haven’t read any Myron Bolitar books you’ll probably lo
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, mystery
Life isn't going so well for 15-year old Mickey Bolitar. After witnessing the death of his father and placing his mother in rehab, Mickey has moved in with his Uncle Myron. Now starting a new school, Mickey meets Ashley Kent. They become friends until she mysteriously disappears without a trace. As Mickey and his new friends Ema and Spoon try to figure out what exactly happened to Ashley, they find that she was covering up a dark secret.

I absolutely love Coben's Myron Bolitar series, so I though
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
This is the beggining of a series featuring main protagonist Mickey Bolitar nephew of Coben's other series protagonist Myron Bolitar. Thats funny starting a new series with a member of the family of a main protagonist. It would appeal to the young adult crowd who are not well read in thrillers and want to read a clean non-explicit story.
Mickey is a teenager and has quite a few problems to deal with one being his mother is in drug rehab and two his father is dead. He is meant to be dead but a my
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terence M (Spring is in My Step!)
I am a fan of Myron Bolitar and of Harlan Coben's writing in particular. "Shelter", featuring Mickey Bolitar, Myron's nephew, is a young adult novel, so as an old adult I feel less qualified to criticise the dialogue than the actual story.

The young hero (a martial arts expert who naturally learned his skills from his father as a teenager in the Brazilian jungle!) performs some amazing feats of derring-do while rescuing either or both (I'm not sure) the unbelievably beautiful blonde school stude
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story is ok, especially if you're a young adult. However, stories with unanswered questions leave lots to be desired. 4 of 10 stars
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
One word: wow. I've never read Harlan Coben's books before, but if they're all like Shetler, I'm a fan. From page one all the way to the end, the Reader is kept in absolute suspense. Coben doesn't waste any time in getting into the mystery, and any parts that threaten to drag are immediately interrupted with a new twist that will boggle your mind. Mickey is one of the wittiest adolescent narrators I've encountered in modern literature; I didn't even find his talk about girls annoying, because he ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
For those who have read my reviews of the Myron Bolitar novels, Harlan Coben once again delivers a world-class series this time dealing with the nephew of Myron Bolitar. Unlike the Myron Bolitar series this series now includes the young adult audience as well as the mature audience Coben has been writing for. To my mind this is an incredible accomplishment: to engage both young adults as well as adults in equal fashion.

The writing style is slightly different: the prose has been excised and edite
Recommended by my friend Maureen with the caveat that this book breaks the "series rule" (The first book in a series must be a complete story on its own; the second book should be a happy surprise, not a given) I read this in a day. Despite my compulsitivity, this book was awful. The writing was bad (though did not approach Twilight-esqe levels) and I feel like Coben's approach to writing a "teen" book was to read about seven of them and then take every cliche possible and shove it in his book. ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is a mystery for teens written by a well-known author of thrillers for adults. I was pretty excited to read this since I like Coben's adult books, but I really ended up thinking this was just okay. My main complaints involve weakly-created characters and terrible dialogue. I just didn't feel like many of the characters were real, or even believable, and much of the dialogue was horrible.

That being said, there is an exciting and interesting plot, so for readers who care more about plot than
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!!! It was such a fun read and I loved the interaction between Micky, Ema and Spoon. I am looking forward to the 2nd book. Can't wait!!
Jennifer Monzon
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
You guys may not believe me when I tell you but believe it or not, I read this entire 304 page book in 3 hours!!!! I couldn't focus on anything else. I wanted to get to the end to figure out all the clues and see how it all related to each other. This is the second book I read where the main character is a male, and I loved it. I will definitely be picking up more of Harlan Coben's book to read in the future. He's made my list of favorite authors that's for sure.

There's mystery and suspense fro
Jerry B
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's been 55 years since we've read the Hardy Boys or Rick Brant or any other "young adult" book. But we're such a Harlan Coben fan, we picked up "Shelter" despite the intended audience, just for fun, and to see what kind of character Myron Bolitar's nephew Mickey might be. In general, we were rewarded with a very entertaining story, with some stereotypical but amusing support characters, and a plot that only got a little far-fetched right at the end.

Mickey has gone to live with Uncle Myron afte
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of mysteries, YA literature
Having heard some good things about Harlan Coben, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of his books as the "Kindle Deal of the Day" a few weeks back. I mean, for $1.99, why not read something by the acclaimed mystery author? Well, for one reason, because this is not the adult mystery series he is famous for, it is a young adult spin-off about that character's nephew. Oops. Not how I meant to start reading this author, but despite that, I really enjoyed this book.

It was one part Walter Mosley,
Mary Claire
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.0 solid stars.
Mickey Bolitar's life has been turned upside down. His father has recently died in a car accident. His bereaved mother is in rehab. Mickey is living at his uncle Myron's place and going to school for the first time in his life. Prior to the accident and everything, Mickey and his family traveled the world on humanitarian missions, but his parents decided that Mickey could use a dose of "normal" teenage life. Obviously, things did not work out that way. Mickey thought things were looking up when ...more
Fleur Bradley
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book with an extra sceptical eye when I saw who the author was--I know, not fair. But often when a writer crossed from fiction for adults to fiction for kids, it doesn't produce the best books. Writing for teens is just a different beast, and it's not for every author.

But Shelter had me pleasantly surprised. Sure, it opened with a few YA cliches: the protagonist is the new kid in town, we're in the cafeteria, sizing up the cliques, etc. But the voice was spot-on: fun, snap
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK! I was a little leery, this is a YA book and it has a one word title and I have learned to stay away from one word titles. This is my first Harlan Cohen book and now I am a big fan! Shelter by Harlan Coben exceeded my expectations. The ingredients of this mystery, suspense, fascinating characters, danger, action and underlying meanings are mixed well and baked into a can’t put down gripping thriller. The violence was not to the point of turning your stomach but just enough to keep the action ...more
Love Fool
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book made me discover the genuis of Harlan Coben. I think it's so hard to write a good mystery/thriller and Harlan does an amazing job every time. If you are sick of reading about other people finding love (hey, even this lady gets sick of reading chick-lits for a week) then I highly recommend reading any of his books (but read this one first because I feel like its an easy transition from finding love to finding the bad guy).
Nanci Booher
So I have yet to read a Harlan Coben book, but I have to start somewhere. I had never read John Grisham until I picked up his Theodore Boone series so my fingers are crossed that I won't be disappointed!
Super happy I picked this up. When will the sequel be out??
I will start of by making a number of confessions: 1) I tossed this book on top of my library stack at the last minute (after having spent quite some time wrangling my three year old away from the puzzles and forcing my seven year old to narrow his book pile down to something he could actually carry himself) - which is to say, I didn't read the book description and so knew nothing about it but that I thought the cover interesting. 2) I have never before read anything by Harlan Coben, therefore n ...more
Famed thrill writer Harlan Coben is trying his hand at writing for young adults--but he's not pulling any punches when it comes to the thrill ride. This is the first book in a series, and it introduces us to Mickey Bolitar whose dad's death and his mom's subsequent immersion into addiction has him living, unhappily, with his uncle and trying to survive in a new high school after globe trotting with his missionary parents for his whole life. Things started out all right--he even had a girlfriend. ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
There's lots to like about this book. It's a good mystery with lots of intriguing characters who may or may not be clues. Mickey is a good, likable character but I especially like Ema, his unlikely sidekick.

A couple of things I didn't like: Mickey is looking for his girlfriend, Ashley, who has disappeared at the start of the book. But we never get a chance to know Ashley or Mickey's relationship with her so it's hard to care too much about her, aside from the fact that you're reading a mystery
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a bit all over the place. It was very slow at the beginning and was confusing. The beginning was probably slow because I had been reading None of the Above at the same time which is a far superior book. Ending was a bit rushed, climax was an actual real-life scenario which was a good change. Overall, I'm going to add it up to three star.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another good book by Harlan Coben. Although I wish Myron played a larger part in the book, I really enjoyed this fast easy read with a surprise ending.
Ann Frohoff
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A page turner! If you love mystery, this is a pretty cool YA contemp. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.
May 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What do I say about this book? I finished in less than two days so yes it was intriguing. I liked the pace of the book, there wasn't a dull moment, went from one problem to the next.

The problem starts off when Mickey Bolitar, our main character is walking to school and he walks up to this old abandoned house; this house is home to the town legend "Bat Lady" who known to steal children if they dare to get too close. Mickey didn't really like think much of it, he's new to town. Recently moving i
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
Not sure what to make of this book. He is one of my favorite authors and his stand alone novels are fast paced and nailbiters. His series featuring Myron is set in the sports world but evolve way past that world.

So I was excited to see him start a young adult series featuring Myron's nephew. Mickey has been a nomad following his parents around the world doing humanitarian work. Sadly his father is killed and his mother is in rehab for an overdose.

So Myron moves Mickey back to the family house in
Dave TN
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc-fiction, 2020
3.5 rounded to 4.

There is the great, funny, suspenseful Myron Bolitar series. Then in #10 and #11 of the series we meet Mickey Bolitar who is Myron’s nephew. Then, Coben does a 3-book young adult series based on Mickey Bolitar. It is very similar to the Myron series, though a little watered down. Did I like the Mickey novel as well as the Myron novels? No, but it wasn’t far behind, and it is a welcomed series since I have now read all of the Myron novels. Plus, some of the Myron characters make
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With over 60 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last seven consecutive novels, MISSING YOU, SIX YEARS, STAY CLOSE, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Coben is the winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first aut

Other books in the series

Mickey Bolitar (3 books)
  • Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar, #2)
  • Found (Mickey Bolitar, #3)

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