Say Cheese! The World is Watching

Fiction - LGBTQ
108 Pages
Reviewed on 06/02/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Hello! I grew up in a small suburban North Jersey town. My parents did not. They hailed from urban North Jersey. We were a close knit family who pushed success: academic and personal. Most of all, my parents pushed assimilation.

I am a divorced mother with two teenage boys. I haves been a speech therapist for twenty-two years in the public schools.I still live in suburban North Jersey but now on my terms. My inspiration for this book started when I asked myself the question "Who would you become if the world was watching?" It was then I realized that we all have stories and struggles that left an indelible mark on our development. Those stories and struggles should be shared so we can all validate ourselves in our truth.

    Book Review

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.


This book takes you on a wonderful journey of emotions. From start to finish you feel like you are side by side with the author. You can easily relate to her experiences and you may even see yourself in them. Not going down a certain path because of societal pressures. Going forward with other choices because its expected of you. As you dive deeper in, you see the transformation in the author from being in the background to blazing her own path on her terms. You see it in the choice of words and the artwork chosen. The author paints these beautiful pictures with her words which draws you in and the artwork enhances what the author wants to convey. Snapshots: Say Cheese is a read that will stay with you. Definitely a must read for anyone who has ever felt like they were only seen as what they were expected to become and not for who they really are. I was so moved by this book that I have ordered another to give as a gift.

Wendy Rich

...engrossing, moving, insightful, funny, heart-breaking, intelligent, melancholy, non-linear, uplifting, and ultimately triumphant. Employing a masterful combination of poetry, prose, memoir, and photography the author provides her readers with brief time-bound glimpses, or snapshots, that when taken together form a patchwork quilt of a life. Read this book with an open heart and perhaps a box of tissues close at hand.

Shivery Shakes

A book that gives the reader a glimpse of the author’s conscience, enduring courage and immense heart. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to walk down a path of what makes one who they are and whom ever wishes to be inspired by witnessing acceptance in the face of scrutiny along with the exposure of hard lessons and beautiful revelations. Well done and thought provoking giving the reader a sense of true soul cleansing. Can’t wait for the next book.


Snapshots is more than what meets the eye. It is well written and brings the reader from cover to cover into a life where the author is not seen for who she really is. Snapshots elicits emotions which is hard to do through written work. It appears to be laid out chronologically and culminates in the author abandoning expectations and embracing who she is. The cover is a spectacular choice! The photography inside correlates with the written work in parts. That being said, the author is unique because she uses different mediums in the same book. Some of her work is short story and some is poetry. The poetry would be great spoken. But I digress, if you want something different, relatable and a good read I would highly recommend.

Nasty Woman

This emotional read is a raw look into the author's life as a mother, family member, and lesbian. You can feel the pain and suffering felt by each charter and also laugh at a typical Italian family dinner. Who hasn’t experienced a blind date like that in “On Dating”. I’ve met my share of "contents under pressure". On top of the eloquently composed written words, are beautiful images that accent each text. This book will make you feel!


Thoughtful, provocative & real June 5, 2019
This is an enchanting & loving tribute to love. The depth & sensitivity capture your spirit, mind & soul. It’s a gentle, serene & peaceful journey. The artistry, creativity & skill create a spirit of hope & reality. Well done, indeed!