Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sheltered by Debra Chapoton: A Supernatural Thriller To Read in The Dark

 Sheltered appealed to me because of the characters that author Debra Chapoton described in her review request. A group of troubled teens that live together not realizing that their individual problems may contribute to a much bigger supernatural issue that has taken over their house. It seemed like a darker and more intense version of The Breakfast Club to me. At first the book navigates through each teen’s life slowly revealing the secrets of each. The pace was excellent because the book is written from each characters perspective. Ben, Emily, Cori, Chuck and Adam’s lives are often mysterious but because author Chapoton allows the readers in on some of their secrets it makes great tension to the unknowing characters. When you want to entertain your readers with a most excellent supernatural thriller you have to give your audience some of the goods and Debra does this beautifully.



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.

Ben and Megan are not necessarily the star characters of Sheltered but they carrier the story. Only because Megan is the new girl in the house and Ben is pretty much the head of the household. So you get two sides of the coin as far as perspective. Ben is a guy who is trying to keep the charade up with his roommates of why he has managed to keep a roof over their heads. He’s a perfect example of someone who is just trying to do the right thing. Megan is someone that readers will gravitate to right away. She is the eyes and ears for the audience until Debra Chapoton introduces her other fantastic characters, which I will get to shortly. Megan has her own agenda once in the house. She carries a heavy burden and feels immediate guilt when she starts to enjoy her time with Ben. But Ben’s role in her life is important and I feel that the simple way that he helps Megan come to an important decision is brilliant.

Chuck and Adam are the two characters that stole the show for me. They were excellent and had the perfect amount of errieness to their dialogue. I would definitely walk on the other side of the street if I saw either of them approaching. Chuck’s backstory is heartbreakingly sad and found as I read on that he made the entire book click for me. I realized exactly what was going on with all of the residents of the house and how the supernatural forces that lurked within the walls affected each. Chapoton gives just the right amount of information to keep you reading then pushes a fantastic bittersweet ending.

What I loved about Sheltered is that all of her characters are flawed but have their moment of redemption. Emily the shy tenant had the perfect ending. It was unpredictable and even though dark she certainly shined as a hero. The thrilling ending of Sheltered leads me to believe there will be more to come from Debra Chapoton and Sheltered.


Author 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 the Scriptures.
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.

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