Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum ~ Book Review

Annike: Hey guys, I’m here today with a review of Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, which is a book I only heard of recently and decided to give it a go. I was able to finish it in a single day but spent much of the day reading, haha, so here it is:

25893582.jpgEverything 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?

So, I thought the premise of this book sounded really cool, I love stories with anonymous characters and emails or letters being exchanged. I think it adds a whole new dimension to the book and lets you relate to the ‘anonymous’ character in a whole different way. However, just to begin – I think one of the major things I didn’t like about the story was how blatantly obvious SN was and couldn’t understand how it was possible for Jessie not to discover it instantly.

This was another story, very similar to It Starts with Goodbye, that I reviewed earlier this week, that looks at the relationship that a teenager has with their step parents and then step sibling. In this scenario, I think it was fair for Jessie not to like her step mother and her son, because her father had ultimately met her online and they had never really got to meet each other before the two of them got married. I did enjoy getting to see some of these relationships develop however and the people learn from each other and their standoffishness.

I really enjoy character driven novels so I liked how we got to see Jessie make some new friends, and realize some other things about her old ones when she moved to a new town. I loved Ethan as a character, I found him a little hard to relate to, but when he opened up you could see how good he was as a person and understand why Jessie felt the way that she did. I also liked Dri, who became Jessie’s really close friend in her new town and they complemented each other well, seeming like a pair of friends who could rely on each other. I was always a bit wary of Scarlett (Jessie’s old best friend) simply because she seemed to be and sound a bit needy to me although when she made her points at the end of the book (you’ll understand if you’ve read it) I think it was fair enough for her to say that stuff.

Overall, this book was a really good coming of age story that had a lot of issues involved that I think all teenagers relate to. I loved how Jessie’s beauty wasn’t portrayed unrealistically. She didn’t have flawless skin or perfect teeth; she was just a regular teenager with pimples and all.  I think it’s important to have that kind of representation of a girl in YA fiction. I’d definitely recommend this book and let me know what you thought of it!

3.5/5 stars

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5 comments

  1. This sounds great! I also love it when YA books have normal, down-to-earth characters. Teens have enough to worry about without even their fictional characters being perfect — I love it when they’re able to read a book and be like: yes, this is me! I can still be happy while also having acne!

    Great review, I’m super interested in this now. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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