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A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker's latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel. In the wake of her father's death, Betty Roux doesn't allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn't know what she wants A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker's latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel. In the wake of her father's death, Betty Roux doesn't allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn't know what she wants, except to run. When she's offered the chance to play the leading role in mysterious indie filmmaker Anthony Marino's new project, she jumps at the opportunity. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother warns against it, but Betty is too drawn to the charismatic Anthony to say no. Anthony gives her a new identity--Lola--and Betty tells herself that this is exactly what she's been looking for. The chance to reinvent herself. That is, until they begin filming and she meets Sammy, the island's caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director.


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A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker's latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel. In the wake of her father's death, Betty Roux doesn't allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn't know what she wants A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker's latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel. In the wake of her father's death, Betty Roux doesn't allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn't know what she wants, except to run. When she's offered the chance to play the leading role in mysterious indie filmmaker Anthony Marino's new project, she jumps at the opportunity. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother warns against it, but Betty is too drawn to the charismatic Anthony to say no. Anthony gives her a new identity--Lola--and Betty tells herself that this is exactly what she's been looking for. The chance to reinvent herself. That is, until they begin filming and she meets Sammy, the island's caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director.

30 review for Shutter

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Following the death of her beloved Father, Betty Roux needs an escape. She packs her bags, severs all ties and flies to New York City, with the hopes of becoming an actress. Once there, she phones up her old friend, Sofia, who she knows has found some level of success behind-the-scenes in the film industry. Sofia and her live-in boyfriend, Ben, are more than happy to take Betty under their wing, even allowing her to stay at their place; walking dogs to make ends meet. Before too long, they offer to Following the death of her beloved Father, Betty Roux needs an escape. She packs her bags, severs all ties and flies to New York City, with the hopes of becoming an actress. Once there, she phones up her old friend, Sofia, who she knows has found some level of success behind-the-scenes in the film industry. Sofia and her live-in boyfriend, Ben, are more than happy to take Betty under their wing, even allowing her to stay at their place; walking dogs to make ends meet. Before too long, they offer to introduce her to the mysterious filmmaker, Anthony Marino, THE Anthony Marino, a man they worked with in the past and have a friendly relationship with. Upon meeting Betty, it seems Anthony has discovered his new muse. He quickly offers her the starring role in his next project. She's flattered, but also a little uncertain. She didn't even audition and she has no experience, what does he see in her? With these doubts in mind, she still figures, who is she to argue with genius? He clearly knows what he is doing, so Betty agrees to step outside her comfort zone and take on the role. The project is the be filmed at the Marino family property on a private island off the coast of Maine. From the very start, Betty is unclear about the specifics of the whole thing. Anthony tells her it will be loosely-based upon the classic film, Cape Fear. The main difference being that it's to be filmed more like a lightly-scripted reality television show than a traditional film. The bare bones crew, which includes Ben, Sofia and the man who is to play Betty's on-screen boyfriend, Mads, travel to Maine with the hopes of capturing all the footage they need within a month. Prior to filming, Anthony assigns Betty a new identity. She is now Lola; he is hoping this identity shift will allow her to let down her defenses and evolve into the character he is looking for. Events on the island spiral quickly and Lola wonders what exactly she has gotten herself into. She should have listened to her Mother. Y'all, I would have thrown this across the room when I was finished with it, but it's on my Kindle soooo..... Betty was one of those characters that I quickly grew frustrated with and there was never even a glimmer of her redeeming herself. In and of itself, that's fine. I don't need to like the characters in the books I read. In fact, I frequently enjoy books where the entire cast is unlikable. It all depends what those unlikable people are doing. It needs to keep me engaged. It needs to be sinister, it needs to be wicked, wild, intriguing; give me something! This felt bland; top to bottom. The narrative style did not suit my taste at all, there was no sense of place, no atmosphere. I couldn't have cared less about Anthony Marino, or his petty film project. At the end of the day, while the synopsis sounded intriguing, the execution fell well below my expectations. As I always say, however, there is a Reader for every book and a book for every Reader. Just because this didn't work for me, does not mean it won't work for you. If you think it sounds intriguing, give it a go! Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to rant provide my opinion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    Betty leaves town after her father’s death, wanting to start a new life in NYC. She decides to try her hand at acting, and finds the perfect opportunity when her friends Ben and Sofia introduce her to THE Anthony Marino. Anthony directed and starred in an Indie smash hit a few years ago, and is looking for an actress for his latest project. Betty has no acting experience, but Anthony offers her the lead role in his new mysterious film. She doesn’t know much about it, only that he was apparently l Betty leaves town after her father’s death, wanting to start a new life in NYC. She decides to try her hand at acting, and finds the perfect opportunity when her friends Ben and Sofia introduce her to THE Anthony Marino. Anthony directed and starred in an Indie smash hit a few years ago, and is looking for an actress for his latest project. Betty has no acting experience, but Anthony offers her the lead role in his new mysterious film. She doesn’t know much about it, only that he was apparently loosely inspired by Cape Fear and that he wants her character’s name to be Lola. A group of 5 people, Betty included, go to a private island off the coast of Maine to film the movie. There are cameras everywhere, and she soon realizes that she has no idea what she’s gotten herself into. She never anticipated actual danger... Sounds intriguing, right? In a way, it is. I was entertained throughout the read, and never bored. However, severe suspension of disbelief was required. First of all, Betty knows basically nothing about this film, and Anthony avoids giving her more information multiple times, and yet she willfully goes on the journey to Maine. Granted, her friends are going too, and Anthony is paying her $40,000, but once I knew what the point of his film was, I was like, “What? Why is she still participating?” The point of the film, once revealed, is the biggest problem I had with it. Obviously, I can’t go into details...but to me, it’s one of those things where I said to myself, “All of THIS because of THAT?” Nothing about the plot and the goings on are very realistic. Despite this, I still felt that the story was interesting. I just couldn’t wrap my head around why any of the plot was happening in the first place. The unrealistic scenarios continue through the denouement, and I just couldn’t get fully on board. While Betty is an interesting, multi-dimensional character, she is also a bit of a dunce. This is a fast read, and shows promise for a debut novel. The writing itself has a great flow, with some wonderful atmosphere (especially as a squall rolls in). I liked it enough, but there was potential for a much more sinister storyline. I’ll be interested to read the author’s next book. I think others may enjoy it more, so please do check it out if it sounds interesting to you. One last thought: How gorgeous is that atmospheric cover?! Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This will be published on: 6/15/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Choo choo choo! This is the sound of my approaching disappointment train! I hear it when I read a book which doesn’t fit with my high expectations. I was so invested in this story and after reading the blurb about a film crew chooses movie location which gives us cabin in the woods meets Friday 13th series and Blair witch project, I was expecting to read something terrifying, earth shattering which will force me sleep with entire lights of my house on ! But... yes this book is definitely psychol Choo choo choo! This is the sound of my approaching disappointment train! I hear it when I read a book which doesn’t fit with my high expectations. I was so invested in this story and after reading the blurb about a film crew chooses movie location which gives us cabin in the woods meets Friday 13th series and Blair witch project, I was expecting to read something terrifying, earth shattering which will force me sleep with entire lights of my house on ! But... yes this book is definitely psychological thriller-ish, slow burn, semi-claustrophobic but mostly it was bumpy road with wavering direction of the story which loses its aim at several times! The beginning was so promising. We’re introduced Beth Roux who leaves her hometown and directly moves to NYC, camping at sofa bed in her best friend’s apartment she shares with her boyfriend. We realize she’s grieving her father who recently passed away ( actually he committed suicide) and Beth’s mother acts like neurotic and controlling who tries to find where her daughter disappeared. Beth meets with tempting and ultra rich director Anthony Marino with help of her friends. She’s enchanted by his charisma. She’s obsessed with his artsy movie he’s made but she acts like she hasn’t watched it. And now dear Anthony needs an actress urgently to cast for his latest movie. He asks her for the audition, taking her to dinner and kisses her goodbye which means she got the part! It seems like too good to be true. She’ll compensated 40K for her role, spending her in a secluded cabin which is located on a private island off the coast of Maine with five person cast and crew. There’s no script and the idea of working on improvised project is more challenging than working on another Terry Gilliam movie. The cameras are located in everywhere around the house. And Beth’s only clue about movie is it will have resemblances with famous Cape Fear movie starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum ( Mitchum is out of jail, blaming on Peck who put him behind the bars, planning to avenge him by harassing his family including his innocent young daughter) Beth thinks some outer player will involve in their holiday at cabin! This outer player might be the wild car of the movie as well! But she has no idea what Anthony’s real intention to force her cut and dye her hair and rename her as Lola! Is she just a pawn of his master plan? Is his real intention to shoot a movie? Or is he planning something more dangerous? I waited too long for some exciting incidents happen during my read. Only last %10 of the book was faster and interesting but the rest of it was mostly about Beth’s grieving, Anthony’s mysterious manners ( he pushed him so hard to look like mysterious man but actually the reason behind gathering those crew to make movie at the cabin is so simple and immature. ) The final twist is okay! Actually entire reading is okay but not so good or heart pounding kind of whirlwind thriller! Both Beth and Anthony are irritating characters who seem lost from the beginning. I didn’t quite get the real reason why they fall too hard for each other. Ben and Mads were the most tolerable characters. I was so sorry for they were dragged into this mess! I’m giving my three solid stars. The idea and starting point of the story was intriguing and promising but the execution could have been better! The characters were not much connectable but at least they are not punchable or dislikable characters. Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing For sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    I don't really have a lot to say about this one, other than the majority of it was SO incredibly slow that I had trouble pressing on. The ending, while far fetched, was really exciting and I wish the rest of the book had equaled out to this level of pacing and engagement. Overall, a miss for me, but I think the author has potential. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing me review copy. I don't really have a lot to say about this one, other than the majority of it was SO incredibly slow that I had trouble pressing on. The ending, while far fetched, was really exciting and I wish the rest of the book had equaled out to this level of pacing and engagement. Overall, a miss for me, but I think the author has potential. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing me review copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Melissa Larsen, and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Melissa Larsen brings much to this debut novel, taking the reader on a curious, as well as eerie, trip through the mind of a film director with a mission. A young woman has her sights set on making it big and heads to New York, where she knows but one person. After being introduced to a mysterious First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Melissa Larsen, and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Melissa Larsen brings much to this debut novel, taking the reader on a curious, as well as eerie, trip through the mind of a film director with a mission. A young woman has her sights set on making it big and heads to New York, where she knows but one person. After being introduced to a mysterious film director, Betty agrees to be cast in the leading role of an upcoming film, not entirely clear what it will entail. Later learning that this is an ‘act natural’ film, Betty soon discovers there’s more to it than she thought at first, pitting actors against one another, especially those unaware that the camera is even rolling. Well-paced and chilling at times, Larsen shows in Shutter that she has what it takes to stand above many in the genre. It’s been a rough few months for Betty, which is why she has decided to flee her small California town for the bright lights of NYC. There, with only one childhood friend to call upon, Betty tries to make it big. She’s soon introduced to Anthony Marino, a film director with a new idea. Marino feels that Betty could be the perfect fit for his new project, but he is not yet ready to share any of the details. Travelling up to a small Maine cabin, Marino, Betty, and a few others prepare to shoot the film on-location. It happens to be the Marino family cabin, where Anthony spent much time as a child. Betty is told that the film with be without script or actual direction, more an ‘act natural’ idea, where cameras are always rolling, hidden in rooms, on trees, and many other places. It is supposed to be a chance for everyone to just be and let the story evolve. Betty is tasked with becoming Lola, a young woman with no clear backstory. She must also develop immediate chemistry with her leading man, Mads. While this may be the goal, Betty finds herself constantly drawn to Anthony, which will make building proper chemistry a little harder. Still, Betty is trying to come to terms with the literal and figurative transformation into Lola, its importance as yet baffling. When Anthony announces that there will be a stalker element to the film, he introduces a new face, Sammy. This is a childhood friend of Anthony’s and an unknowing addition to the film. While Sammy appears inquisitive on the surface, he begins to gravitate towards Betty in odd ways. It is only then that the truth about the Anthony-Sammy connection is revealed, as well as the essence of Betty’s transformation into Lola. What’s not yet clear is what will happen when all these elements are put together in a bucolic setting, with the cameras rolling non-stop. Melissa Larsen does a great job in her storytelling, pulling the reader into the centre of this piece with unknown elements coming together at just the right pace. With little revealed at the outset, the mystery is as present for Betty as it is for the reader. Slowly, things become clearer, which does not always make for a smooth ride for anyone involved. It permits a handful of key twists throughout the piece to shape a narrative that gains momentum with each page turn. Betty is a great protagonist, in that she offers much to the story on both a personal and ‘professional’ level. Her desire to flee home is apparent throughout, as the reasons come to light throughout the novel. Her thirst for escape is only heightened when she feels that she can transform into a new woman by taking up the film project. However, while Betty would love to forget herself, it is not the change into Lola that fuels what she had in mind. All that being said, there is a great deal going on, none of which Betty could have predicted from the outset. Larsen offers a number of intriguing secondary characters throughout the piece, all of whom bring something to the table to flavour the story effectively. While some complement Betty, others serve as obvious roadblocks to impede her natural growth. The underlying Anthony-Sammy storyline comes to a head and adds a needed depth to the plot, though things are less than smooth from thereon in. Larsen is able to portray the likes of Sammy, Anthony, and even Mads as different yet all tied together in one form or another. This keeps the reader entertained and curious about how the chemistry will develop, much like actors working on a script with the cameras rolling. For a debut, I was quite impressed with Melissa Larsen’s efforts. While there were some small bumps, the overall experience was one that I enjoyed and would do so again without a second thought. The narrative flows well and gains momentum at just the right pace, with characters offering something to the experience without stealing the spotlight. Save for the opening chapter, each part of the book is short and keeps the reader wanting to know more, which is matched with an eerie plot that injects twists and confusing at key points. Larsen’s great use of dialogue keeps things feeling natural, which is an interesting parallel with the actual premise of the book, where the characters are to ‘be themselves’ while the cameras roll onwards. With a chilling end, Larsen leaves the reader wondering and thinking well after turning the final page, which is the essence of a strong thriller. Kudos, Madam Larsen, for a great start to your writing career. I cannot wait to see what else you have in store when next you publish! Be sure to check for my review, first posted on Mystery and Suspense, as well as a number of other insightful comments by other reviewers. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/sh... Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I was captivated by this dark, slow-burning, psychological tale filled with creeping dread. Betty Roux, at first glance, seems to be your typical small-town girl who leaves to make it big as an actress in New York. But Anthony sees something different in her. Anthony Marino is a newly famous, acclaimed film director renowned for his realism and his gritty films full of improvisation. Like something out of a Hollywood dream, Anthony chooses Betty for the leading role in his next movie. Anthony won I was captivated by this dark, slow-burning, psychological tale filled with creeping dread. Betty Roux, at first glance, seems to be your typical small-town girl who leaves to make it big as an actress in New York. But Anthony sees something different in her. Anthony Marino is a newly famous, acclaimed film director renowned for his realism and his gritty films full of improvisation. Like something out of a Hollywood dream, Anthony chooses Betty for the leading role in his next movie. Anthony won’t tell Betty much about the move, except that there is no actual script and she will have to live it. So they’re headed to a secluded cabin to shoot. Oh, and by the way, the movie is called FEAR. What could possibly go wrong? Things to know going into this book: it’s not your typical throwaway mystery or thriller with numerous murders and whodunnits. It’s not really something you can tear through without thinking, or read like a normally plotted mystery. Instead, it’s a pretty heavy psychological portrait of several very intriguing characters. And the writing is lovely and far more literary than most in this genre. The writing will pull you in. I was completely drawn into Betty’s complicated world. Also, be aware that though this book is completely compelling on every page, it’s more of a slow burn with an intense psychological build. Shutter is a love poem to dark, classic Hollywood films. I felt the influence of Vertigo, Of Mice and Men, Mulholland Drive and of course, Cape Fear. I was totally immersed in the story throughout, just as Anthony’s actors were immersed in the film to its harrowing conclusion. My only negative note is that the ending neglected to explain one crucial issue. It’s clear this was done by design, and it’s effective, but I still wanted a particular resolution. Nevertheless, this doesn’t take much away from the fantastic reading experience. Melissa Larsen is a beautiful writer and a standout in the psychological drama genre. This book was totally unique - it’s been a long time since a book took such hold of me and made me leave the world behind. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. 4.75 stars. Thanks to Berkeley, NetGalley and the author for the ARC of this compelling and immersive story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diana | Book of Secrets

    The premise of SHUTTER held so much potential, but overall this book was a miss for me. The story follows Betty Roux, a young woman who moves across the country to New York, trying to escape the grief of losing her father. Betty's dream is to be an actress, and a childhood friend hooks her up with a hot director who's filming an homage (of sorts) to Cape Fear on a private island off the coast of Maine. Poor Betty was so naïve! She doesn't hesitate to accept the role as Lola, even though there ar The premise of SHUTTER held so much potential, but overall this book was a miss for me. The story follows Betty Roux, a young woman who moves across the country to New York, trying to escape the grief of losing her father. Betty's dream is to be an actress, and a childhood friend hooks her up with a hot director who's filming an homage (of sorts) to Cape Fear on a private island off the coast of Maine. Poor Betty was so naïve! She doesn't hesitate to accept the role as Lola, even though there are so many red flags. Remote location. Only five cast/crew members. Unscripted. Hidden cameras. Once there, the director wants to completely change Betty's look. And then there's something weird going on with the island's caretaker. Most of the book was a very slow build up to the big reveal at the end, and the reasoning behind the twist seemed so petty. Meh. I did enjoy the atmosphere created, and though the pacing was slow I stayed curious to see how things would play out. It just wasn't the the thriller I was expecting from the blurb. The author's writing style did keep me hooked, and I'm curious to see where she goes in her next book. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    It is very hard to describe a book like Shutter by Melissa Larsen, which seemed to me like a mix of horror and psychological thriller. We have the secluded location on a private island, and it actually gave me some major gothic vibes. We also have a cast of mostly unlikeable characters including Betty herself. I am not sure if the reader was supposed to like her, but there was something about her that made me not love her. This was fine for me though, and it didn't make me want to stop reading i It is very hard to describe a book like Shutter by Melissa Larsen, which seemed to me like a mix of horror and psychological thriller. We have the secluded location on a private island, and it actually gave me some major gothic vibes. We also have a cast of mostly unlikeable characters including Betty herself. I am not sure if the reader was supposed to like her, but there was something about her that made me not love her. This was fine for me though, and it didn't make me want to stop reading in the least. Larsen's writing is very unique, and it gave off an eerie vibe the entire time I was reading this. It is a slow burn overall, but we get a burst of action at the end, and I felt a lot of dread and trepidation throughout the whole story. I just knew we were building up to something, and boy were we. The writing style was very literary for being horror/thriller so that is something to consider before you pick it up. I also liked that you actually had to think about the plot of Shutter, and it's not something you can really fly through although I feel like I still did. This is a pretty dark read and brings up some interesting and hard topics. I ended up listening to the audiobook and I think if you aren't a fan of slower burns that would be the way to go with this one. The narrator is Megan Tusing who I don't think I have ever listened to before, but she really nailed Betty's voice and character. I listened to the audio all in one day and actually had a hard time putting it down. I read a couple of reviews that say Shutter is like an ode to old Hollywood films, and I mean I could see this book making a great movie. I haven't watched any of the dark classic films, but from what I know of them, this is spot on to what they are like. I really liked this debut and was very satisfied with the ending, so I will definitely be watching for Larsen's next novel! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. Oh boy, this books was absolutely not for me. I’ve tried really hard to think of positive things to say about it and the only thing I can think of is that I actually felt the need to finish it, instead of DNF-ing it. I wish I would have DNF-ed it, though. The characters were all awful. Every last one of them. There was no one to root for. No one to connect with. I could not for the life of me understand why everyone was s I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. Oh boy, this books was absolutely not for me. I’ve tried really hard to think of positive things to say about it and the only thing I can think of is that I actually felt the need to finish it, instead of DNF-ing it. I wish I would have DNF-ed it, though. The characters were all awful. Every last one of them. There was no one to root for. No one to connect with. I could not for the life of me understand why everyone was so drawn to narcissistic Anthony. Or why Betty just rolled over every time he said “trust me,” even though he had done absolutely nothing to prove himself worthy of trust. And Betty. The story is told through her first person POV and it was a trial to be stuck in her head. I think we’re supposed to give her a pass because she’s still grieving over the loss of a parent, but that does not make up for the never ending parade of stupid decisions she made. While the plot of making a mysterious movie on a secluded island sounded like it would be creepy and entertaining, I ended up just rolling my eyes at the whole thing. Anthony’s motivation was childish and psychopathic, as was Sammy’s character. The whole thing was just ridiculous and then the ending was super anti-climactic. Overall, I did not enjoy Shutter at all. I kept waiting for some great twist to be revealed that would make everything worth it, but it never came. The awful characters and ridiculous plot made this a chore to get through. While this book is obviously not for me, I have seen some much better reviews on it, so it might be worth the read for others. Overall Rating (out of 5): 1 Star

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    The synopsis for Shutter grabbed my attention immediately, and I was so excited to check out this book. The concept was really intriguing to me, but this book starts out slow and confusing. It took me a while to get invested - somewhere around 35%. Normally I would have DNFd by that point, but again, I wanted to see what happened with the synopsis. It had my attention for a bit in the middle, but then lost me again, and the story continued to lose steam as the book went on. The reveals felt silly The synopsis for Shutter grabbed my attention immediately, and I was so excited to check out this book. The concept was really intriguing to me, but this book starts out slow and confusing. It took me a while to get invested - somewhere around 35%. Normally I would have DNFd by that point, but again, I wanted to see what happened with the synopsis. It had my attention for a bit in the middle, but then lost me again, and the story continued to lose steam as the book went on. The reveals felt silly, and I thought it would be more sinister. All of the characters were annoying, and the main character's decisions didn't make any sense. It felt really far-fetched after a while. There was also a chapter focused on a suicide in the past, and it was gratuitous since it didn't really make a difference for the overall story whether it was there or not. So, this book didn't really work for me. CW - suicide of a parent (with some graphic details), nonconsensual kiss

  11. 5 out of 5

    Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)

    Shutter sounded really good: mysterious movie on a deserted island?! However, the story was boring: nothing the characters did made sense and parts seemed to go on longer than necessary. I felt like I was reading all the Thriller/Horror movie cliches together in one book. Good concept, poor execution. This was a debut, so I will seek out the author's next book and hope it's better Shutter sounded really good: mysterious movie on a deserted island?! However, the story was boring: nothing the characters did made sense and parts seemed to go on longer than necessary. I felt like I was reading all the Thriller/Horror movie cliches together in one book. Good concept, poor execution. This was a debut, so I will seek out the author's next book and hope it's better

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    7Shutter is a novel about a young woman dealing with the grief of a father that passed away. Betty moves to New York where she reunites with a childhood friend, and through Sophia and her boyfriend has the opportunity to star in an unconventional film inspired by Cape Fear. What Larsen does well: build a a sense of dread through the story, increasing suspense without graphic gord and horror. She sets setting and scene very well infusing the story with a creepiness. What I find somewhat weak throu 7Shutter is a novel about a young woman dealing with the grief of a father that passed away. Betty moves to New York where she reunites with a childhood friend, and through Sophia and her boyfriend has the opportunity to star in an unconventional film inspired by Cape Fear. What Larsen does well: build a a sense of dread through the story, increasing suspense without graphic gord and horror. She sets setting and scene very well infusing the story with a creepiness. What I find somewhat weak throughout the tale is characterization as there is a lot of internal dialogue and point of view from Betty's perspective yet she and the others still seem somewhat shallow 2 dimensional people.. Overall an entertaining psychological thriller that will drive some readers batty due to this flaw and a few small ones but if you are a casual reader that is looking for escapism I recommend Shutter. Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for a copy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)

    With a strong sense of foreboding and a steady, slow burn, this was one I struggled to put down and couldn’t wait to pick back up! After her father’s death by suicide, Betty moves to NYC to escape her old life and redefine herself. She crashes on her friend Sofia’s couch until she can meet with Sofia and Ben’s director friend Anthony to discuss his upcoming project. When Anthony and Betty meet, the chemistry is instant and Anthony knows immediately that she will be perfect for his new film. But w With a strong sense of foreboding and a steady, slow burn, this was one I struggled to put down and couldn’t wait to pick back up! After her father’s death by suicide, Betty moves to NYC to escape her old life and redefine herself. She crashes on her friend Sofia’s couch until she can meet with Sofia and Ben’s director friend Anthony to discuss his upcoming project. When Anthony and Betty meet, the chemistry is instant and Anthony knows immediately that she will be perfect for his new film. But when they arrive at the location and there is no script and no plan, yet everyone else seems to know more about the plot and film than she does, Betty starts to wonder if she hasn’t made a huge - and dangerous - mistake. This book was definitely a slow burn and I wouldn’t recommend for anyone who needs an action driven plot. The suspense builds on every page but really doesn’t come to a culmination until the book is nearly finished. This also isn’t a novel that’s tied up with a pretty bow at the end. I loved the loose ends and questions that Larsen left the reader with though I know that will be a point of contention for some readers! I didn’t love Betty’s character or necessarily feel or understand the chemistry between her and Anthony but I thought it all worked well for the storyline. I often wondered at the decisions Betty made and her self consciousness and mistrust felt authentic, particularly given her history. What I loved most about the story is how unique it was. I’ve really never read anything like it. I loved that they were creating a movie (it felt super Blair Witch Project to me!) and though it was supposed to be a “reality” horror film, we had no other details. This technique really kept me flipping pages and eager to learn to more. Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a copy of this novel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe

    Thank you so much to Berkley Press, Melissa Larsen, and Netgalley for my ARC of Shutter that comes out June 15! This book is about a woman struggling to find her place. When she meets a filmmaker and agrees to be part of his latest project, she doesn’t have much to lose. When he tells her she has to live in a cabin on a private island for a month, she jumps at the chance. She is running from her past and thinks it is a great opportunity. But when the director turns her into a whole new person, s Thank you so much to Berkley Press, Melissa Larsen, and Netgalley for my ARC of Shutter that comes out June 15! This book is about a woman struggling to find her place. When she meets a filmmaker and agrees to be part of his latest project, she doesn’t have much to lose. When he tells her she has to live in a cabin on a private island for a month, she jumps at the chance. She is running from her past and thinks it is a great opportunity. But when the director turns her into a whole new person, she isn’t sure where this film is going. Then, as he slowly reveals the point of his film, she isn’t sure what is acting and what is real danger. Thoughts: I loved the way this story built throughout the chapters. It’s like each layer piled on top of the next to create a creepy and mysterious story. This book is a psychological thriller, and you find yourself inside Betty’s mind for most of the story. It is a very slow build up and I think that was so the reader could feel like they were trapped there on the island. I did wish that there was more to the story. I kept waiting for a big twist to come, and when it did, it wasn’t all that shocking. I enjoyed the characters, but only two had any depth or backstory. The rest were one dimensional and really there just to prop up the two main characters. I did enjoy the parallels to classic Hollywood films, and the writing was very easy to read and get immersed in. While the plot was fantastic, the story line needed more. 3-stars

  15. 5 out of 5

    ShanKL (ShopCoffeeKids - Instagram)

    This book was one long rambling narrative from the main character, Betty, who is incredibly naive, gullible and childish. I did not enjoy Shutter, and kept waiting for something to make everything worth it but it never came. Audio: 9 hour 48 minutes Published June 15, 2021 Thank you Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary copy of The Shutter for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    Well well well... what have we here.... SHUTTER's premise is quite intriguing and once you get into the first few chapters, you know something eerie is going to happen but poor little Betty and her starry eyes are too enamored with Anthony and her acting debut to care. Bring on the oopsie and the doopsie! I really wanted to like this more but it was sooooo slow for my particular pace. I do love the fact that this film project is basically, "act natural and we'll edit as we need it".... alrighty Well well well... what have we here.... SHUTTER's premise is quite intriguing and once you get into the first few chapters, you know something eerie is going to happen but poor little Betty and her starry eyes are too enamored with Anthony and her acting debut to care. Bring on the oopsie and the doopsie! I really wanted to like this more but it was sooooo slow for my particular pace. I do love the fact that this film project is basically, "act natural and we'll edit as we need it".... alrighty then. Check one, two, three on already things that would make me go hmmm.... but still color me intrigued! I will say that the last few chapters really came with a punch, albeit a bit shark jumpy... but I didn't mind too much - I just kinda wish it was like this throughout the book. I considered putting this down a few times but I was just curious enough to see where it was going to go. As a debut, I do believe Larsen shines - there's some bumps in the journey but it is clear she is talented and I look forward to whatever she has coming for us readers next. Lesson learned: don't go somewhere isolated for a month with a group of people you don't know that well. 😏

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Trussoni

    Betty, a pretty, somewhat lost young woman, moves to New York City after her father’s suicide. She wants to become an actress, and her dream is realized when Anthony, a successful filmmaker, casts her as Lola in a remake of “Cape Fear.” It’s a challenging role, he warns her, and will be a difficult shoot, but he thinks she’s perfect for the job — she is “impossible to look away from.” When Anthony takes Betty and a skeleton crew out to his family’s private island in Maine, it becomes clear that t Betty, a pretty, somewhat lost young woman, moves to New York City after her father’s suicide. She wants to become an actress, and her dream is realized when Anthony, a successful filmmaker, casts her as Lola in a remake of “Cape Fear.” It’s a challenging role, he warns her, and will be a difficult shoot, but he thinks she’s perfect for the job — she is “impossible to look away from.” When Anthony takes Betty and a skeleton crew out to his family’s private island in Maine, it becomes clear that the film and its director are not what Betty believed them to be. The feature is to be shot like a reality TV show. There are hidden cameras all over the island, and no scripts or narrative to speak of. Soon, the boundaries between Betty’s life on and off camera fall away. She must become Lola, subject to everything this fictional character endures, a form of extreme Method acting with dire consequences. While Larsen’s skill at setting up a suspenseful story is deft, the novel’s true power lies in her exploration of Betty’s mind, showing how a talented, intelligent woman slowly — through self-doubt, insecurity and inexperience — exposes herself to danger. There is something of the naïve yet steely narrator of Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca” in Betty: She is both the victim and architect of her own tragedy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    2.5 Stars I really wanted to love this book. I felt like a voyeur while reading it and the writing was very well done and it was very atmospheric. I especially loved the premise of the story BUT it was a really slow burn of a novel. And although I usually like slow burners...this one didn't get exciting until 75% in and then the "surprise" was kinda anti climatic and by the time I got to it I was already disinterested. Disclosure: Thank you NetGalley, Melissa Larsen and Berkley Publis 2.5 Stars I really wanted to love this book. I felt like a voyeur while reading it and the writing was very well done and it was very atmospheric. I especially loved the premise of the story BUT it was a really slow burn of a novel. And although I usually like slow burners...this one didn't get exciting until 75% in and then the "surprise" was kinda anti climatic and by the time I got to it I was already disinterested. Disclosure: Thank you NetGalley, Melissa Larsen and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #Shutter #NetGalley

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krissy (books_and_biceps9155)

    In the wake of her father's death, Betty Roux doesn't allow herself to grieve. Instead, she runs away from everyone and moves to New York City. She doesn't know why, she just runs. When she's offered the chance to play the leading role in the famous filmmaker Anthony Marino's new project, she excepts. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother tells her it’s a bad idea but she doesn’t listen. Anthony has her emb In the wake of her father's death, Betty Roux doesn't allow herself to grieve. Instead, she runs away from everyone and moves to New York City. She doesn't know why, she just runs. When she's offered the chance to play the leading role in the famous filmmaker Anthony Marino's new project, she excepts. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother tells her it’s a bad idea but she doesn’t listen. Anthony has her embody her role as Lola. Betty is happy to reinvent herself except for when she meets Sammy, the island's caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director. Ahhh...they all can’t be five stars. This story was highly (and I mean highly) unbelievable. The main character is extremely naive. A majority of the action happens within the last 20 pages and it is extremely slow moving. That being said, for a debut, I thought it still kept my attention. How, may you ask since I just talked all that shit? Curiosity kills the cat and I HAD to see what the hell was going to happen. I think it takes special talent to keep a reader strung along even when they aren’t truly vested. I look forward to what else Melissa Larsen has but all in all this was a dud for me guys. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Thank you Netgalley and Berkeley Publishing for my advance copy!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. After her father commits suicide, a young woman hies to NYC to become an actress. She's staying with friends and working as a dog walker when she gets an audition with a famous cult director. They along with another actor, and some crew go to an isolated cabin in Maine, put cameras all over the place. The actress gets her hair cut and dyed, and plays a character named Lola in this unscripted movie. Reminded me a lot of the movie Shadow of the Vampire, about t I won this book in a goodreads drawing. After her father commits suicide, a young woman hies to NYC to become an actress. She's staying with friends and working as a dog walker when she gets an audition with a famous cult director. They along with another actor, and some crew go to an isolated cabin in Maine, put cameras all over the place. The actress gets her hair cut and dyed, and plays a character named Lola in this unscripted movie. Reminded me a lot of the movie Shadow of the Vampire, about the power of the camera and movies.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Thank you so much for the Netgalley eARC copy of this book for the blog tour. Shutter by Melissa Larsen is a great debut full of exciting twists but in a slow burn kind of a way. I thought that the dark atmosphere was well written that did give me the creepy vibes while reading this book. But more than that, the characters were very well thought out in a psychological thriller premise that slowly unravels through the story in a very complex way. I found that to be the highlight of this book in th Thank you so much for the Netgalley eARC copy of this book for the blog tour. Shutter by Melissa Larsen is a great debut full of exciting twists but in a slow burn kind of a way. I thought that the dark atmosphere was well written that did give me the creepy vibes while reading this book. But more than that, the characters were very well thought out in a psychological thriller premise that slowly unravels through the story in a very complex way. I found that to be the highlight of this book in that the writing will really draw you in. I thought this was a phenomenal debut I enjoyed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eliza Brazier

    "An immediately engrossing tale about intimacy and identity. Shutter will keep you guessing until the final shot. Melissa Larson is one to watch.” "An immediately engrossing tale about intimacy and identity. Shutter will keep you guessing until the final shot. Melissa Larson is one to watch.”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy Phelps

    I...thought the main character was kinda stupid. And made stupid decisions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Escape_in_a_Book

    I received a complimentary eARC of this title via the publisher. All comments and opinions are my own. Based on the synopsis, I’m assuming that’s why you’re here. It sounds so good right?! It’s why I had such ***high*** hope for this book. On the surface it seems like this has everything I need for my reader brain to fall in love with a psychological thriller. Suffice to say, this is not the summer blow me away thriller I was hoping it would be. With a strong start I was engaged and then… slow. I received a complimentary eARC of this title via the publisher. All comments and opinions are my own. Based on the synopsis, I’m assuming that’s why you’re here. It sounds so good right?! It’s why I had such ***high*** hope for this book. On the surface it seems like this has everything I need for my reader brain to fall in love with a psychological thriller. Suffice to say, this is not the summer blow me away thriller I was hoping it would be. With a strong start I was engaged and then… slow. Slooooowwww. This may be the slowest moving plot in slowburn suspense ever penned. At several times I felt the story had lost its direction.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alix

    Ahhhhhhhhhehhhhhh. There's a TikTok (or maybe it's a Reel?) where there's this guy and he's all excited to see a girl then she takes off her mask and he's like 😳. That's me with this book. I read the synopsis and was like 'OMG I WANT/NEED THIS BOOK! (thanks to Berkley and Netgalley for my copies!), then upon actually finishing the book I was like ehhhh. Ahhhhhhhhhehhhhhh. There's a TikTok (or maybe it's a Reel?) where there's this guy and he's all excited to see a girl then she takes off her mask and he's like 😳. That's me with this book. I read the synopsis and was like 'OMG I WANT/NEED THIS BOOK! (thanks to Berkley and Netgalley for my copies!), then upon actually finishing the book I was like ehhhh.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bridge

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Woof. Okay, as a writer myself I am always hesitant to truly criticize another’s work, because even writers of plot-hole smattered FanFic put their heart and soul into their writing. But jeez. I did finish the novel. It’s what I could call a Beach Read. At about 350 pages it wasn’t impossible to crack out in a day. But I also found myself skimming sections of it (once a whole chapter) for reasons I’ll explain shortly. First: as an actress and an indie filmmaker in my own right, this author seems to Woof. Okay, as a writer myself I am always hesitant to truly criticize another’s work, because even writers of plot-hole smattered FanFic put their heart and soul into their writing. But jeez. I did finish the novel. It’s what I could call a Beach Read. At about 350 pages it wasn’t impossible to crack out in a day. But I also found myself skimming sections of it (once a whole chapter) for reasons I’ll explain shortly. First: as an actress and an indie filmmaker in my own right, this author seems to know nothing about what goes into acting or creating a film (which is what the book is about); now, perhaps the fact that her characters are breaking the rules of *personal safety* and COMMON SENSE are intentional, but really it left me with the feeling that her characters are foolish and possibly unreliable narrators. Anthony, the filmmaker, comes off as INTENSELY troubling from the start, taking advantage of our narrator’s vague, drunken acceptance of the role in his film (deciding to bleach and cut her hair against her will—not to mention a weird, voyeuristic moment of semi nudity?? *discomfort*) Betty herself seems to have no personality aside from Looking Strikingly Pretty while Feeling Ugly, a trope we are all weary of. And she can’t seem to stick to a decision. She plans on breaking off and leaving a few times. Just pick a lane, child. Then there’s the Dad of it all: Betty’s main issue is that her dad committed suicide. Throughout the book, she makes references back to trips and walks and adventures they took together, but rather than revealing anything about Betty, we just hear about her dad. While this may seem like it fuels the explanation of her grief for needing to get away and take a risk like being in this stupid movie, what it really does is splinter the through-line and pull attention away from the Action of the plot, JUST when you’re kind of getting into it. I skimmed a whole lot because I didn’t care about her dad going to the Zoo. I just didn’t see what that had to do with anything. My final true criticism is that this book could have ended with a real Blow, that would have risen it at LEAST another Star in my rating, if the author had made the more painful (but ultimately more rewarding) choice in ending it. She had two (metaphorical) roads in the wood. One would have made her earlier descriptions of a character consistent, static, and heartbreaking; the other leaves the audience feeling like they just don’t care. It wasn’t a warm, feel good ending. It was lazy. Melissa’s writing is alright, in general. I feel like she has much yet to learn about driving a narrative, and not cutting in with ultimately unnecessary back plot.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Megan Leprich

    This book immediately intrigued me by the spookiness of the cover and the synopsis, I was definitely getting Friday the 13th vibes. I was expecting to read something so horrifying that I would have nightmares and be forced to sleep with my lights on, head tucked tight under my covers. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for me with this book. Beth has left her hometown to move to New York City after her father passes away from suicide and to get away from her neurotic mother that tries to control This book immediately intrigued me by the spookiness of the cover and the synopsis, I was definitely getting Friday the 13th vibes. I was expecting to read something so horrifying that I would have nightmares and be forced to sleep with my lights on, head tucked tight under my covers. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for me with this book. Beth has left her hometown to move to New York City after her father passes away from suicide and to get away from her neurotic mother that tries to control her entire life. There she meets Anthony Marino who she is low-key obsessed with after watching his movie (even though she tries to play it off that she hasn’t seen it). As her luck would have it, Anthony is filming a new movie and is in need of an actress and she auditions and receives the part. After arriving at a private island and realizing there’s no script and there are cameras literally everywhere Beth starts to feel hesitant about this movie and her part as a pawn in all of it. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen as they were supposed to be filming a horror-esque movie but most of the book was very slow and nothing too exciting happened. It wasn’t until the end when things started to really pick up and get twisty but I wasn’t impressed by any of the twists, I was expecting more of a heart racing, whirlwind thriller and this one fell flat. Beth’s character irritated me throughout the book with how naive and obtuse she was being. I understand she was still reeling from her father’s death and trying to make it on her own but girlfriend’s radar was telling her things weren’t right a lot in this book and she chose to ignore it all. I also didn’t understand her obsession with Anthony. He was so cocky and self-centered with a certain “charisma” that I guess was appealing to her but turned me off from his as a character. The idea behind this story is why I’m giving it two stars instead of one, the premise was great but the follow-through didn’t work for me. *Many thanks to Berkley Books and NetGalley for the free copy for my review*

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    My Review of SHUTTER By Author Melissa Larsen Gifted & Published by #BerkleyPartner @BerkleyBooks On Sale 6/15/21 - Purchase Link in my Bio ****** First off this book started and stayed for about 3/4 through like a car driving on all flat tires. You were moving but not very fast. I at several times fought myself wanting to stop but I stuck with it until the end. I do admit at about that 1/4 of the end of the book, the action and mystery was finally going somewhere and I was so intrigued that I couldn My Review of SHUTTER By Author Melissa Larsen Gifted & Published by #BerkleyPartner @BerkleyBooks On Sale 6/15/21 - Purchase Link in my Bio ****** First off this book started and stayed for about 3/4 through like a car driving on all flat tires. You were moving but not very fast. I at several times fought myself wanting to stop but I stuck with it until the end. I do admit at about that 1/4 of the end of the book, the action and mystery was finally going somewhere and I was so intrigued that I couldn’t put it down. It had me thinking that everything I just sat through was well worth it…that is until the end. It seemed rushed and an unlikely story that would happen in real life. I was so looking forward to this one and my heart was not shuttered but shattered. ****** Betty just needs to getaway after her father’s suicide and finds the comfort and new beginning with an old friend, Sophia and her boyfriend Ben. Leaving her Mother behind and breaking up with her boyfriend, she moves to New York City and finds herself staying on their couch and dog walking to make money. She has it in her mind that she wants to become an actress; eventhough she’s never acted before. Sofia and Ben have a friend who just became famous for his first film debut and he’s planning another but he’s waiting to find just the perfect girl. So Sofia and Ben set Betty up on an audition with Anthony. Although it’s not exactly your typical audition. Almost immediately Betty is told she has the part but there are no scripts. They arrive at the cabin off the Coast of Maine where the five person cast is set to live and film 24 hours a day. Before she knows it, Betty is now renamed Lola and Anthony has cut and bleached her hair on his own. No one has any idea of a synopsis or plot and it seems Anthony’s secrets will soon divulge themselves and the plot revealed but by then everything has already been set in motion and their fates all rely on revenge and betrayal.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    Betty is "tall, thin and lost." She's just Anthony Marino's type. Anthony is Hollywood's it boy and he thinks Betty is perfect for his new project. He offers her $40,000 to join the film which has no script and will require her to change her appearance and spend a few weeks in a remote Maine cabin with the very small cast. For a young, broke actress looking for her big break it sounds like the perfect summer project. The writing is very atmospheric and builds a clear picture of isolation and cree Betty is "tall, thin and lost." She's just Anthony Marino's type. Anthony is Hollywood's it boy and he thinks Betty is perfect for his new project. He offers her $40,000 to join the film which has no script and will require her to change her appearance and spend a few weeks in a remote Maine cabin with the very small cast. For a young, broke actress looking for her big break it sounds like the perfect summer project. The writing is very atmospheric and builds a clear picture of isolation and creepiness as they arrive at the cabin. Between booze and bad weather, Betty's paranoia about what this project actually is begins to hit a fever pitch. She's dealing with her father's recent suicide and her demons make her much more accepting of the red flags she sees in Anthony. All throughout the story she is balancing between her growing feelings for him and her unease at just what this film is rooted in. Is it a creative project or a harsh dose of revenge? The writing was good, there were times where I was as suspicious as Betty and times where I was just thinking you signed up for this and all you've done is complain. The story crosses a line from creepy to violent and it doesn't look back. The movie within the story is based on Cape Fear and I'd say that it does a great job of encapsulating that madness. I was waiting for a bigger twist than the ones that happened. Truly I would label this one more as horror than thriller but if you like creepy revenge stories then this one will be for you. Thanks to Berkley Books for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sunsettowers

    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself. First things first: this cover is absolutely gorgeous, one of the best covers I've seen this year. Now on to the story: After Betty's father's death, she flees her entire life, leaving everyone and everything behind to sleep on a childhood friend's lumpy couch in NYC. Her friend and her friend's boyfriend, it turns out, have connections to the infamous I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself. First things first: this cover is absolutely gorgeous, one of the best covers I've seen this year. Now on to the story: After Betty's father's death, she flees her entire life, leaving everyone and everything behind to sleep on a childhood friend's lumpy couch in NYC. Her friend and her friend's boyfriend, it turns out, have connections to the infamous filmmaker Anthony Marino, who is finally making his second film. After meeting Anthony, Betty gets offered the role of Lola, and told the film will entail spending a month living in a cabin, on an isolated island, with just the other four people involved in making the movie. Betty has reservations, but she is already completely enthralled by Anthony, and it isn't until they arrive on the island that Betty truly realizes what Anthony meant when he titled his new film Fear. This is one very creepy book. The scares build slowly, shrouded in mist and the forest, reminding readers just how isolated Betty is and how little she knows about what is happening around her and to her. By the time I reached those last few chapters, I was holding my breath and turning pages frantically, completely caught up in the terror. This is a quick, gripping read, one I was very glad I was reading in the middle of a bustling city.

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