‘Truth Be Told’ by Kia Abdullah | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Kia Abdullah
Title : Truth Be Told
Series : Zara Kaleel #2
Pages : 350
Publisher : HQ
Publication date : September 3, 2020


Kamran Hadid feels invincible. He attends Hampton school, an elite all-boys boarding school in London, he comes from a wealthy family, and he has a place at Oxford next year. The world is at his feet. And then a night of revelry leads to a drunken encounter and he must ask himself a horrific question.

With the help of assault counsellor, Zara Kaleel, Kamran reports the incident in the hopes that will be the end of it. But it’s only the beginning…

Bookshop UK


Kia Abdullah’s debut ‘Take It Back‘ was such an incredibly outstanding story that I was very excited to find out if she could repeat that same level with Zara Kaleel’s second outing in’Truth Be Told‘. Don’t worry, this can quite easily be read as a stand-alone. There are a few references to the previous book but if you haven’t read that one, you will not be feeling lost at all.

Seventeen year old Kamran Hadid is one of the privileged few. But his life is about to fall apart at the seams. While at his elite all-boys boarding school, a night of partying and drinking leads to an encounter that will change Kamran’s life for ever.

No, I’m not going to tell you any more than that. I will tell you that, in case you didn’t yet know this, Kia Abdullah does not shy away from tackling the tough topics. Prepare yourself for that age-old debate about consent but with a bit of a twist to it.

‘Truth Be Told’ has an extremely interesting, yet disturbing premise. However, for some reason, it never quite managed to grab me. Events often felt repetitive, not just throughout this story but some were also very reminiscent of the previous book. There are one or two things I didn’t see coming, one of which is particularly devastating but the other thing felt just a little bit … cheap, maybe. Although that reveal did turn the whole tale onto its head, it didn’t really sit well with me.

I can’t help but wonder if my feelings towards this book are to do with the fact that Zara isn’t quite as involved as she was in the previous book. The organisation she works for is geared towards women so she takes time off to be by Kamran’s side but apart from a few well-placed words of advice and chauffeuring him around, she felt rather superfluous to the proceedings.

For me, ‘Truth Be Told’ did not live up to the level of ‘Take It Back’ but that will not stop me from picking up Kia Abdullah’s next book. I love the hard-hitting topics she delves into, I love that I get a glimpse into how some of these issues are dealt with in the Muslim community and I love her writing. Even if this one didn’t quite work for me, I really think she’s an author to watch.

20 Books of Summer : 4/20

  3 comments for “‘Truth Be Told’ by Kia Abdullah | #20BooksofSummer

  1. July 9, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Glad I’m not the only one who felt like this! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 9, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      Also glad! Because I’m struggling lately and I’m beginning to think it’s me 😂.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. July 9, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Excellent review, Eva💜 I’m still waiting on my library to buy Take it Back on audio so I fear I’ll have to use an Audible credit. Still want to read this one, too, and appreciate that it doesn’t pack the punch like the first book.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: