Cover Image: Nothing But the Truth

Nothing But the Truth

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Member Reviews

Starting July off strong with this early look at Holly James’ novel, Nothing But the Truth, which releases July 12. Thank you to @netgalley for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.  

This book grabbed me from page one and didn’t let go. I read it cover-to-cover in the span of just a few hours because it was incredibly engaging and a quick read. 

We follow our protagonist, Lucy, through the eve and day of her 30th birthday wherein it appears a magic spell has been cast and she can’t tell a lie.  But don’t worry, there’s no hocus pocus or fantasy here; this story is a mix of workplace drama, self-discovery, and a rom-com.  

Beyond that, this book is a champion of the #metoo movement, women’s rights, and female empowerment, but not in a way that feels like the concepts are being shoved down your throat.  I genuinely found myself nodding along with some of Lucy’s self-discovery and subsequent actions.  

This was a fantastic read, and had just enough of several different topics to make it interesting and engaging. My favorite character was Oliver, and I’d be cool if James wanted to dedicate a spin-off novel to him. 

Check this one out when it drops in less than 2 weeks!
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This book is in a genre of its own: A female empowerment rom-com. This book addressed societal norms and beliefs widely held in both professional and personal settings that suppress woman and woman’s rights while still having a rom-com element. It was refreshing to read about a character testing the bounds of these norms - and it certainly gave me alot to think about. This book reminded me a lot of the movie ‘Liar Liar’ where our protagonist makes a wish on her birthday for the perfect day and finds she’s unable to tell a lie instead. For that reason, I would give it a 3/5. I would have also liked a bit more comical rom-com bits to lighten it up a bit - and there were a few cringey moments where Lucy, in her attempt to live her truth, inadvertently alienated and mistreated others and.. although it’s great she’s empowered I don’t think that gives her the right to steamroll others (like her ‘meeting’ with Caleb in an attempt to break the curse). Otherwise, a thought provoking novel!

Thank you NetGalley and Dutton for the advanced electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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What a sparkling, funny, all consuming debut!
I started and finished this in under 24 hours - it was delightful, funny, witty - it truly sparkled and left me wanting much more from Holly James.

I finished this book with a literal smile on my face! I couldn’t put this one down and got annoyed when work got in the way, but I absolutely loved this charming debut.. We had a fierce female lead, a dash of Me Too, some wish malfunctions and a 30th birthday for the books.

Add in a bit of whimsy, love, best friends and f**k the patriarchy and you have a genuinely funny and sweet debut. I cannot recommend this more! Pre-order and pick this one up on July 12 - you won’t be sorry!

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin for my advance copy in exchange for my honest review. I. Loved. This!
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3.5 stars to this brilliantly crafted novel. I am honored to have received an arc. 

A cosmic shift after a birthday wish cursed Lucy with the inability to lie. Her life turned upside down and what she first thought was a bad curse, turned out to be what truly transformed her. 

I went into this thinking it would just be a cute read, but it was so much deeper than that. There were so many prevalent and timely issues woven throughout the pages. It touches on sexual assault victims, women's rights, and the unachievable and totally absurd stereotypes that women have to face day to day. Lucy truly found herself and I feel that everyone can take something away from this book, I know I can. 

I also found it interesting that this book took place within the span of basically one day (briefly touched on the night before). At first I couldn’t decide if I liked that. It felt slow at times since it was so spread out, but at the end I really came to appreciate the stylist choice. 

I really recommend this book if you are looking for something new and fresh that still touches on societal issues.
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3.5 stars! If you're looking for a cute, quirky, and badass feminist read, look no further! Lucy Green is a rising publicist at one of LA's elite PR practices. On the eve of her 30th birthday, she wishes for a perfect day and sips her cocktail. Once the clock strikes midnight, however, Lucy isn't able to tell a lie. Throughout the day, Lucy finds herself unable to say anything but the truth. While things start off innocent, like skipping out on her spin class because she hates it, soon she's starting to spew off truths she never thought she would out loud. One that even sends her company into a downwards spiral. This witty novel is such a breath of fresh air and I think that Lucy's voice truly speaks for all women at some point or another. While the story started out really cute and silly, it ended up hitting on deeper issues including sexual harassment in the workplace. I thought this was a sweet book with a wonderful message and I applaud Holly James for bringing it to light!
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Nothing But Truth 
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Nothing But the Truth was a unique story about Lucy Green, and how on her birthday, after making a wish that it would be perfect, is unable to tell a lie. As a publicist, it is important to sometimes skirt the truth, but with her new “curse” she finds herself constantly blurting out the truth. Lucy’s perfect day showed her how to laugh in the chaos and find the silver lining in terrible situations. 
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I loved that this book was all about girl power. It was super empowering to see women sticking up for themselves in a world that is sometimes against women. I loved how Lucy gave her co-worker the courage to speak up after Lucy also stood up to her boss after he made sexual advances towards her. Another thing I loved about this book was how “freeing” it was for Lucy to realize she did not need to cake make up on, wear ridiculous heels, or walk around in skin tight dresses. One thing super unique about this book is that it takes place in a 24 hour period. So during this 24 hour period she had the realization to wear whatever she wanted, say what was true to her, and even eat whatever she wanted. How EMPOWERING!!!
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Unfortunately I really struggled to get through this book. It was very slow for me, and I think the fact it did take place in 24 hours is one thing that made it harder for me to read. It felt like the longest day ever and even though the ending was supposed to make it feel like the "perfect" day,it did not seem perfect to me. I felt like there was a lot of repetition in this book, where instead of Lucy telling the full story of her day over and over,  the author could have written “ And then Lucy went through the whole story explaining everything about her day”.  While I am sure this book will be a hit, especially how it goes so well with the “Me Too” movement, which I love, it was not one of my favorites this year. 
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Thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book!
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I was first drawn to this book by the cover. I was pleasantly surprised by the story. The main character wakes up on her 30th birthday unable to lie. This allows her to live her best day, her best truth. This was a very fast-paced novel. I enjoyed the side characters and the overall theme. I felt that sometimes things were a bit rushed or unrealistic, but of course, this is a book so things are typically a bit unrealistic. This definitely made me think about complacency in life. 
(Thank you to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.)
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Nothing but the Truth is Holly James’s debut novel. The story opens in Los Angeles the night before publicist to the stars’ Lucy Green’s thirtieth birthday. She is up for a promotion at work and is expecting her 2-year boyfriend, Caleb, to propose marriage. Caleb is a workaholic financial advisor and frequently cancels dates. Lucy talks to a handsome bartender, Adam, while he fixes her a special drink.

When Lucy wakes up the next morning, she decides to skip her rigorous fitness and beauty routines. She has no desire to eat only a spoonful of yogurt and three blueberries for breakfast and she simply can’t bear to put on the uncomfortable shapewear needed for the form-fitting outfit she normally wears to work. When her mom calls and starts in on her about grandchildren, Lucy unloads on her. Then she breaks up with Caleb.
 
When Lucy arrives at the office, she realizes that she can no longer lie or prevaricate the truth. Lucy basically loses her speech filter and confronts all her perceived injustices. She takes on Chase McMillan, her rival for a promotion, and the CEO, Jonathan Jenkins. She encourages her boss, Joanna Jenkins, to become empowered and overthrow her older brother, Jonathan. Lucy has a series of mishaps and keeps running into the bartender, Adam.
Nothing but the Truth takes place over two days. While Lucy is very competent in her job, she acts like her management is incompetent. Jonathan’s initial overture towards her is not egregious, and when Lucy reports him to Joanna, she takes action within a few hours. I don’t understand why Lucy thought she could demand that Oliver find her a dress within 20 minutes; he had a job to do for his boss.

I read this story expecting a romantic comedy, not a feminist diatribe. I liked the secondary characters and would probably have liked Lucy more if she had picked just one societal expectation to challenge.  

I received an advance review copy (ARC) from NetGalley for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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📖My Thoughts 📖

Wow! I absolutely loved this book! It had me right from the second I started reading it! I loved how well the story flowed and seeing the characters grow. This book just seemed to pack a lot of punch! Holly James took a very strong subject matter and produced a story that was both inspiring and empowering. When I requested this book I just took it for another cute and entertaining rom com, but it was so much more than that. I didn’t want it to end! Two major themes in this book are sexual harassment in the workplace and the standards and stigma placed on women not only in the workplace but in society in general. Seeing Lucy face some major challenges head-on no matter how timid she may have been was really inspirational. I really can’t express how much I truly loved this book! This is an absolute must read! Thank you Netgalley, Holly James and Penguin Group Dutton for the opportunity to read and review this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

🚨trigger warning: as stated in my review, this book contains a strong theme of sexual harassment in the workplace
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. 
I enjoyed the book, but not enough to rate it higher than 3 stars. 
I understand the points that the  book made. I appreciate that the author covered the serious issues that the lead female character Lucy,  was going through. I liked most of the characters. Adam was awesome, Oliver was so great and supportive. Joanne was an amazing side character. 
At times, it felt a bit dry and repetitive, but overall telling the truth is so freeing and I think that was the biggest lesson I could have possible learned from this book.
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This book reminded me of the movie Liar Liar. It was very cute. It felt realistic even though the idea of it is magical.
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Wow, I absolutely LOVED this book! It was everything that I love. Witty, charming, and inspirational, and it kept me hooked!
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This is a book I wish I could have read 10 years ago, when, like Lucy Green, I was navigating all the expectations of being an ambitious, almost-30 something woman: get the promotion, marry the perfect guy (but not too soon, and not too late so you still have time to have kids!), look good in heels while doing it AND act like you love it!! No pressure, right?? No wonder why, on the eve of her 30th birthday, Lucy raises her glass and makes a wish for the perfect day. If only she can get everything she wants - she will be so happy! Except the next day when she wakes up she realizes she cannot tell a lie… and that's only the beginning of her completely (un)perfect day…

As Lucy struggles with not being able to outwardly lie, she also discovers the lies she’s been telling herself. Each time she is forced to speak her truth, she gains a bit more confidence and courage to change things in her life. There are many hilarious moments, such as when Lucy discovers that yes, she really does want that bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, but the story takes a decidedly serious turn as she is forced to confront sexual harassment in the workplace. While I felt this was explored in a realistic way which really amplified the overall message of the book - to speak your truth - I also felt at times that it oversimplified the “choice” in truth-telling, such as the ways that women are often gaslighted, or how the repercussions of those truth-bombs often put women in impossible situations. I would’ve liked for the story to dig a bit deeper here and spend a little less time on some of Lucy’s epiphanies, which will feel very familiar to most of the women who will read this, and show a bit more of the emotional messiness and how Lucy overcomes it.

Overall, this is an outstanding debut - the writing is smart, the story is clever, the characters are delightful, and the message is timely.  Highly recommend grabbing this for your beach bag if you like:

-lighter reads that are still thought-provoking
-an empowering feminist narrative
-supportive friendships
-love story that doesn’t overshadow the plot
-a peek into the high drama and high stakes world of a Hollywood publicist

Also, this is the first book I've read that has specifically acknowledged the collective post-pandemic experience and the emotional toll it has taken, especially on women. I absolutely loved this and the message of how it's more important than ever now to speak our truths.  I can’t wait to see what’s next from Holly James! Thank you to @netgalley and @duttonbooks for the opportunity to review this ARC!
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I'm really digging this trend of books I think are going to be rom-coms and end up being so much more than that. I'm also a fan of stories with a touch of magical realism in them. Nothing But the Truth delivered on both. When Lucy makes a birthday wish for a perfect day, she actually finds herself unable to tell a lie. Chaos ensues!

For a fictional novel, it was a bit heavy-handed with the explanation of the need for women's empowerment at times. That being said, this book is fun, feminist, and 100% worth a read!
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Such a good debut book! I laughed out loud so many times with this one.  The best way to describe this book is relatable.   Lucy goes on a few rants that I’ve actually also has at times. She says things most women wish they could say on a regular basis. And Adam is just a wonderful book boyfriend.  The only issue I had with it, was it seemed to slow down a little in the middle. But it did have a fantastic end!
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✏️ ARC Review: Publication Date, June 27!✏️

📚70/100
Nothing But the Truth
Format: 📱(ARC e-book via NetGalley)

All the thanks to @netgalley and @penguinbooks  @duttonbooks for the ARC in exchange for publishing an honest review! 

This was a fun and interesting one! Anybody out there who knows my taste knows I love just a sprinkle of magic or fantasy- and a twisted granted birthday wish hit the spot! I loved watching a character take such control of her life! I do feel like the relationship element that occurs cheapened the message JUST a tad, but it mostly redeemed itself.

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*Spoiler Free Summary* 

Like most people on the precipice of a major birthday, Lucy felt restless in her life. She had settled for “fine” in almost every way. That is- until her birthday wish comes true in the most likely of ways, and she finds herself physically incapable of telling a lie. She finds that, while honesty may be the best policy, it has a tendency to make waves.

#bookstagram #bookreview #fictionbooks #readersofinstagram #booksta #4starreview #noshelfcontrol #bookish #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #tbrlist #bookworm #netgalley #arc
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Trigger- this book does deal with sexual harassment  

I went into this expecting a rom-com, but came out quite satisfied. On the eve of Lucy's birthday, she wishes for the perfect day. He boyfriend of 2 years proposing, landing a big client etc. However, when she wakes up, she feels "different", if anything quite opposite. She has a moment of clarity.

As she gets ready for work as a publicist with an elite firm. she no longer cares about squeezing into her tight dresses and jamming her feet into shoes she doesn't like.  She heads for the office, let the day begin. 

I really liked Lucy's character. She was built for strength and spoke for those who were a little to shy to speak for themselves. We lived in a day and age where many things can be construed differently, however, this situation was straightforward. I admired the strength of Lucy and Annie in this story.
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This one was different than I expected, but I enjoyed it.

On the eve of her 30th birthday, Lucy makes a wish that she has the perfect day. She wakes up the next morning and is unable to lie. She ends up confronting a lot of expectations put on women and her need to not speak about them. She also addresses her long-term relationship and ends up meeting a new man.

This book delves into the topic of sexual harassment at work. The challenges women have with disclosing and what comes after.

I really enjoyed this book and Lucy’s story. I liked how she navigates her “curse” of not being able to lie and ultimately discovers more about herself.

I would definitely recommend this one with the caveat of knowing it’s not as light as the cover makes it seem.

[cw - inappropriate behavior in the workplace]
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On the eve of Lucy's 30th birthday, she wishes for the perfect day. Her wish is granted, just not quite in the way she imagined. Lucy suddenly finds herself unable to lie, which leads her to realize just how much she's been lying to herself. 

This book is a lot heavier than the cartoon cover suggests. It covers workplace harassment and many other issues women face in their day to day lives. 

Overall I liked this book. I thought it was a cool concept with a great message. It was a quick and fairly easy read. I really liked the romance aspect, but wish we would have gotten to see just a little more of it. The mc is a superstar L.A. publicist and I found her drive and determination to be super inspiring.

Here are my dislikes. The author is already asking us to suspend reality a bit with the wish coming true concept, so I get that this isn't going to be 100% realistic. However, I couldn't get over the idea that this all happened in one singular day. There's absolutely no way (especially with all that driving in LA traffic). My bigger issue though, was just a general lack of depth in the characters. We got to know a LOT about Lucy, which was great, but I couldn't find myself connecting to any of the other characters because I simply didn't know enough about them. 

Overall I give this a 3 star rating. Great if you're looking for a little female empowerment in your next read. 

Thank you for NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for the ARC!
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Trigger Warning: Book does discuss sexual harassment in the workplace.

LA publicist makes a wish on a drink for her birthday and wakes up unable to tell a lie, act a lie, or otherwise evade telling the truth. This leads to her life being turned upside down. And on top of everything all day while things get crazier and crazier she repeatedly bumps into the hot bartender who made her the drink she wished on. 

Gives fanfiction vibes in writing style at the start, good fanfic but fanfic none the less. Writing becomes stronger as the book goes on. The plot is kind of like if you turned liar liar into a hallmark romance movie with a female mc. Very easy quick read. Adam de Luca has definitely made his way onto my book boyfriend list. Chase McMillan isn’t so bad either.
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