Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sheltered Book Review

I had the honor of reading Debra Chapoton's newest book, Sheltered, before she released it. I have to tell you I love this book. The characters were so fascinating that even without the paranormal twist I still would have enjoyed it. Read about the book below, as well as my review and an excerpt from the book.
Synopsis for Sheltered: 

Living together unsupervised, five troubled teens confront demonic forces and are compelled to deal with their problems in distinctly different ways. Paranormal meets psycho meets Goth in this story of a supernatural haunting and budding love.

High school junior, Ben, hacks into his step-father's real estate holdings and provides rooms in an old two-story house to various outcasts: the schizophrenic kid, the angry Goth girl, and the homeless girl who worships him. When Megan needs a place to live she comes to the rooming house with a different set of problems and the ability to confuse and attract Ben.

One by one strange and mysterious occurrences stretch the teens’ beliefs in the supernatural. How they deal with demons, real and imagined, has tragic as well as redeeming consequences.

Excerpt from Sheltered:


Next Wednesday

Emily knew the precise moment that Ben returned, she felt him in her scars. She watched him carry some things to the house, heard the door close; she smiled when she heard him call out that Santa was here. He did that once before, in early December, insisting that she accept the gift he held out, not wanting her to wait until Christmas to use the mittens he knew she needed.
She went toward her door now, wondered what he had brought, and then heard Megan’s voice below. Oh no, he probably brought something for her. She scuttled back to her nest by the window and stared outside, was still staring fifteen minutes later when she saw them walk down the street, Ben shouldering a shovel, his other hand knotted with Megan’s.
She touched the skin on her arms, lightly at first, making it tingle. The image of Ben with Megan multiplied across her mind in broken mirrors, a repugnant picture that reflected her own self-loathing. She scratched at her scabs, felt the pricks of pain force away the ticklish sensations. She closed her eyes.
When she opened them she saw a figure standing at her door.
“Who–?” she started, but the figment waned to less than a shadow. Still, though, there was something at her door.
She rose slowly and held her hand out.
Its face was more womanly now, friendly, motherly. Yes, she knew this face. Its pearly white skin so shocking against the ruby lips, the stringy hair a match to her own. Her mother.
She stretched her fingers toward the face. The hallucination faded then sharpened. The eyes began to blaze. She drew her hands back to her own face. What’s wrong with me?  The delusion grieved Emily; all around her fluttered a longing.
And a deadly fear.

My Review:

I was so impressed by the storyline in this book. Completely unique, and filled with engrossing characters who were at once sympathetic and enthralling.

This is the story of teen Ben who's renting a house where he lets other troubled teens live. None of them know it's his house, they believe it's owned by their landlord, the mysterious Mrs. Kremer. The story begins when Megan moves into the house, upsetting the sort of strange balance these teens have found together. Her move-in is particularly upsetting to Emily, who has something of a crush on Ben, especially when Ben quickly develops feelings for Megan.

It would be a good enough story just watching this group of troubled kids dealing with their many, many issues, but something wicked has come into the house and creates new tensions. Each teen deals with one another, their own issues, and the strange new happenings in their own unique ways until finally everything comes to an explosive head.

Debra portrayed each of the kids in such realistic ways that I wanted to reach into the book and pull them out and give them a hug and protect them from the hurts they were going through. This is not a light read, as others have stated, but it's so fascinating I found it very difficult to walk away from, and couldn't wait to get back to it. Great book that you'll find yourself thinking about long after you've finished it.

Debra's Bio:

Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.
Her first YA novel, Edge of Escape, was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.
Her second YA novel, Sheltered, detours into a different genre as she writes about five teens who confront supernatural forces. Two boys and three girls all harbor secrets which make some of them susceptible to demon possession. Embracing all things supernatural might protect them, but are they ready for the consequences?
Chapoton has also written eleven chapter books for middle grade kids and a non-fiction work for adults, Crossing theScriptures.
When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan.

Buy Sheltered at:


  1. Thank you, Cindy. It is an honor to be on your blog since YOU are my favorite YA author. I hope that someday our paths will cross in the real world.
    Thanks for the great review!

  2. Thanks, Debbie! That's so sweet. I also hope we someday meet face-to-face.