Book Review: Shutter by Melissa Larsen


Title: Shutter

By: Melissa Larsen

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 362

Release Date: June 15th, 2021

Publisher: Berkley Books

Rating: ★★★☆☆


Summary from Goodreads:

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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I have strong feelings about this book and wished it didn't have so many issues for me. 

The pacing was slow and at times it was hard to keep my attention. It there was more excitement or plot twists, then maybe it would have been better. The story its self was odd and seemed to jump from plot line to plot line without holding true to a single point. 

Don't even get me started on the characters. Betty seemed to have daddy and mommy issues that were brought up from time to time, but didn't really feel relevant to the story.  The fact that she felt something was off about the movie opportunity that she had been presented, but continued on with it makes the story feel unrelatable. And the other characters were off and unlikable. 

The only saving grace was the large plot twist at the end that really narrowed down the plot to one storyline. It was powerful and thrilling. If only the entire book had followed this example.

I think the author is talented at putting words together and painting a picture, but needs to focus her plotlines.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. 

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