Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Shutter, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Won – thank you Macmillan Teen and Goodreads!
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

Here’s a fair warning: do NOT read this book at night. I had vivid dreams after finishing this one at midnight and they were filled with creepy things chasing me, attacking me, and then finishing me off.

That being said, 
I LOVED Shutter.

I was a little hesitant to start this one because of the size of the book. It’s actually not that thick but since I haven’t been reading many “long” books recently, I will admit that I almost didn’t pick this one up. But me being me and convincing myself that I SHOULD read this one because it’s an ARC and this summer is all about finishing books that I didn’t get to read before, I finally got to reading it. And I didn’t stop. All the way till the end. In one sitting. Even when that meant reading it at late hours when the rest of the house had gone to sleep and I was still awake with one light on.

As you can probably tell, I get freaked out by horror quite easily. Movies, oh sweet heaven, I can’t bear. I can watch any other genre except horror. Okay, well that’s not fair. I can watch it with the volume on very low and my hands covering my eyes except for a prime peaking spot between two fingers. Books on the other hand? I don’t get as freaked out as I do with movies, but this one certainly did me in. Maybe it’s the fact that films have visuals and sound–you must admit, that music is pretty damn scary sometimes *shudders*. But I do love books with super dark twists, particularly psychological thrillers with unexpected endings. Anyway, if Shutter is ever going to become a movie, I will definitely watch it. Through my fingers covering my eyes, of course.

I must have not read the blurb carefully – I didn’t know there was a connection between Shutter and Dracula by Bram Stoker. Must have skipped the line about the Van Helsing lineage, whoops. By the first few pages though, this was made apparent and I had a total freak-out moment. In high school I read Dracula along with Frankenstein for one of my final essays and had to look at gothic themes and literary devices. Stoker’s novel is utterly terrifying during certain parts, but this one had ghosts and other creepy creatures in this book (one of them reminding me of one of Hannibal’s human corpse creations on the TV show Hannibal) which made it even more so. I loved the allusions in Alameda’s novel to the classic text and mentally high-fived myself for knowing some of the references in the story.

I loved all the characters in this story. Micheline (cool name right?) was so kickass. I obviously wouldn’t be as gutsy as she is because she does some pretty risky things in this book and knowing me, I would have run the other way. RY– *swoon*. Wait, sorry lemme try that again: RY– *fans self from heart palpitations*. RYD– *fangirl screech* RY– *sobbing because he’s fictional and will never be mine*. *deep breath* RYDER *faints from over-fangirling and all the swooning*. Annndddd...I’m sure that’s all you need to know about his character. 

Jude and Oliver were such great characters as well. Jude was absolutely hilarious and Oliver was such a sweet geek with a lot of heart. However, I had some mixed feelings about Len Helsing, who is Micheline’s dad. It’s necessary that he is such a character that’s stubborn, and once you peel back the layers and look into their past it all makes sense, so I ended up feeling pretty bad for him. Also, I don’t know why, but I kept imagining him as JR Bourne. Possibly because I’ve watched too much Teen Wolf recently (if there is such a thing as “too much Teen Wolf”), but it’s also the fact that in the show Bourne plays this supernatural creature hunter, much like Len Helsing, and he’s also Alison’s (the main female character) dad. Too many similarities for me not to make this comparison while reading Shutter.

I loved the ending as it was, but if there’s ever going to be a sequel, I SO wouldn’t mind it. The author told me (in a tweet) that there’s not going to be but obviously she’d love to write one... maybe someday. I’m gonna keep my finger’s crossed! Deliciously creepy and filled with body-shuddering descriptions, Shutter will guarantee nightmares and the need for more books by Courtney Alameda.

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  1. Hearing that you loved the ending makes me really want to read it now. I didn't realize how long it was!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. I need to read this one! I LOVE horror! Movies, books... everything! I don't get freaked out by horror books very easily, unfortunately (I'm crazy, I know ;) lol) so I don't think reading it at night will be a problem. Anyway, I've had my eye on this one for a while, so I can't wait to get my hands on it!


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