I’m a little torn about this book. While there were various aspects I loved, I don’t think I liked the main character. To be honest, when I start to question the book, I don’t think to examine the main character, yet here I am…
Title: Tell Me Three Things
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Length: 328 pages (U.S. hardcover)
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?”
I am on the fence about this book. I debated between 3 and 3.5 stars, but I think I’ll just settle for the general “I liked it” consensus and give it 3 stars. Now…how to put into coherent words what I did and didn’t like? That’s always the question…haha.
Truthfully, the main reason I continued reading was I really wanted to find out who SN was. Jessie and her friends all had their own opinion on who it was, but I wasn’t convinced it was either of them. But in the end, SN definitely wasn’t who I thought it would! But damn straight, if it didn’t make me smile like a little girl. 🙂 I absolutely loved that aspect of the book. I didn’t even mind how semi-creepy it was that SN and Jessie continued to e-mail which then progressed into something more. I can say that I’ve been in a somewhat similar situation that Jessie is in–moving to a completely different state and the crushing feeling of starting over and feeling alone.
I’m trying to think as a rational adult and a semi-rational teen because yes, Jessie now having to live with her step-mother and step-brother in a ultra-posh house, attending an rich school can conjure said feelings of Jessie. Despite that, I liked how there was some reconciliation between Jessie and said people, even her dad. There were some instances that were predictable, like the moments with Scarlett later in the book (hello to a Korean character, though)! I initially hated Theo, too, but I grew to appreciate him as the book progressed, and I think Jessie did, too. They connected when I didn’t think they would.
I lived for all the conversations with SN. Also, all the scenes with Ethan. I loved how Jessie described him and all of their interactions! Completely made to squeal! I loved how he was vulnerable, seemed completely carefree (especially all the attention he garnered from girls), yet was all adorable with a heart-wrenching backstory. Y’all know I’m a sucker for backstories!
One of my main reasons for not giving this book a higher rating was Jessie’s general perception of Los Angeles, her new family, and her fellow classmates. I felt like it was such a skewed, biased, “This is how all the movies and TV shows make people from LA seem” that it just felt wrong. Should I factor Jessie’s age into the equation? I don’t know. It was just off and a bit strange to me.
While I definitely prefer Buxbaum’s What to Say Next, I did like this novel as well, but not as much as I thought I would–not to say I was disappointed, though.