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Shelter Me Paperback – January 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416545832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416545835
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,683,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Alex McAulay brings to life one girl's harrowing, nightmarish adventure. Shelter Me is a dark, breakneck-paced journey through wartime England, full of twists and thrilling turns you'll never see coming!" -- Christopher Golden, author of Soulless

About the Author

Alex McAulay, author of Bad Girls, Lost Summer, and Oblivion Road, is a graduate of Brown University, and holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also an indie-rock musician who has recorded several albums under the name Charles Douglas.  He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lisa.  Visit him online at www.alexmcaulay.com.

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Customer Reviews

The whole originality is a plus, even if I didn't care for it.
Michelle
I wasn't even surprised when the end turned out exactly as I anticipated it would from around the second chapter in.
Galleysmith
Also, the ending was not shocking because it was entirely implausible and wholly unresolved.
Rebekah Shehan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rebekah Shehan on April 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
but as a teacher with an extensive classroom library who often recommends titles to students, I feel compelled to say something about this book. It was, quite possibly, the WORST YA novel I have ever read. The writing was incredibly poor, and the girl's language and attitudes entirely anachronistic to the WWII setting. But that is not really the issue-- there is plenty of poorly written YA lit out there. This book was exploitative of it's young female characters to the extreme. I understand that the conventions of the genre require peril, but when everything has an ultra-creepy sexual undertone it becomes a bit much. Also, the ending was not shocking because it was entirely implausible and wholly unresolved. Any book aimed at the YA audience that leaves the majority of it's character (including an infant) in forced sexual slavery better have a good reason. Regrettably, like nearly every other plot development in this book, I have no idea of the point.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sharon A. Somers on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
It took me three hours in one sitting to finish Shelter Me. Yes, it was that good. This is the second book this week that I've read about a boarding school run be lunatics. Unlike the first novel Shelter Me was well written and had well developed characters.

Shelter Me starts off with a boom (no pun intended) and never really slows down. The whole atmosphere of London during World War II was very authentic. I did not once question the struggles that Maggie when through. I really felt Maggie's despair when her mother forces her to leave home.

The boarding school itself was beyond creepy. There were several times when I was running right along side Maggie in my head. That is how real she felt to me. The nuns in the school was so scary that I wanted to jump into the book and smack them! The side characters were also very fabulous. The whole scene down at the beach was so shocking and sad. I cannot believe I actually felt sorry for the poor guy (trying not to give too much away here!).

Another thing that struck as interesting was how the differences among the social classes were handled. Maggie comes from a lower middle-class background and it at several times shocked by the wealth of other people around her. Even at the boarding school there is a clear difference among the wealthy and poor. The wealthy girls eat better food and have much better sleeping arrangements. Ironically in the end it is a large sum on money that gets Maggie out of her predicament.

The ending! Oh my god! I did not see this ending coming at all. I love being surprised like that. Kudos to Alex McAuluy for shocking the pants off me.
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By C. Macauley on June 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book came highly recommended, but I was disappointed. Maggie Leigh barely survives a blitz bombing of London, only to have her mother send her off to a lonely Welsh village where she finds that she is to attend a religious boarding school that turns out to be little more than a prison. After an encounter with a fugitive German soldier, she escapes with two friends, picking up a baby and a fleeing rich girl along the way. They hitchhike and jump onto a rolling train, witnessing horrifying events along the way, eventually ending up prisoners again until Maggie is miraculously rescued.

Although the story itself is full of surprising twists and turns, every character except Maggie herself (the protagonist) and one other person turn out to be fervently evil. Maggie manages through luck, perseverance and courage to escape from one dire situation only to land in another, but her deliverance from her darkest, most horrifying dilemma is through a deus ex machina--quite a letdown.

McAulay's prose is bland and occasionally awkward--although the story is set in wartime Britain, a number of anachronistic Americanisms creep in--but he is good at describing a scene and at letting us feel Maggie's feelings, and many of the characters are sharply drawn. There is a fair amount of suspense and the plot does take a few unexpected turns. Most of the book takes place during one long night, adding to the macabre nature of Maggie's adventures.

One should never judge a book by its cover, but the cover art on the paperback edition is quite intriguing.
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Format: Paperback
When it comes to the school Maggie was sent to, it was reminiscent of the movie Matilda (starring Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman) in its brutishness.

The tie-in between the school, the brothel, and the train they hopped, wasn't convincing.
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Format: Paperback
Shelter Me is a keep-you-on-your-toes-from-beginning-to-end kind of book. There were numerous moments where I was just totally flabbergasted. This is the first book to completely shock me like that!

Maggie is a very determined girl, but her mom believes she's corrupted, so she sends her off to a boarding school in Wales. But strange things are happening at the school, so Maggie and a couple friends leave to travel somewhere else. Being in the middle of a war, it isn't the best idea for girls to be wandering around alone, especially after dark with no money, no food, and no way to defend themselves. They encounter all kinds of problems, some more dangerous than others, and I was on the edge wondering if that would be the end of the road for them.

McAulay really knows how to write a killer novel - with action and never ending suspense!!
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