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Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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?

"Three Things about this novel: 1. I loved it. 2. No, really, I LOVED it. 3. I wish I could tell every teen to read it. Buxbaum's book sounds, reads, breathes, worries, and soars like real adolescents do." - Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of LEAVING TIME and OFF THE PAGE.

Goodreads Summary

I would love the idea of a secret helper guiding me through certain parts of life and befriending me.  Jessie is that lucky; someone-a guy-at her school is telling her the people she could try befriending, what to avoid in the cafeteria, etc...  Jessie really wants to meet SN (somebody-nobody) and make regular guesses as to who it could be throughout the book.  Her life is definitely not the easiest; her mom passed away, her dad remarried a widow with a son, and her dad moved her across the US to California to start at a new school.   She initially has a hard time at school and appears to draw the attention of a couple school bullies.  However, her life proceeds to get better and more interesting as things are prone to do.

Jessie is a sympathetic character.  I can't imagine my mom dying. I do think I would likely count the days afterwards much like Jessie does.  SN was a mystery and made it fun guessing at Jessie's potential secret admirer.  I was a little worried that she wouldn't resolve the mystery at the end of the book.  I liked how the author developed the characters and made them into more than they initially seemed.  Her step-brother ended up impressing me and her friends (both from Chicago and California) were fun and I liked how nice their relationships are.  The book was a fun-read and kept me distracted even when I was having a hard time with something.  Overall, this book is perfect for teen/young adult readers.

5 Stars

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