Monday, April 5, 2021

ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS by Nicole Deese, Reviewed by Kim and Paula #ReleaseDayApril6

Nicole Deese is quickly becoming one of my auto buy authors. I absolutely loved A New Shade of Summer and Before I called You Mine. Both of these novels have a place on my keeper shelf. I love that the storyline for All That Really Matters is so different and that it addresses a topic that definitely needs more attention.

I was quickly drawn into this story. Molly’s personality is bright and engaging and I liked her immediately. Her growth throughout this story was so good and believable. Silas...sigh....Silas is definitely my favorite character! I really loved him. I loved watching his feelings for Molly grow. And I loved his heart for these new adults that have aged out of the foster system.

I really loved that this book was from both Silas and Molly’s POV. It really made me feel like I knew both characters equally. I also enjoyed the secondary characters and I’m hoping there will be a book 2 about Molly’s brother! My one tiny complaint about this story is that I felt like the very end had a bit of an infomercial feeling to it. Don’t miss this one!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 
From the gorgeous cover to the last page I was utterly enthralled with the story of Molly McKenzie. Molly is classy and perky but is hiding behind a mask of her self-importance. She wants to be accepted and to please others. It was informative to see Molly as an influencer for beauty brands and trends. Looking for a stepping-stone to a dream hosting spot, Molly applies to mentor girls at The Bridge, a place of refuge for aged-out foster kids. The director is Silas Whittaker whose dream is to accommodate more youth into his program and help them mature into responsible adults.

Molly and Silas are perfect everyday heroes. Although Molly sees Silas as “a perfectionist with something to prove.” They both come to release control of their lives to God and take their place in His plan and discover what Grace is all about. As Molly begins to make a difference in these girls lives, she learns about herself and realizes that it is much more fulfilling to be a mentor than to be constantly striving for fame and success. Without changing her personality, God changed her focus, priorities and goals. And as a bonus, showed her that miracles still happen.

This story is clever, polished and authentic with wonderful characters and a timely message. “God has uniquely shaped gifts for each one of his uniquely shaped people.”
* A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

BackCover Blurb: 
Molly McKenzie's bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a shiny monthly paycheck. When her manager-turned-boyfriend tells her of an upcoming audition to host a makeover show for America's underprivileged youth, all her dreams finally seem to be coming true. There's just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.
To gain an edge on her competitors, she applies to volunteer at a transitional program for aged-out foster kids during summer, only the program's director, Silas Whittaker, doesn't find her as charming as her followers do. But since forfeiting a goal has never been her style, Molly's only option is to accept the terms Silas lays out and submit to his rules--even the most ridiculous ones pertaining to social media.  

Soon as the residents of the home become more than a means to pad her career resume, and Silas becomes more than an obstacle on her path to fame, her once-narrow focus expands to include the deep needs of those she's serving... and perhaps the ones she's neglected inside herself as well. It took years to build her platform, but only one summer to discover what really matters most.
Bethany House Publishers, April 2021
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