Tell Me Three Things
by Julie Buxbaum
I found another amazing book . . . Tell Me Three Things. It was sweet, funny and moving. I am so impressed by Buxbaum’s writing style and ability and will be reading her other books. This was her first Young Adult novel and I was hooked on page one. Tell Me Three Things reminded me a lot of the movie, You’ve Got Mail (only taking place in high school). I’m still struggling with having finished the book . . .I’m just not ready to leave the characters.
Jessie has just gone through the unimaginable: her mother has died and her father has remarried (a woman she’s never met) and they are moving to L.A to move in with her and her son. It is a rough transition for Jessie, to say the least, but the one light in all the confusion, hurt, and loneliness is an anonymous email from Somebody Nobody (SN) who offers to help Jessie and show her the ropes of her new high school. At first she is skeptical, but then she takes him up on his offer and he gives her tips on cafeteria food and who would make a good friend. Jessie begins to adapt. SN was right: she becomes good friends with Dri and she also gets a job at the local book store, Book Up Below. The popular girls hate her and embarrass her regularly, but Jessie is partnered in English with another classmate, Ethan, who is quiet but very smart, and they slowly build a friendship. After about two months, Jessie’s stepmom (who is loaded) sends her back to her old home to visit her old friends. Jessie is thrilled, but the trip starts off rough because both she and her best friend have changed. After sorting out hurt feelings they make amends and move forward to be closer friends before Jessie has to go back. Spoilers: All this time Jesse has been trying to figure out who SN is and is battling feelings for Ethan. Everyone warns her that he has a dark past and that she shouldn’t get mixed up with him, but she is steadily falling for him. She is also falling for SN. With him she is herself and they have a lot in common, including losing a loved one. When they write, they go back and fourth sharing three things about themselves or how they’re feeling. Jessie is convinced that SN is a boy in her school named Caleb, but her friends help her figure out it isn’t him. Her friends think it’s Liam (the hot lead in a band who broke up with his girlfriend for Jessie), but Jessie is hoping beyond hope that it’s Ethan. Finally, SN agrees to meet her at IHOP. Jessie is so nervous and excited, but then very disappointed when Liam walks up to her table. But before she can really react, Caleb walks up, and then Ethan arrives. Liam is trying to ask Jessie out and she is trying not to show her disappointment when Ethan cuts in to ask everyone to hold on while he takes his phone out. Then Jessie gets a message from SN saying it’s him, not Liam. Jessie is filled with excitement, tells Liam she can’t go out with him and then she and Ethan finally “meet” and it’s perfect! Best ending.
Summing it up: I can’t say enough good things about this book. It was heartwarming and moving to tears at points, but also funny and sweet. I absolutely loved it and I highly recommend it!
All the best, Abbey