Thursday, April 15, 2021

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese


Molly McKenzie's bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a big paycheck each month. When her manager-turned-boyfriend says she has an audition to appear as a host on a makeover show that nominates underprivileged youth, her dream of further fame seems to be coming true. There's just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.

When her manager-boyfriend convinces her to partner with a local organization, she begins volunteering with a summer youth program. The program's director, Silas Whittaker, challenges her at every turn, but she swiftly grows more attached to the kids--and him--every day.

As Molly experiences an acceptance unlike anything she's known, she wrestles with the lies she's been believing about herself for years. She thought she knew what mattered most in life, but maybe she's had it wrong this whole time, and there's more to being truly seen than what she's built her entire life on.

When I pick up a book by author Nicole Deese, I know that I am in for an emotional, deeply rooted story with smiles, romance and tears.  Her writing is packed with layers and I love it.  Oh!  And I also love this cover.  LOVE it.

This story is so good.  Just wait until that emotional investment kicks in because when it does, BAM.  I liked Molly from the first moments I met her.  Silas took a minute longer but not by much.  Getting to know both these characters bit by bit was fantastic.  They felt so real, so raw.  It felt like I was there with them.  One thing I really loved was that once it was Molly and Silas, it was Molly and Silas.  They were a team and it was them against the world.  They didn't have a falling out, a walking away or a tuning out.  They were there, together for the haul.  That felt so good.

And, speaking of a team.  Wow, the ending of this book felt like a rally.  All people unite and forge ahead together for the good of all.  It was full of all the warm, fuzzy, inspiring feelings.

These characters, all of them, pack emotional hurts and scars.  They battle inner demons and face moral issues.  It is gritty and it is beautiful.  I loved every page of this book.  5/5 stars

Content:  mild violence, kissing, Christian elements

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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