Sunday, March 18, 2012


After his father dies in a car accident and his mother lands in rehab, Mickey ends up living with his Uncle Myron.  He's trying to make the best of things, but memories haunt him and strange new events are quickly filling his life.

As he passes the creepy house local kids make a point of avoiding, the house's mysterious inhabitant calls out to him claiming his father is not really dead.  At about the same time, Ashley his new girlfriend disappears.

Mickey enlists the help of a character nicknamed Spoon and a goth girl known as Ema as he searches for Ashley and tries to make sense of the an old woman's message and a stranger in dark glasses who is following his every move.

Adult mystery writer, Harlan Coben, has ventured into the world of YA fiction.  SHELTER is fast-paced and quick-witted.  Coben has probably found himself a whole new fan base.


John Michael Cummings said...

RESENT: book review request by award-winning author

Dear RJ,

I'm an award-winning author with a new book of fiction. Ugly To Start
With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about teen life
published by West Virginia University Press in November
of 2011.

Can I interest you in reviewing it?

I wrote to you this past fall, but lost much of my AOL mail from that
time, thanks to overwhelming SPAM. If you replied, my apologies.

Perhaps you now have more time to consider a book review or Q&A?

My book's only 160 pages short. The writing is easy and open, and all
the stories are interconnected--same hero and story arc throughout. It
reads like a brisk novel in the form of stories.

If you write me back at, I can email you a PDF of my book.

My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:

Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

For more information about me, please visit:

Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


John Michael Cummings

UK said...

I loved it! Harlan Coben never really disappoints me, and this book stayed true to form. If you read his last book, Live Wire we were introduced to Myron's nephew Mickey. His father has just died and his mother is struggling with addiction. Mickey is forced to stay with Myron (against his wishes)while his mother works on getting clean. Mickey is definitely a chip off the old block- he is a younger version of Myron who gets into the same kinds of trouble. A friend of his from high school disappears and Mickey feels compelled to find her. During his search he makes friends with 2 social outcasts, is told that his father might not be dead after all (!!), solves a few old mysteries, and leaves us wanting more, more, more. This book is being billed as a teen novel, but it will appeal to readers of all ages. The story line is filled with the same clever lines that we all love from Myron, Mickey is a loveable teenager dealing with unimaginable circumstances, and the novel has has fun twists and turns that Harlan is known for. And this is obviously going to be a new series which thrills me! Hurry up Harlan, I really need to know what Mickey is in store for next.

Portugal said...

Harlan Coben, usually the author of adult thrillers, made an outstanding and creative piece of literature for people of all ages in "Shelter." From the first line in this book to the very last word, any reader, regardless of age, gender, or genre preference will be enticed to read this book, without putting it down. The very last sentence, as in the words of Mr. Coben, is "like a sucker punch to the gut", but proves that there will definitely be another, if not many other, books in this series.

This book sent chills spiraling down my back with each chapter that I eagerly read. The story takes place in a small town. Mickey is a smart, loyal, and brave teenage boy who has found himself in a very sticky predicament. His father died in a car crash right before his eyes and his mom is in rehab because of a drug addiction. Mickey winds up living with his uncle, who did not get along very well with Mickey's parents. Mickey starts attending a new high school, the setting where the story mainly takes place, and he befriends two social outcasts, Emily and Spoon. His life appears to be getting better. He has found a girlfriend, Ashley, who is just like him- her life is a train-wreck. Then things take a turn for the worse. Ashley goes missing and Mickey has to solve a very complicated crime to save her. While unraveling his girlfriend's past, Mickey finds a world of secrets about his father.