Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Review

Title: Tell Me Three Things
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: April 5th, 2016
Pages: 328 

This book was adorbs. Here is the synopsis stolen for 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?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.


It has been a while (or least felt like a while) since I’ve read a YA contemporary. Lately I’ve been picking up a ton of YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi. However, I was going on vacation and needed some light reads for the trip. I was drawn in by the premise. I’m such a sucker for a mystery man and some email/instant messaging/online flirtation. YA contemporaries are my guilty pleasure and I usually devour them. This one was no exception.

This book was so addicting, I read it in a day. Buxbaum does an excellent job at sucking you in and getting you wrapped up in the story. Mostly this is done through SN, our mystery man. Seriously, I sped read this to find out who he was because I needed to know. The romance was also so cute and fun.

The emails between Jesse and SN were so adorable. I thought that the emails, IMs, and text messages were all handled very well. At one point Jesse is having four different conversations over various mediums and it was not confusing. While they did not use a lot of graphics showing these conversations, I liked that it was done in a minimalist way.

Another thing that I loved was how the book dealt with friendship. There was some female friendship, which I always like to see especially in a romance book. I especially liked the friendship between Jesse and her childhood best friend Scarlett. When Jesse moves away they have a long distance friendship. I thought it was handled very well and liked how the author showed that struggle. It wasn’t glossed over like some other contemporaries I have read. There are also some heavy issues in this book that I thought were dealt with mostly well.

There were some issues I had with this book though. Some things I will talk more about in my spoiler section, but I will say that the ending felt very rushed. This book had a lot of things in it and Buxbaum wraps most of them up, but at the same time I feel like some things resolved too quickly. Ironically, I felt the heavier topics were wrapped up better than the romance. It definitely could have used more pages just so everything flowed nicer. Thinking more about the book, I’m not sure if it brought anything new to the table.

Also after re-reading the synopsis, I don’t remember the book being particularly funny. I thought it was cute, yes. However, the description makes it sound more funny that I thought it was.

If you like YA contemporaries and are looking for a pick me up, I definitely recommend this book. Was it the most original thing in the world? No. However, it was such a fun read and an adorable romance that I ended up loving it.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


SPOILERS BELOW
Please do not continue reading unless you have read the book.
You have been warned.


Okay, so I don’t have too many spoiler thoughts. However, I need to talk about the ending because that’s where I had the most issues.

Once I found out who SN turned out to be, I was a little disappointed. Did I think that Ethan was the best choice for Jesse? Yes. However, it was a little cliche and sort of predictable. I say sort of, because for most of the book I had no idea who SN was. However, it became pretty obvious in the last fourth. I guess I was just looking for more of a surprise ending. I thought it could have been a little more interesting to have this mystery man be someone who appeared more together on the outside than they actually were.That’s just me though.

Also, I didn’t like how SN was revealed and then the book was over. I wanted a little bit more, especially since I had questions. For example, I had no idea why Liam liked Jesse. There was no real explanation given and there should have been. He dumped his girlfriend because he wanted to date her. We needed one! Again, this was probably due to the fact that Buxbaum wrapped things up so quickly. I wish she had spent more time dealing with this.

Even though the ending was not as great as I wanted it to be, I still enjoyed reading the book. This genre is my guilty pleasure, so it would have had to be awful for me not to like it.

What were your thoughts on Tell Me Three Things? Did you love it? Hate it? Thought it was just okay? Let’s chat in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Review

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