Sheltered - Debra Chapoton

I didn't know what to expect when I was asked to read this, but I am so glad I did. This book exceeded any preconceptions I may have had when I first read the synopsis. To be honest, I was expecting demons of the kind I had other books, but the demonic forces at play in this book reminded me of the Exorcist and Paranormal Activity.


It was haunting, chilling and quite freaky.It starts off with Ben, who uses a house with an untold past to help teens in desperate situations. Little does he realize what kind of forces are about to unleash themselves. The whole story line of this book kept me pivoted on the book all the way through. I must admit that it was the characters that held my interest the most - especially Emily, Cori, Adam and Chuck.


Each of them had serious issues - issues some people face everyday. And that's what made this book special. It's not very often that I read about characters that have their own distinct voice, but these characters do.


You have Megan, who actually seems to have a normal background until you read on and find out what made her move into the house. Then there's Ben - the boy who is quite wealthy, but not in a way where he is obnoxious. He cares and tries to take everyone into consideration until he meets Megan. What he doesn't realize is how his actions affected Emily, who was quite dependent on him. Emily, whose fragile hold on the world is wrapped around the boy who saved her from the streets - Ben.  There's a lot that not known about her, which adds to her mystery, but leads to her character not being developed as much as it could be. I really wanted to know more about her past.  


Cori, who was so angry with the whole world. She came across as hating everyone, but she had a vulnerable side as well. She was obsessive about some things - particularly her bedroom. She was the one who seemed to live in the outside world more - and had more independence than any of the others. Well, I think so.And Adam and Chuck - two characters who share a secret - one I didn't pick up on until I read more. They were unexpected and their grasp on reality was even worse than Emily's and she was bad. I'd really like to go into more about them, but for more information you need to read the book.


Imagine having that group of people sharing a house with a horrifying untold past and you can just imagine the outcome - or can you? It's the way the book unfolds that held me spellbound, and even as I write this it's like I'm rereading it and the ending all over again. An ending that makes me hope that there is a sequel.


There were only minimal things that I could mention about the book that I wasn't quite sure of. First, the characters' background. I would have loved to have known more about them. There just didn't seem to be enough of it for me. The other was the way Ben ended up with the house. It just didn't seem possible that a kid would be able to do that without someone finding out a lot sooner than they did. But, other than that there was nothing else I noticed or cared to mention.


So, now to my rating. I bet you have no doubts about what it will be.


Five out of five stars.