Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Erlina of Whispering Pines by J.J. Burgess (♦♦♦½)

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Erlina (Gunn) Andersen is a determined, strong woman to whom life has dealt painful blows, first by losing both of her parents at an early age, and then losing both grandparents years later in a freak accident. At the time the novel starts, year 1880, Erlina has recently lost her husband to pneumonia. She and her children have the full support of her loyal friends and two of her servants, when she learns that she has lost her grandparents’ rather grand property Florette Manor because of her late husband’s gambling addiction.

As she learns from a trusted friend that she has inherited a modest property far away from Sydney Town, she readies for her new life at Whispering Pines in Van Dieman’s Land. To make a living, Erlina decides to train horses for racing, but she encounters serious opposition from local businessmen because she is a woman. Her partnership with Jason Caird--the man who bought Florette Manor and who also owns a neighboring property in Van Dieman’s Land—will prove useful for them both. Through the years, Erlina will uncover family secrets and also learn that her past and Jason Caird’s are intertwined.

I liked this book very much. It is very easy to read; the story flows. The first hundred pages are full of trivial aspects, but those are essential to set the pace and get to know the characters. As the book progresses, it becomes engrossing, so it feels effortless to empathize with all the characters. Family secrets, business rivalries and mystery are well incorporated to this concoction with fascinating results.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Erlina of Whispering Pines by J.J. Burgess as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

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