Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review/Author interview: Sheltered by Debra Chapoton

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.

Debra Chapoton
Debra's first YA novel, EDGE OF ESCAPE, reveals the fractured heart of Eddie, an emotionally impaired 18-year-old who has spent most of his school years in special education classes. Stalking gets a strangely sympathetic twist in this story of obsession and survival. (Released in German, spring 2012.)
In her second YA novel, SHELTERED,five troubled teens confront demonic forces and deal with their problems in different ways; paranormal meets psycho meets budding love.

Find out more at

My Review: An engaging story that deals with and mixes the issues of homelessness, schizophrenia, depression, suicide, and the occult. As the reader follows along with the five kids (six, including, um...Adam) and the fictitious Mrs. Kremer, they're engaged by the opposing personalities in the house, the secrets that are (or aren't) kept, and they root for these teens in their quest to just stay in the house (even though maybe we shouldn't. Kids need adults!)
I admire how the issue of teen homelessness was addressed, veering away from the common idea that homeless people are all elderly, dirty and on the streets. The percentage of teen homelessness has gone up in the united states lately, and that doesn't necessarily mean they're out in the cold--most often it means they're at a shelter or homeless opportunity program. (For more facts and how to help, visit

Pros: This is a fascinating book that keeps you reading. The change in tense between the Dream world and the Awake world is a bit unusual (though not unpleasant) at first, but you get used to it.
Cons: It was hard to follow sometimes, and while interesting, I would find myself putting the book down to do something else.
Characters: While the characters balanced each other out nicely, a couple of them (Cori, Megan, Ben, Ben's stepfather) were a bit cut-and-paste. The bright side of this? Chuck/Adam, Emily, and "Mrs. Kremer" are original enough to balance it out.
Movie Potential: I really wouldn't want to see this movie. It's a decent book, certainly, but not quite a blockbuster.

Format: Kindle on iPod touch, no problems.

Overall Rating: 3/5    
Author interview:
On your nightstand now:  My Kindle with about 80 books to read.

Favorite book when you were a child: Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircasse
Your top five authors: Crichton, Evanovich, Grisham, Sparks, Rowling
Book you've faked reading: Any high school social studies book.
Book you're an evangelist for: The Bible. I’m not kidding. I’ve tried to learn some Hebrew words and I’ve discovered some pretty amazing codes. Supernatural, really.
Book you've bought for the cover: I’ve never judged a book by its cover; I read the blurb on the back cover.
Book that changed your life: My first Spanish textbook
Book you most want to read again for the first time: Jurassic Park
Why any human should plunk down cash money for your book:
“Sheltered” is a novel that works on multiple planes depending on the expectations and beliefs of the individual reader. The lives of five teens are exposed on social, psychological, and supernatural levels and the themes in this book beg for hard questions and answers, but at the same time the plot is pure entertainment.
Based on the description of “Sheltered” I know there may be some supernatural scenes as well as a little romance. But can you tell us what more to expect?
You might learn a little about schizophrenia.
What made you decide to write this book in the first place?

I had to give a speech and in my research I came across some interesting facts about demon possession. Hmm, I thought, what if the scientific explanations and the religious beliefs were somehow both right. An idea was born and the story took off.
What is your writing style?
I sit on the love seat in the sunroom of our log home with my laptop. I write early in the day and try to write about a thousand words per session.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Writing is my only job, but it’s part-time so I can enjoy the rest of the day by reading and goofing off.
What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I want to entertain readers. I hope they take away a few good hours of enjoyment.

In the point of view of any of your characters, answer these three questions:
What is your darkest secret?
What happened to me last year.
What is your heart’s desire?
That things work out for me with both Simon and Ben.
A dragon has just appeared in front of you, ready to attack. What do you do?

After what I’ve been through . . . I just laugh.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

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