I received this for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Random House Children's Books on April 5th 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?
This book doesn’t come out until April so normally I would have waited a bit to read it. However, when I got an email about a pre-pub blog tour I was happy to move it up. I liked the cover and the tagline and the blurbs. I figured I’d give it a go. What I didn’t know was that I would find myself reading it in one day, sneaking in reading every free moment I could. I read at work (to “model” reading to my students of course.) I read on my lunch break. I read in the dentist’s waiting room, hoping my appointment would start late. I even finished up a chapter sitting in my car in the mall parking lot (because I was interrupted at a crucial point while at the dentist!) Basically, I couldn’t put it down.
I loved the deceptive simplicity of this story. Like, the things the characters are dealing with are things my students encounter. They are hard and real issues but not “overthrowing a dystopian government” type things. They’re every day problems. Julie Buxbaum does such an excellent job presenting them and not making them seem trite or trivial.
The characters and their struggles seem authentic. They’re struggling with some tough things but they’re still teens dealing with “normal” high school/family stuff. They make mistakes. They stress about little things. They get embarrassed and act awkward. So very much my high school experience!
And it’s funny. And there’s a bit of mystery. And romance. So many clever and interesting things in one book! Julie Buxbaum is a new voice to YA and I can’t wait to see what she has up next. Tell Me Three Things is heartbreaking and heartwarming story all in one. A charming read.