Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Publication Date: April 5, 2016 by Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
What if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met?
Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel whose characters will come to feel like friends. Tell Me Three Things will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer Niven, and E. Lockhart.
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago—the closest place she has to something like home—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?
The thing is, Jessie does need 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 in LA 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?
The book started really good. The mystery of SN’s identity is really intriguing and I had fun thinking about who he is.
I love SN! He’s witty and sweet and totally amazing. The abundance of sticky flags show how much I enjoyed reading the book.
Imagine someone coming up with words like RUINUENDO – ruining an inuendo.
Jessie had a total of three candidates for SN, but I only had two. I refused to believe the other one was really a candidate. I kept on turning the pages because I really want to know. The book has constant pacing – slow enough to make room for the reader’s theories, but fast enough to build tension. The suspense glued me to this book, and I couldn’t help but smile when the secret was finally revealed. I loved SN more and more.
You see, Jessie and SN were both dealing with grief. Both of them had to adjust to survive, and they found real friendship in one another which eventually blossomed into a deeper relationship. Hearts and hearts and hearts to that. ❤
Setting aside the romance (for a while), this book is also about the nature of families. Families are seemingly simple when you look at them, especially because no one can really choose their (biological) family. But families are not really simple – in fact, they hold very complex things within them. Things that not everybody can understand. Only people who have gone through the same trials can relate to one another.
High school is a complicated time for everyone. It could be the best – or the worst – years of their lives. Everyone battles with their own struggles. This book shows that you can make someone’s life less unfair by being part of the solution – help in any way you can. And if you can’t do anything, just not doing anything bad will already mean a lot. There are just some people who find bullying fun. We can’t really get rid of weeds in our gardens permanently, but we can keep trying, can’t we?
It’s pretty obvious that I love this book, but the best thing about Tell Me Three Things is not really in the story itself.
There’s a letter from Julie, an author’s note of some kind. It says that:
Though this may look just like an ordinary book to you, for me it’s one more magical first: my very first novel for young adults. Only took twenty-four years to get the courage.
I could tell from this that Tell Me Three Things mean so much more to Julie than I expected. It’s a very special book – and I surely hope she writes more YA books because I love her writing! 🙂
- This book is for everyone who feels lost – there will be people who will help you find your way back.
- This book is for everyone who wants a secret admirer story taken to the next level.
- This book is for everyone who loves the adventure of finding out answers to questions with the power to change lives.
Because really, who would have thought that you can be saved by someone you have never met?
Reading Tell Me Three Things is like eating heart-shaped waffles topped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. It’s a treat for the soul in need. It’s the good in good mornings, and the sparkle in starry nights.
It’s a book you’d want to read right now. ❤
Final Rating: 5/5
Three things: 1) Go to the bookstore. 2) Buy this book. 3) Read it.<3