Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott (♦♦♦)

Tween Jessica "Jesse" Malloy is the only daughter of Hollywood publicist Gabriel Malloy. Gabriel is the man in charge of promoting a relatively unknown Swedish cinematic beauty named Ingrid Bergman. As a Hollywood daughter, Jesse carpools to school with the children of other celebrities, soon getting acquainted with the somewhat reclusive Ingrid Bergman. As years pass by and Bergman’s fame grows, Jesse comes to idolize her, but Bergman’s fall from grace with the American public in 1950—when she falls in love with Italian film director Roberto Rossellini—causes Jesse to question her hero, and the religious faith she has been brought in.

In A Touch of Stardust, Kate Alcott conjured movie magic, but reading The Hollywood Daughter feels like a chore. It is an uninspired family drama played out against the heady times of Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s.

Rather than historical fiction, this is a coming of age story about a girl disappointed by the choices that Ingrid Bergman, her childhood hero, makes in real life. It is a pity that Kate Alcott squandered material that could have made for a juicy and entertaining novel a-la A Touch of Stardust. Instead, there is lots of name dropping and a story and characters that don't ring true.

DISCLAIMER: I received from the publisher a free e-galley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

  1. Okay. So I won't add this one to my TBR list!

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  2. I hate it when that happens. An author who disappoints me after having liked one of her earlier books.

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    1. I know, but all can't be winners.

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  3. What a shame. How disappointing for you.
    Lynn :D

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    1. Yes. Too bad but I'm loving the one I'm reading now. You lose some, you gain some. ;-)

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  4. Too bad, sounds like the premise had potential. I wonder if Alcott will write her next set in Hollywood again ...

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    1. It had potential, but became too sentimental for my taste and didn't work in the end. If it had been exclusively about Ingrid Bergman, perhaps it would have been gold.

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