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Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite
Snapshots: Say Cheese! The World is Watching by Cara Cilento is a book filled with emotion and a true journey of self-love and acceptance. What happens when you grow up in the close community of the suburbs where everyone is expected to be a certain way and you find yourself asking, "Why am I not like everyone else?" When faced with the pressure of a family and society that expect you to be one thing but you are another, you must make a choice. Do you fade into the wallpaper and do your best to be invisible? Do you go against what you feel is your true self and make yourself fit in? Do you throw all caution to the wind and rebel against it all? Author Cara Cilento has written a work that is so relevant to what is going on in the world today and so enlightening. Personally, I think it should become required reading for everyone. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this emotional story uses that adage to its full advantage; telling you the emotional journey of one woman’s path to coming of age and self-acceptance so fully and viscerally it will stay with you.
I am someone who likes to use multiple mediums to express my truth and the emotions I am feeling. So, for me, I connected instantly with the author's use of images, poetry and more traditional prose to tell her story. Everyone has their own journey of self-discovery but I do believe women, especially women who do not conform to what society thinks they should be, have a harder time of it and this book demonstrates the entire buffet of issues faced. While I know the story being told in this book is not mine directly, I felt as if it was. That was how deeply I found myself relating. This is a raw, emotional and unflinching look at one woman’s journey in life, and yet it could be the story of all women as well. Thank you, Ms. Cilento, for the privilege of being able to read about your journey and struggle. Moreover, thank you for sharing the fact that it may be painful and it may take time but we can reach a point where we love ourselves, perceived flaws and all.