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 ThingsFeatured
Tell Me Three Things
Ever been so consumed with life that when you sit down to do regular things, your life just gets in the way and you can’t concentrate on that TV show or that book? Maybe it’s just not interesting enough to hold your attention? Maybe life is finally better than what’s on TV or what’s written on the page.
That’s how I felt with this book. I did enjoy it; I just couldn’t concentrate long enough to read it more than several minutes at a time. But then, when I finally did get the chance to dive into it, I devoured it. (Because sometimes, even when life is great, a book is just better).
I can’t pretend to relate to anything Jessie is going through. I’ve never lost a parent. I haven’t moved across the country and had to re-adapt to life with new friends and a new stepfamily. (Although just the thought stresses me out).
I immediately loved the relationship between Jessie and SN. Aren’t those always the easiest? It’s easier to flirt with someone you haven’t met. It’s easier to be honest and open. What’s the logic behind that? (and I have to admit that I skipped ahead because I HAD TO KNOW who SN was. I was right!)
I loved the bookstore! That was adorable and it is lowkey my dream to own an adorable used book store.
It was almost comical how Jessie was trying to decide who SN is. Caleb, Liam, or Ethan? (the choice is very obvious, even if I hadn’t read ahead)!
The writing flows beautifully, and I couldn’t help but getting caught up in Jessie’s thoughts. About her mother or her father or how she felt alone all the time. I was on the verge of tears a few times, but then then Theo would show up and crack a joke. I LOVED THEO!
Tell Me Three Things is downright adorable. It’s a cute story to get lost in, with lots of heavy background drama and actual life lessons.
Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
It all began with an email from SN offering guidance to our heroine Jessie Holmes in navigating the jungle that is Wood Valley High School. SN claims that for Jessie this place and these people are all new, but since he has spent all his life there, he is an expert. Jessie is the new kid in town who brought with her some baggage. Her baggage is that she lost her mother to cancer and her father remarried and moved them to a strange new place without even consulting her feelings about it. So Jessie is grief-stricken, angry, lost and alone all at the same time. She is an easy target but the girl is also sensible. At first, Jessie brushed off SN’s offer because she is aware that SN might be someone who is not what he is telling himself to be. What if SN is a mean girl playing a practical joke on her? Or an old pervy man pretending to be a teenage boy? But life in WVHS is proving to be a real challenge and exchanging funny witty emails with a stranger is a good distraction, so Jessie reluctantly accepted SN’s help.
Jessie’s loneliness on losing her mom is palpable in her thoughts. She counts the days it has been since her mother passed. She sees something and that something will always find a way to remind Jessie of her dead mom. The book is generous in dishing out Jessie’s grief and pain but she is not altogether a bleak character. People around Jessie sees her as someone strong because of the way she carries herself but the truth is (we know this because we are the privileged readers) she just tries so hard not to show any signs of giving up. She said it herself: she refuses to be “the sad girl”. I think a lot of readers will love Jessie’s character. I know I love her. She also loves books. She is a feminist. She is nice and fiercely loyal to people she cares about: her mom and her friends.
At the heart of the book is the connection formed between Jessie and SN. Soon Jessie and SN switched to IM-ing and started this tell-me-three-things game where they tell each other three things about themselves daily. Jessie starts to fall for SN and wants to see him in person but SN thinks it’s not a good idea. One of the book’s main storyline is Jessie deducing who SN is, a la Sherlock. I love the fun and fluff style element of mystery here. Jessie is a smart girl so it has been a wild ride following her around in her quest for SN’s identity. She suspects everybody, even her slightly evil stepbrother Theo or her new Wood Valley friend, Adrianna. Eventually there were three gorgeous boys left in the suspects’ line up and you guys--THE CHASE, THE ROMANCE--I JUST CAN’T WITH SWOON. I deliberately threw away all my bad personal experiences with virtual relationships and got carried away with the feels this book gives. Aaah, I cannot contain myself! I want to spill everything I know about SN! My feet is doing these little kicks in the air right now!
And it’s so,so much more than just swoon and romance. Because I can relate on this too well, I like how the book explores a lot on the absurdity of virtual relationships: how your personality on screen is the filtered and edited version of yourself in person, how it’s sometimes easier to type and say things behind the screen, how sometimes you continue texting with a distant friend without knowing that your relationship is starting to fall apart. It also touched on our human need to be actually seen, especially teenagers. It’s great that not only did the book made Jessie acknowledge that she wants and deserves attention from her peers or from her dad, the other characters are also shown in this light, too: Theo, Adrianna, her bestfriend in Chicago Scarlett, even SN.
- absorbing teen romance with a dash of detective mystery
- explores virtual relationship which is timely with this day and age
YOU HAVE TO READ THIS
When I read this book, I held it and thought about how amazing this was. It has that feeling were you know what will happen, but at the same time you don't know. It makes you think about what would happen if it happened to you.
I absolutely love the characters and HATE the mean girls. But at the same time I love them because it was that good. Jessie reminded me of my friend Jessie. (Ironic right?) and a lot of these characters remind me of my closest family and friends. The book makes you think about them and you start to picture them in the book.
I liked the jokes and some puns, I wished it was longer... but it ended perfectly.
This book is a must read.
Heartfelt and Fun
I picked up this up after hearing some raving reviews and reading the description! It sounded like a powerful contemporary with a little bit of mystery. This book was what I expected, and more. It had sad parts to it, but this was also a really cute book and I'm glad that I picked it up!
It has been two years since Jessie's mother died. Her father has married a women he met online and they moved LA to live with her family. Not only does her new stepbrother make her feel unwelcome in her new home, but she's friendless in her new school. That is, until she receives an email from Somebody Nobody (SN for short). SN become Jessie's friend, and tells her the ins and outs of her school. They begin to have many online conversations with one another, but Jessie doesn't know who SN is.
I read this book while on a road trip. Here's the thing about me: I have a hard time reading in cars. I don't know why, but I just feel too distracted to read and ,sometimes, I even get carsick. For some reason, that was not the case for this book. Once I started it, I read on until the last page. I couldn't help but get sucked into Jessie's story and the mystery surrounding SN.
As far as SN, I loved their relationship. Sure, it sounds a bit sketch that Jessie in a relationship with someone online, but in this book it actually works. They have such a fabulous online friendship. They're so snarky and witty with each other! There were so many times where their conversations made me smile. Though many of their conversations were fun, they also have more serious, heartfelt conversations.
The only thing that bothered me as how long it took for Jessie to figure out who SN was. I knew quite early on who SN was, it wasn't hard to figure it out, but it took until the very end of the book for her to figure it out. So I spent a large portion of the book yelling at Jessie while she kept making mistakes on who was SN. Though her mistakes did lead to some interesting circumstances. I can't really fault her for taking so long, it's hard to see what's right in front of you.
Overall, I enjoyed this book! It was realistic, both heartfelt and fun! I loved the relationships and, even though it took awhile, I loved the mystery! This is a great contemporary read and I do recommend it!