Book Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

25893582Title: Tell Me Three Things
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: April 5, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Source: Library
Genre(s): YA, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads || Buy on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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?

My review:

“Just because you’re strong doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help sometimes. Remember that.”

I really like the idea of telling someone three things, so here it goes:

  1. I really, really liked this book.
  2. It’s a typical high school story with some stereotypical characters, but that’s essentially what the high school experience is. Something to roll your eyes at. High school is a great time for some people and a terrible time for others. I’m only saying this because I’ve read some negative reviews about the book’s clichéness. You know what you’re getting into before you even read the story, so I hardly think that’s something to complain about.
  3. You might come for the waffles (on the cover) but you’ll stay for the mystery. Sure, it might be predictable to some of us (I knew who SN was from the beginning but I still needed confirmation) but that won’t stop you from reading this in one sitting.

Tell Me Three Things is fast-paced and full of heart. I read a review in which someone said this book was “trying too hard”, but what’s wrong with trying? At the very core of it, this book is about grief. It’s about how to deal with loss, and change, and belonging. So, no, I don’t think it’s bad that the author tried to make these serious topics more lighthearted, regardless of the stereotypes or melodrama used to progress the story. This could have been an incredibly sad story, but it wasn’t, and that’s why I loved it so much. Sure, there are moments of grief, an acknowledgment of someone else’s loss, but this was done so well that it didn’t take the joy or humour out of the story. And I really appreciated that.

Long story short: I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up from the library on a whim and I have no regrets. Actually, my only regret is reading the other (negative) reviews when I was finished with it. I felt bad for loving it so much when other people didn’t, but that’s okay. Maybe it’s not your cup of tea. It was definitely mine.

I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a cute, fast-paced, contemporary read.

*4.5 stars

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

  1. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    I’ve seen this book around but never really thought about picking it up, but I feel like I have to now! That quote you included hit me right in the feels, and I like the sound of it. Hopefully when I pick it up I discover that this is my cup of tea as well. ❤


    • Layla Fray says:

      Aw, I hope you enjoy it! I’m honestly surprised that I never heard of it before I saw it at the library, but I’m glad I picked it up! I was in the mood for a high school romance 🙂


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