shutterMicheline Helsing is the last of the line of Van Helsings, of monster slaying fame. In this version of the tale, Micheline slays ghosts and otherworldly beings by capturing their visages on film, thereby taking away their power and banishing back to the realms where they belong.

One night, Micheline and her team has a mission go awry and now, because of a curse, they are going to die. Unless, they can find the ghost that caused the sickness, rid the world of it, and save themselves. The clock is ticking…

Shutter was a Brom Stoker award nominee for Best First Novel. That’s what drew me to this creepy tale.

Horror isn’t my usual genre and the scary parts of this tale really scared the heck out of me. If horror is your thing, this one might not be scary enough. Reading is such a personal experience, you know? It’s hard to predict.

Alameda was at her best during the truly terrifying moments, which, in my opinion, were the undead creatures and anything scenario involving a mirror. Everybody has mirrors in their homes. What if, hypothetically, these were portals into other worlds and *things* could come crawling out of them into this one- eeeeeek!

I didn’t enjoy the so-so character building, teen angst or abusive relationship with the father. That could be a potential trigger too.

Micheline is the type of teen heroine that I met in the Divergent trilogy and wasn’t impressed with then: not trusting anyone in authority with her problems even though they could potentially help her, throwing herself into life threatening situations without proper planning and, therefore, putting her friends in danger too, and pining for the lantern-jawed guy with the ridiculously pumped up fighting skills.

If it wasn’t for the insanely entertaining parts with the ghosts, mirrors, strong friendships with her team and tragic back story, this would be a two-star book instead of a four. But, I believe that its positive attributes outweighed the negatives. Again, reading is such a personal trip. You may disagree. And that’s ok.

For a debut book, Shutter is really very good. I read the last couple chapters of this in a rush because I was terrified for the well-being of the main characters.

If you love young adult horror tales, you should give this one a read. Some read-alikes: Jackaby or 13 Days of Midnight. Shutter is scarier than either of those, but they have similar themes.

Thanks for reading!


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