Harlan Coben’s Shelter is a 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.