Harlan Coben’s Shelter is an excellent young adult (YA) book.
Sophomore Mickey Bolitar lives with his uncle Myron.
Mickey’s father died in an auto accident. His mother is hopelessly addicted. Mickey is in a new school.
When Mickey’s only friend Ashley Kent, another new student, disappears, Mickey decides to find out what happened to her. He enlists the help of two “losers” Ema (with a long e) and Spoon.
Both Ema and Spoon are brilliant in their own ways. They, along with Rachel Caldwell, one of the in-crowd, work their way through an awful back story which leads to a startling conclusion.
Shelter involves Auschwitz, the strange symbol of a butterfly, what Mickey’s parents were actually about, human trafficking, and the stark fact that you can’t save everyone.
The book’s title comes from Richard Jefferies, a19th century English nature writer--“Let us labor to make the heart grow larger, as we become older, as spreading oak gives more shelter.” The quotation plays an important part in the story.
A woman called the Bat Lady helps unlock the story for Mickey and his friends.
I’d forgotten what a wonderful, stylish writer Harlan Coben is. Years ago, I read the Myron Bolitar books and enjoyed them.
I enjoyed Coben’s YA book Shelter too.