Published by Bloomsbury on November 17th 2015
Genres: Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Holly Mathews' mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in, which means Holly's neighbors are all super-rich retirees. Still, it's not a total bust, because gorgeous, notorious Hollywood playboy Malik Buchannan is the grandson of one of the residents. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly's there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn't correct him, and it probably doesn't matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer Holly lives in Malik's privileged world, the deeper she falls for him and the more difficult it becomes to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing Malik forever. For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this title in the If Only romance line is about how when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself!
When wealthy playboy Malik assumes Holly is another rich relative visiting family in the fancy retirement home her mother manages, she doesn’t correct him. Things between them were never going to get serious – they come from different worlds and in just a few months Holly is leaving for college. But when flirting leads to one date and then another, Holly finds it harder and harder to tell Malik the truth. He’s been hurt by others who have lied to him to get close. How can Holly come clean and without losing her new relationship?
Everything But the Truth is a fun, cute story about first loves. I loved the characters. Holly has an energy about her and a sweet caring rapport with the residents of the retirement home. Although she gets herself into a complex situation by not being entirely factual, there is a sense that she is an honest and generally good person. She does get caught up in trying to maintain the fairy tale rather than reveal the truth but her situation is believable and understandable. The bond between Holly and her mother was very sweet. There is respect between the two of them and an interesting dynamic.
Holly’s relationship with Malik was lovely to read. Their romance felt right and their feelings took time to develop. The conversations between them were lovely to read and the playful banter was a lot of fun. The secondary characters like Holly’s best friend and Malik’s grandfather added a lot of humour and entertainment whilst at the same time bringing both characters back to reality.
One of the things I like most about the If Only line of books – and in particular Everything But the Truth – is how they deal with growing up. Holly is only months away from college and becoming an adult. This book manages to show how mature she is becoming at the same time as showing how she is still a teenager. I loved the romance and appreciated how this love story was developed.
Everything But the Truth is a sweet and lighthearted read I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good story. It’s got romance and fun with great characters and being a clean read (no sex, swearing or violence) is appropriate for a wide audience.