Tell Me Something Real – Calla Devlin

This book is shocking and sad. It’s set in the 70’s, and it’s crazy to think about how much things have changed since then. I don’t think the saddest part is the fallout for all the family members; I think the saddest part is their mother’s fate. Do we still treat these sorts of patients that way? I hope not. Vanessa’s mother was trying. There’s honestly a good chance that the doctors were doing more harm than good by the end of it. I don’t think she was ever as unstable as she seemed at the end. What were these meds doing to her?

Synopsis

Three sisters struggle with the bonds that hold their family together as they face a darkness settling over their lives in this masterfully written debut novel.

There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments.

Vanessa is the middle child, a talented pianist who is trying to hold her family together despite the painful loss that they all know is inevitable. As she and her sisters navigate first loves and college dreams, they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal…

Review

This book is shocking and sad. It’s set in the 70’s, and it’s crazy to think about how much things have changed since then. I don’t think the saddest part is the fallout for all the family members; I think the saddest part is their mother’s fate. Do we still treat these sorts of patients that way? I hope not. Vanessa’s mother was trying. There’s honestly a good chance that the doctors were doing more harm than good by the end of it. I don’t think she was ever as unstable as she seemed at the end. What were these meds doing to her?

Adrienne is stubborn and selfish. Marie scared me with her own obsessions. And Vanessa, escaping like that isn’t any healthier. I felt pity for them all. Also, what’s with Vanessa’s open-ended fate? It was scary to think that someone was constantly out to “get her.”

I had such a sinking feeling about Caleb and Barb. I thought Barb and the Babcock girls’ father were going to get romantically involved, but this luckily didn’t happen. Caleb and Vanessa were also very mature. Their romance was un-rushed, which I really appreciated.

I definitely ruined this story for myself by reading some spoilers in the past, so I had a vague idea of what was going to happen. Unfortunately, the resulting fallout was sad and made me grateful to live in a more conscientious and compassionate world.

Related Reading

  • Making Pretty – Corey Ann Haydu
  • The Lucy Variations – Sara Zarr
  • If I Stay – Gayle Forman

Rating: 3/5

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