Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: Tell Me Three Things

Julie Buxbaum
Contemporary Young Adult
336 pages
Delacorte Press
Available April 5th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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?

Tell Me Three Things is a delightful contemporary read, mixing humor with the challenges of starting a whole new life to give us the perfect blend of sweet, silly and serious. 

Jessie feels beautifully genuine, not exaggerated for dramatic fictional effect, but rather someone who resonates from the moment her thoughts about SN's first email spill across the pages. Anyone who has ever experienced the first day at a new school will sympathize with Jessie from chapter one, her nerves something that endears her to us instantly, while her struggles to navigate her new circumstances only deepen our affection. She's adorably unsure of herself at school, hoping against hope that SN isn't some cruel prank to humiliate the new girl, but able to find humor in almost any situation despite her many ups and downs.

She handles the stereotypical mean girl extraordinarily well, never rising to her bait but never tucking tail and running either, instead moving forward with an admirable determination. Her newly-formed friendships with a pair of classmates as well as her love/hate relationship with her new stepbrother keep as as glued to the pages as her messages with SN, ensuring this story feels emotionally rich without trying too hard to hook us by the heartstrings and reel us in.

For the romance lovers like myself, the slow-burn relationship with SN is everything we could hope for, with just enough young men in her life (in a decidedly drama-less way) to keep us from being one hundred percent confident along the way in our guess as to SN's identity. When the big reveal (though really it's obvious by this time who it is since Jessie has strong feelings for a specific someone) comes it's impossible to suppress a goofy grin and not do a little happy dance, and we find ourselves on the last page with a strong desire to go back and re-read all their messages one more time.

Rating: 4.5/5

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This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.


  1. yay for slow romance! I didn't know about this one but it looks so sweet there!

  2. I haven't seen this before but looks like a sweet and fun read. Will definitely add this to my TBR. It reminds me of the contemporary book I read this month, In Real Life by Jessica Love which I enjoy reading.

  3. I just got the audiobook for this one last week so I'm definitely glad to hear you really liked it. I'm looking forward to it!

  4. Emotionally rich without trying too hard. Perfect! This sounds wonderful.

  5. Fantastic review! This one is new to me, but I love the sound of it. I definitely like to read more contemporary novels in the spring/summer, so I will have to add this one to my list. I love a good slow burn romance as well! Thanks for putting this one on my radar.

  6. Yay! I am glad you adored this one. I loved it so much! :)

  7. Nick was raving about this so I added it to my wishlist, I'm so excited you loved it too Jenny, now I know for sure I need to pre-order it!

  8. Why do I want to eat waffles now? I think this one might work for you. I have struggled so much with YA Contemp lately, but this one sounds lovely and sweet, even if there is a mean girl.

  9. Okay this one sounds really good. I had decided not to read it but we have the ARC at the store and you have me convinced now that I MUST read it! This sounds like an excellent contemporary.

  10. Somebody/Nobody piqued my interest. Who is he?!

  11. This sounds really interesting, especially for a contemporary! That cover makes me crave waffles like crazy, haha.

  12. I love books that make me do a happy dance! Great review.

  13. I love a good slow burning romance. This sounds wonderful Jenny. I am happy you enjoyed it :)

  14. How have I not heard of this one before, Jenny? It sounds adorable! I love the exaggerated-free for drama sake effect and the slow burn romance. I think my teen readers will really like this one. I'll have to look it up and add it to my order list.

  15. Ooh, I'm a big fan of these types of romances where it's a slow-burn and you have no idea who the anonymous letter writer is but it always winds up being who you want it to be! It's You've Got Mail, except in high school, and I can't resist that at all. Definitely adding this to my TBR--great review, Jenny!

  16. I have heard many good things about this one before, and reading your review I'm even more sure that I need to give it a try! Genuine characters, no extra drama and slow burn? I'm in!

  17. I have been seeing this cover around more and more so it is about time that I actually read a review for this one! I really like the sound of that slow burn romance... I'm always looking for more of those!