Some of It Was Real is beautiful, deep, touching, and emotional contemporary about Psychics with layers, family drama, and mystery.
Some of It Was Real by Nan Fischer
Publication Date : July 26th 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Read Date :
Genre : Contemporary Fiction / Romance
Pages : 352
Tea for This book : It’s emotional so, Peppermint + Menthol
Disclosure : Many thanks to Berkley for eARC via NetGalley.
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A psychic on the verge of stardom who isn’t sure she believes in herself and a cynical journalist with one last chance at redemption are brought together by secrets from the past that also threaten to tear them apart.
Psychic-medium Sylvie Young starts every show with her origin story, telling the audience how she discovered her abilities. But she leaves out a lot—the plane crash that killed her parents, an estranged adoptive family who tend orchards in rainy Oregon, panic attacks, and the fact that her agent insists she research some clients to ensure success.
After a catastrophic reporting error, Thomas Holmes’s next story at the L.A. Times may be his last, but he’s got a great personal pitch. “Grief vampires” like Sylvie who prey upon the loved ones of the deceased have bankrupted his mother. He’s dead set on using his last-chance article to expose Sylvie as a conniving fraud and resurrect his career.
When Sylvie and Thomas collide, a game of cat and mouse ensues, but the secrets they’re keeping from each other are nothing compared to the mysteries and lies they unearth about Sylvie’s past. Searching for the truth might destroy them both—but it’s the only way to find out what’s real.
Some of It Was Real is touching and emotive contemporary about Sylvie Young, up and rising psychic-medium who has all her events booked, TV shows offers, helps people getting over their loss but Thomas Holmes, a reporter for the LA Times, thinks she is fraud and grief vampire and threatens her to expose her in front page unless she tells her real story. As they start digging in Sylvie’s past, secrets come out and truth is discovered that might threaten to destroy them both.
The story is about loss, grief, childhood trauma, manipulations, truth, lies, secrets, survival, parental expectations, pressure, and bias, self-discovery, kindness, and love.
Plot is super interesting and character driven. I expected this to be good but I wasn’t expecting this to be touching and moving. There is so much depth, emotions, mystery and suspense here, like synopsis said, there is cat and mouse chase between Sylvie and Thomas to get the upper hand on each other and save their own career.
I enjoyed reading more about Sylvie’s family, her past, how she became psychic-medium and why she couldn’t remember first six years of her life and why she couldn’t reach out to her biological parents. Writing is fabulous with alternative perspectives of Sylvie and Thomas which takes us inside the characters’ heads, made me understand their nature and action.
Both Sylvie and Thomas are flawed and realistic, carrying painful past baggage that they couldn’t get over, has different reasons to dig more about Sylvie’s past and it was wonderful to see how they both evolve over the course of story, how their hate for each other turned into respect and love.
Sylvie is amazing throughout the story. She is true to herself from the beginning. We know she has gift but it doesn’t come out for every person so she researches her audience before the show to satisfy audience and to make the show successful. Yes, it looked like cheating but like title said some of it was real and I loved her for admitting it.
She is kind, compassionate, lovely, brave, observant and intuitive person with eidetic memory who wanted to survive in the city once she left her home and adoptive parents. We see her vulnerability through her doubts, insecurity, panic attacks, and desperations. I felt for her when the confidence and self-esteem she built over the years started to crumble with Thomas’ accusations and facing her parents once again who disown her because of her career choice, finding out they lied about her biological parents and how helpless she feel with no friends or family support and staying with guy who is determined to destroy her.
It was amazing to see even under the pressure and in worst situation she could able to see good in her adoptive parents, in Thomas, and could look at positive side, like how without any research and not stressing about forming a bridge with person asking her help, her gift came out naturally. She showed kindness to Thomas even after all the hurtful things he said.
I loved her development. It was great to see how the story became more than proving her gift to finding out about her real parents, what is causing panic attacks, and figuring out who she is.
Thomas is hard to warm to. Even though we know he had tragic past, losing father and brother in accident changed his life and his relationship with his mother and how it hurt him to see his mother stuck in past, spending money on psychics to connect with her husband and son… his disbelief in Sylvie, unchangeable, single-minded cast-iron purpose, and his mean words for her often made me want to kick his ass. I agree with Sylvie’s agent, Thomas was literally keeping her hostage, shadowing her every move, not allowing her to be alone or contact anyone and it was unfair, it wasn’t like Sylvie was committing a crime and he was making it personal also making her a tool to save his job. I agree with Sylvie when she called him vampire too as he too was doing the same hunting for story not caring who he hurts in the process.
But as story progressed we see he could change, he wasn’t immune to her kindness or sympathy and empathy Sylvie was trying to plant in him through her parents and childhood stories. I liked him for being true, not manipulating or taking advantage of Sylvie, having the conscience, and able to see and feel Sylvie’s hurt and pain. He saw part of Sylvie who didn’t have any ulterior motives and genuinely wanted to help people. Even though he couldn’t believe in her gift before climax, he believed the person who wanted to find herself. It was great to see how he helped her with her past, anxiety, fell in love and wanted to protect her no matter the cost.
Romance is super realistic and genuine. You can see how unusual and unique romance is from the character details itself. I don’t even want to lable it with enemies to lovers or adversary to lovers trope. This is slow burning romance with lots if emotional conflicts. They had many reasons not to be together in the end, Thomas’s disbelief is one of the biggest one and still they both couldn’t deny the attraction and chemistry between them. Their on and off feelings, cat and mouse chase, work together and at the same time working against each other made this “will they won’t they” thing super interesting.
I loved the layer of dysfunctional family, how parents could be so hard and austere and unrelenting and how that can drive their own kids away from them. There is layer of bending law to save people, flaws of foster system, prejudice, and judgments. I liked the way author represented psychics and their work, how some can be real while others make it a means to earning money, and how that can affect people both in good and bad way. The religious element made it more interesting.
Mystery of Sylvie’s past, of her biological parents and why there wasn’t any information about her first six years of life is suspenseful. Author kept me on the edge until the last couple of chapters. I kept speculating what might have happened and when it was revealed it brought tears. Climax is touching, heartbreaking, and emotional. I loved how revisiting the past and finding about her birthmother changed Sylvie. End is heartwarming, uplifting, and filled with hope and goodness. I loved the way Sylvie told her story in that epilogue.
Overall, Some of It Was Real is beautiful, deep, touching, and tragic contemporary about Psychics with layers, family drama, and mystery.
I Highly recommend this, if you like,
Touching and emotive stories
Contemporary that has more than just romance
Books about Psychics and Psychic-medium
Theme of self-discovery, grief, loss
cat and mouse chase between characters
Will they won’t they trope
flawed and realistic characters
Layer of foster system and childhood truma
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