Posted in Book review

Review: Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Genres/Themes: Grief, Bullying, Anonymous friend, YA, high school drama, romance/first love


So, I started off this book thinking it was SUCH A TEEN BOOK. And yes, I knew I might not relate to their problems or think them trivial, so this isn’t something I would mark the book down for, so there I was struggling on wondering if it would be too much for me when I noticed a spark.

Summary 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?

This book really delves into grief, bullying, and just trying to be a teen in this unforgiving world. I think there is a lot of good in this book, even if there is also a lot of horrible stereotypes and some parts that just never seem concluded (the bullying).

Some good: good examples of friends, a potentially healthy relationship, learning to deal with grief, fighting and making up with friends, and honestly, the narrator really conveyed the emotion of the character. I also thought that the music examples weren’t too old that they wouldn’t be believable for a normal teen to like –something I have noticed lately.
Another thing to add is I think Jessie speaks like a teen and thinks like a teen which while hard for me to hear, may really stick and pull teens in.

The bad: some of it didn’t make sense: the bullying [Spoiler] so she gets bullied enough to physical violence and then it just….stops??? I thought it would have gotten worse because Liam breaks up with Jem! , how quickly the dad and step-mom move in together without even telling the kids, and then the parents never really being seen or TRYING to make Jessie feel welcome in the house, and seriously how stupid Jessie was about who SN was [Spoiler]if you know he is a junior like you why would you keep assuming he was a senior?! Don’t even get me started on the “you are early” comment that went RIGHT OVER HER HEAD
Also, the California stereotypes?! Can that just stop already? And why are the mean girls always blondes who “look like twins” are thin, etc. I am so over it. I am not even blonde and I am so tired of this!

So, what else is there to say about this book? I am just so on the edge because in the end, I liked it and the narrator made me connect, but when the end came I was surprised– I didn’t think this was a novel about ‘first love’ until the author note told me it was. I was waiting for a family dinner that went decently well where we were shown that life goes on, but no- this was a love story.
I guess I wanted more than I got?

Recommend? Yes. I totally would recommend this to people, at the moment I’m not sure who. I think it is worth the read for teens, especially ones who like lighter novels and romance novels, but since grief is so involved… I am not so certain…


If you have read this book I would L O V E to hear your opinions on it!!


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