Middle Grade Review // Totally Psychic by Brigid Martin

It's been a month since Paloma's got the Gift to communicate with ghosts. Her abuela is a world-renowned psychic medium who will be doing a tour through South America in a few weeks. Paloma is eager to prove that she has what it takes to go along with her and not even moving from Miami to Los Angeles will deter her. Her mother does not approve of her using her abilities and doesn't appreciate the spotlight her mom's career puts on the family. She has forbidden her from talking to ghosts but despite her mom's wishes, Paloma starts communicating with her classmates' departed loved ones and livestreams it all on social media. Everything seems to be going her way until she disregards some pivotal rules in the psychic community and gets herself in more trouble than she can possibly handle herself.

Positives: I'm Cuban-American, and Paloma is Cuban-American, already a win right there. I love that family is such a pivotal part of the story even when Paloma's family moves away. There is a magical item that Paloma receives and it's such a realistic Latino family way in this fictional setting for everyone to know all your business. I found the family dynamic between Paloma, her mischievous younger sister, and her mother to be very engaging. Her mom being against the whole psychic business meant that there was more meaning behind that to be revealed which I was intrigued to find out. The little sister was a terror to be a terror. I was looking forward to seeing how her relationship with Paloma would develop eventually. 

The ghost neighbors, the ones she met at her school, and through her séances were all entertaining to read about. Their unique personalities made me want to learn about their backstories. Paloma herself was going through a big change with her move and her abilities. She was questioning whether her new friends actually liked her or what she could do. You also couldn't help but understand why she was doing all this to go on tour with her abuela because she didn't get along with her mom or sister. Because of all that her development as an individual and her relationship with her mom and sister were all engaging to read about.

Negatives: Where was the dad? I know he was at work and I get how the focus was on the mom's relationship with Paloma but we needed some dad in there because he was a chef. That goes into my personal want for more Cuban food to be showcased. You can't give me a chef dad and not give me food descriptions that make me hungry... you're just teasing me. But seriously, I think the one thing that was deterring me from reading this was the whole concept of Paloma being a medium. Not something I believe someone can actually do and I don't think it's great to promote it. However, this is fiction so I got over it and focused on what is at its essence - family, friendship, and helping someone in need.

Final Thoughts: A wonderful debut with family at the forefront and great character growth. I am very happy to see that this is a series since I need more backstory on our ghosts in the school. There are so many places this series can go. I'll be following the Ferrer family if it continues to be as enjoyable as Totally Psychic


back to top