Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three Things, by Julie Buxbaum
2016, 336, YA Contemporary
My Rating=3 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

What if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met?

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Jessie's mother died and her father has suddenly remarried and uprooted her from Chicago to California. Her stepbrother has no interest in helping her fit in at her fancy new school and she feels incredibly lonely. She receives an email from SN, which stands for Somebody/Nobody, who wants to be her anonymous friend. She struggles with it since she realizes it could be a hoax but figures things can't get worse so decides to respond and trust SN. They have lots of conversations throughout the book and she vacillates between wanting to meet SN and keeping SN anonymous. Jessie also struggles with homesickness, her relationships (with her father, her best friend she left behind in Chicago, and her new family), being bullied at school and boys.

The story is told from Jessie's POV so we only get her thoughts. She was surprised when others thought she had it all together and, honestly, I was too, since I only got to know her through her eyes. I was the most interested in her discussions with SN. She had the identity of SN narrowed down to three people. I was happy with who it turned out to be and would have liked getting to know SN throughout the book, too. I felt pretty much the same about Jessie at the end as I did at the beginning so I didn't feel that she experienced major growth, but she did come to some important realizations along the way.

I'm not a huge fan of this genre but like some high school drama now and then. This one wasn't my favorite because there was a lot of language, including a handful of "f" words and sex talk.

Julie Buxbaum is the author of the critically acclaimed The Opposite of Love and After You, and the soon to be released YA novel Tell Me Three Things and her work has been translated into twenty-five languages.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish, and once received an anonymous email which inspired her YA debut.


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