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Mickey Bolitar Series, Book 1
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A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan CobenMickey 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...
A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan CobenMickey 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...
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  • A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan Coben
    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 finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury - and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.
    First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben's latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author.
    Follow Mickey Bolitar on his next adventure in Seconds Away, coming out in Fall 2012!

Excerpts-

  • From the book Normal0falsefalsefalseMicrosoftInternetExplorer4st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:#0400;mso-fareast-language:#0400;mso-bidi-language:#0400;}Chapter 1

    I was walking to school, lost in feeling sorry for myself—my dad was dead, my mom in rehab, my girlfriend missing—when I saw the Bat Lady for the first time.

    I had heard the rumors, of course. The Bat Lady supposedly lived alone in the dilapidated house on the corner of Hobart Gap Road and Pine. You know the one. I stood in front of it now. The worn yellow paint was shedding like an old dog. The once-solid concrete walk was cracked into quarter-size fragments. The uncut lawn had dandelions tall enough for the adult rides at Six Flags.

    The Bat Lady was said to be a hundred years old and only came out at night, and if some poor child hadn’t made it home from a playdate or practice at the Little League field before nightfall—if he or she risked walking home in the dark instead of getting a ride, or was maybe crazy enough to cut through her yard—the Bat Lady got you.

    What she supposedly did with you was never made clear. No child had vanished from this town in years. Teenagers, like my girlfriend, Ashley, sure, they could be here one day, holding your hand, looking deep into your eyes, making your heart go boom-boom-boom—and be gone the next. But little kids? Nope. They were safe, even from the Bat Lady.

    So I was just about to cross to the other side of the street—even I, a mature teenager entering my sophomore year at a brand-new high school, wanted to avoid that spooky house—when the door creaked open.

    I froze.

    For a moment, nothing happened. The door was all the way open now, but no one was there. I stopped and waited. Maybe I blinked. I can’t be sure.

    But when I looked again, the Bat Lady was there.

    She could have been a hundred years old. Or maybe two hundred. I had no idea why they called her Bat Lady. She didn’t look like a bat. Her hair was gray and hippie long, hanging down to her waist. It blew in the wind, obscuring her face. She wore a torn white gown that resembled a bridal costume in an old horror movie or heavy-metal video. Her spine was bent like a question mark.

    Slowly Bat Lady raised a hand so pale it was more vein-blue than white, and pointed a shaky, bony finger in my direction. I said nothing. She kept pointing until she was sure I was looking. When she saw that I was, Bat Lady’s wrinkled face spread into a smile that sent little icicles down my spine.

    “Mickey?”

    I had no idea how she knew my name.

    “Your father isn’t dead,” Bat Lady said.

    Her words sent a jolt that knocked me back a step.

    “He is very much alive.”

    But standing there, watching her vanish back into her decrepit cave, I knew what she was telling me wasn’t true.

    Because I had seen my father die.

     

    Okay, that was weird.

    I stood in front of Bat Lady’s house and waited for her to come back out. No go. I walked over to her door and looked for a doorbell. There was none, so I started pounding on the door. It shook under the onslaught. The wood was so rough it scraped my knuckles like sandpaper. Paint chips fell off as if the door had a bad case of...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 29, 2011
    In this suspenseful, well-executed spin­off of his bestselling Myron Bolitar mystery series for adults, Coben introduces readers to Myron’s nephew Mickey, a high school sophomore who is reluctantly living with his uncle after his father died in a car crash and his mother went into rehab. When Mickey’s new girlfriend, Ashley, vanishes just weeks into the school year, Mickey attempts to find her. With the aid of new friends Spoon and Ema, Mickey discovers that everything he knew about Ashley was false, and the truth is fraught with danger. Simultan­eous­ly, he looks into the history of the enigmatic Bat Lady, a local recluse who claims to have knowledge of his father. As the two mysteries intertwine, Mickey learns more than he ever expected about those closest to him. While Mickey’s voice is occasionally too sophisticated for his age, and he’s a little too good to be true, it doesn’t make this thriller any less enjoyable. Coben’s semi-noir style translates well to YA, and the supporting cast is thoroughly entertaining. It’s a strong start to the series. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)■

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2011

    Being the new kid at his high school is the least of Mickey Bolitar's worries; how about a missing girlfriend and dad's possible rising from the dead?

    Walking to school one morning, Mickey is accosted by an eerie old lady (whom he dubs Bat Lady) who dramatically declares that his father is alive, despite the fact that Mickey saw his dad die in a car accident. Bat Lady is only on a back burner of Mickey's lively mind; in the forefront is finding out what happened to new girlfriend Ashley Kent, who stopped coming to school one day. Attempts to learn more have been stonewalled by teachers and the administration. Mickey teams up with two unlikely sidekicks: Ema, a sarcastic overweight goth girl whom Mickey rescued from humiliation in gym class, and Spoon, a hacker nerd who knows all about Mickey's mad basketball skilz (which he's keeping under wraps). Many daredevil acts ensue. This teen spinoff of the prolific Coben's adult Myron Bolitar (Mickey's uncle) series (Long Lost, 2009, etc.) benefits greatly from his trademark crackerjack pace and multi-layered plotting. Most of the time, Mickey's short-attention-span snark seems both age appropriate and believable. His mother's struggle with drug addiction adds poignancy.

    A not-bad-at-all entry into the teen market for this adult author. (Mystery. 12 & up)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2011

    Gr 9 Up-Coben's first YA novel starts off with a bang and keeps going strong until the end. Sophomore Mickey Bolitar's happy, globe-trotting family returned to the States so that the teen could complete high school. Then Mickey sees his father killed in an accident and his bereft mother, who has taken to using drugs, enters rehab. Mickey goes to live with his Uncle Myron. On the way to school one morning, he encounters the Bat Lady, an old woman who lives in a dilapidated house, who tells him that his father is not dead, and disappears. Strangely enough, Ashley, a girl with whom Mickey has formed a relationship, also disappears. When he tries to find out what happened to her, he learns more than he bargained for about Ashley, the Bat Lady, and his own family. The cast includes Spoon, who has a tendency to spout odd bits of information at the wrong time; Ema, a self-proclaimed "fat girl" who dresses all in black, is covered in tattoos, and has some secrets of her own; and Rachel, the hottest girl in school. Myron Bolitar, the protagonist in Coben's adult mystery series, tries to take care of Mickey but doesn't really know how to be a parent. The boy has more freedom than most teens, giving him the opportunity to search for answers to his questions. Edgy and action-filled, the novel has interesting, likable characters, and it should fly off the shelves. The ending ties up some loose ends but leaves readers awaiting the sequel.-Diana Pierce, Leander High School, TX

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2011
    Grades 8-12 Mega-successful mystery and thriller writer Coben launches a spin-off to his long-running Myron Bolitar series for adults by having the sports agentsleuth's nephew, high-school sophomore Mickey, come to live with him. Mickey's got problems and mysteries of his own: his father died eight months ago, his mother is a relapsed junkie, and the cool girl he has just met in high school has disappeared. (And Mickey's not nuts about long-estranged Uncle Myron, either.) Disturbed by the vanishing of his friend, Mickey investigates on his own, getting lost and beaten and nearly destroyed by the underworld he discovers. This series opener gets off to a slow start, with Coben trying to establish that he knows some high-school lingo, what texting is, and so forth. Mickey himself, the first-person narrator, often sounds more middle-aged than teen. The resolution, though, is quite satisfying and points to a good deal of potential for what might come next.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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