- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (March 14, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553535676
- ISBN-13: 978-0553535679
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tell Me Three Things Paperback – March 14, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—A contemporary YA novel about grieving, growing up, and learning how to have confidence in yourself. Saying Jessie's new life is weird would be an understatement—after she loses her mother to cancer, her dad sells their house, moves them across the country to live with the woman he eloped with during a business trip, and enrolls her in an elite private school where everyone makes her feel even more like an outsider. Back home Jessie was comfortable: she had both her parents, a house she loved, and friends. Here she feels lost in a sea of designer clothing, expensive cars, and people who spend their summer vacations in faraway countries. When the teen gets an anonymous email from Somebody/Nobody offering to teach her to navigate this new school's territory, she registers how strange the situation may be but replies anyway. Who is this mysterious Somebody/Nobody (SN for short)? Will trusting SN lead to success—or make her even more of a target for bullies? Readers will find themselves growing with Jessie as she tries to deal with the passing of her mother and become comfortable in her own skin miles away from everything she thought of as home. Buxbaum's debut is hard to put down because of its smooth and captivating text. The addition of virtual conversations through email and chatting adds an exciting plot twist. Casual talk of drinking, drugs, and sex makes this novel more appealing to mature teens. VERDICT A definite purchase for collections where readers enjoy character-driven fiction.—DeHanza Kwong, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Here are three things about this book: (1) It's sweet and funny and romantic; (2) the mystery at the heart of the story will keep you turning the pages; (3) I have a feeling you'll be very happy you read it."—Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
"The desire to find out whether Jessie's real-life and virtual crushes are one and the same will keep [readers] turning the pages as quickly as possible."--Publishers Weekly, Starred
"A heartfelt, wryly perceptive account of coming to terms with irrevocable loss when life itself means inevitable change."—Kirkus Reviews
"Buxbaum's debut is hard to put down because of its smooth and captivating text. The addition of virtual conversations through email and chatting adds to the exciting plot twist."--SLJ
"Buxbaum adds layered plotlines about grief, family, and the confusion and hardships of growing up, all with a touch of humor and romance. A solid YA debut."--Booklist
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I LOVED this book. The only thing I didn't like was that it had to end and, in fact, I forced myself to stop reading several times because I didn't want to finish. Jessie was so unbelievably real and likeable and I felt every emotion right along with her - humiliation at being bullied, grief over losing her mom, awkwardness over just being, well, awkward, and infatuated/falling for the boys in her life. I thought the language and subject matter was appropriate for the age group - not too sophisticated but not at all dumbed down. And I knew that the author had to have experienced loss because some things you just can't describe that well if you've never been there. I thought Jessie was reading my mind sometimes when she talked about mourning someone she loved.
At this point, I am convinced that I would one-click dinosaur porn if Julie Buxbaum wrote it.
What called me to Tell Me Three Things was the fact that, yes, it's sure to be a cute and fluffy contemporary that's sure to hit the spot. But it also just happens to have a premise with major You've Got Mail elements, and if that's not compelling then I don't know what is. So when the eBook was on super sale I snatched it up, and not too much time later I picked the book (well, my Kindle) up and decided to see if it was as sweet and delicious as three heart-shaped waffles. And it kinda was.
Tell Me Three Things immediately pulled me in--and I mean pulled me in--from page one, which starts right off with Jessie's emails and introduction to Somebody/Nobody, aka SN. SN knows who Jessie is--he or she did, in fact, email her--but Jessie hasn't the faintest clue who SN is, except that he or she goes to her school and can tell that she's lost--and wants to help her find her way. What ensues is a series of correspondences between Jessie and SN that are sweet and funny and honest and utter perfection, and if I'm being completely honest? I would and could read an entire book that's composed entirely of their messages.
But somewhere along the way that great beginning started to wane off. The messages were still present, but the rest of the story wasn't quite as interesting and didn't do as well with piquing my interest. Jessie (unwillingly) moves to California after her widowed father marries another widow, and Jessie gains a rather unexpected new stepmother, stepbrother, and finds herself living in a whole new world. With the exception of SN--whose identity we are kept guessing at (and I was right, thank gosh)--the majority of the secondary characters felt a little flat. They needed just a bit more dimension to really be there and have presence and feel real. (For example, there's a potential love interest and a best friend who just didn't do much for me and they probably should have. There was one particular character who floated my boat, aside from SN. But I won't tell you who, except that he wears like the same thing every day.) I wouldn't say it's a bad thing that the messages were my favorite part, but it's not necessarily a good thing that few things were as interesting.
The real and actual best part of Tell Me Three Things was the ending, which was one of the cutest and most adorable endings ever. I loved and adored it. I just wish everything in this book was on the same cute and fun and sweet level, because instead I'm left with like one really good homemade waffle and a couple frozen waffles that are just okay. I needed parts of the story and the characters to be less like outlines and to be filled in and given dimension so that they'd actually feel like bigger parts of the book. But those messages and that ending and that ship. Ah. So waffle-ful.