Tuesday, April 20, 2021

ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS by Nicole Deese, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

“There’s nothing you can sacrifice that’s worthy of what God gives us freely.”

At times witty and fun, at other times deep and thought-provoking, All That Really Matters is sure to tug at the reader’s heartstrings and cause much introspection. Nicole Deese is a master at creating captivating story lines and settings and populating them with colorful, realistic, and engaging characters. This tale is full of fantastic characters that felt real and made me want to get to know them and associate with them. Molly is spunky with a sense of fun, and, at first, seems to be a bit frivolous and superficial. Silas is a wonderful hero--full of compassion and integrity, and dedicated to his mission of helping teens that are aging out of the foster care system. I loved seeing their relationship transform and mature as they each change for the better.
Powerful themes of grace, forgiveness, compassion, hope, and trust in God give added depth and dimension to this stunning, absorbing story. I was hooked from the first page and just kept getting more and more involved in it. I’ve read most of Deese’s books and enjoyed them all, but I think this is my new favorite. If you haven’t read any, do yourself a favor and try this one. You’ll be glad you did. This one is bound for my keeper shelf.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House/NetGalley. 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
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

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