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…

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand (♦♦♦♦)

The summer in Nantucket came with promise…But on June 20, Tess and Greg McAvoy sailed away for a day to celebrate their twelfth wedding anniversary and drowned instead. Their six closest friends (Andrea and Ed Kapenash, Delilah and Jeffrey Drake, and Phoebe and Addison Wheeler) were devastated by the news, some more than others. But nothing could prepare Tess and Greg’s seven-year-old twin children for the loss of their parents.

Tess and Greg had weathered a rocky year in their marriage, thanks in part to a student accusing Greg of sexual misconduct, which was later withdrawn. The lies or half truths haunted their relationship ever since. Tess left Greg for a week, but decided to take him back; Andrea asked Tess to. On their anniversary they had little to celebrate, but wanted to mend fences and start again stronger than ever.

Andrea Kapenash, the chief of police’s wife, was Tess’ first cousin. They practically grew up together, thus Andrea always felt protective of Tess, almost as Tess’ second mother. When Tess was a child, she came close to drowning and Andrea always felt guilty of it, reason why she couldn’t forgive herself when her fear came true that summer.

With their dear friends dead, the three remaining couples failed to cope with grief. They went through every stage of the grieving process without finding relief. Then, ultimately, it was confessing each other’s sins and transgressions that they found absolution, and the will to move on with their lives.

I really liked this book. I was so disappointed in this author after I finished The Blue Bistro that I thought I was done with Hilderbrand’s stories…Then I read Silver Girl, which was mildly good, and now this one. Well, I’m glad to report that I liked this book even more than I liked The Island, and that is saying something…

The Castaways is a juicy cocktail of marital betrayal, hidden secrets, furtive attractions, longing, tense alliances and redemption. The Castaways, as The Island, is told from several characters’ points of views (six in this case). Lurid details make the story come alive according to the character telling it; the result is a raw portrayal of flawed yet strikingly human characters and emotions.

I usually dislike, in books as well as in movies, to read or to watch a tragedy unfold from the very beginning because it is difficult to feel any emotion towards the deceased considering one didn’t know them. In this book, Hilderbrand gets away with it thanks to the perspectives of Tess and Greg’s friends. We get to know the deceased couple due to their friends’ recounts of their characters, flaws, ups and downs as individuals and as a couple.

Recommended as a summer read and if you like juicy, emotional stories.


  1. A new book from Elin or one I missed???? I didn't know about this one. THANKS for sharing.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved March Edition I am in that list as #15.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

    1. I really liked this one, it's very juicy. Though I don't think it's that new.
      I'll check your post in a few.
      Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth.


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