All That Really Matters – Nicole Deese

“Because I was no longer the practiced smile and perfectly made-up face I was two months ago. Nor was I the selfless leader I’d tried and failed to become. I was a woman lost to the in-between, an identity divided between two versions of herself she could no longer accept. Because neither were complete.”

All That Really Matters is such a wonderful read. It has all the things I love in a book: Slight hints at romance here and there, drama, life issues, real wisdom and God. The main character, Molly, is great. She is fun, lovable impulsive and kind. She has come a long way from the way she was brought up, working hard to make her way to the top as an Influencer on social media. She is very focused on gaining more followers, bigger and better deals, quite happy to use people for her own gains. Until she meets Silas.

Nicole Deese, the author, has done a brilliant job in showing something of the hidden world of children easing out of the foster care system. Easing out is probably not the right word for it, though. Silas runs a special home for young adults, helping them to find their feet. I loved Silas, loved his calm and trustworthiness. Throughout the book, we learn more about Silas, his willingness to give people second chances, although we learn about some of his own secrets as well. Forgiveness is a big message in the book, but why is forgiving strangers often easier than people close to us?

Fiction With a Message at its best!

All That Really Matters is a real page-turner. It doesn’t gloss over hard things that happen in life. It doesn’t pretend that some people’s scars might run so deep, healing will take a lifetime. Not all young people in transitional homes will be able to accept the help and support that is offered to them. Nicole Deese doesn’t pretend that a quick prayer and a hug is going to heal years of trauma. She does leave us with a sense of hope though, and I loved seeing the change in Molly. Silas was so right when he explained that it wasn’t just Molly helping them, they were helping her as well. The young people are inspirational, their resilience shines through, which is heartwarming.

As an adoptive mum, my reading of the book might be different to others, but I was so encouraged by All That Really Matters. I loved the wisdom and kindness in the book, like the way Nicole dealt with the whole Influencer thing, something many people seem to struggle with. She doesn’t airbrush out the problems with social media careers, but I loved her take on using the gifts God has given you. I loved every moment of this book, the characters are fabulous, even Ethan, the manager-boyfriend… (I was so pleased when I guessed stuff about him before Molly did!). I would love to share all the spoilers with you, but I will be good! Now I’m just waiting for the next book, which will have to be about Video Val, I hope…

I received a free copy of this book via Love Books Tours but was under no pressure or obligation to provide a favourable review. These views are my personal opinions.

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