1. Oh wow, the feels. I am drowning in feelings. And by feelings I mean this in a good way. It alternates from drowning in a tsunami of fluff and me sporting a goofy smile, to feeling emphatic and soaking in grief and all the teenage drama that unfolds in the pages.
2. This is like a movie in my head. So very entertaining and such a fun read. I love how I can just imagine every single moment in this book vividly.
3. Ethan. Because Ethan is Ethan is Ethan. (You'll get this once you read the book!) And that's all that matters. He makes everything better and I just can't get enough of him! I'm sure a lot of readers feel the same way.
Title: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Published by: Delacorte Press
Source: From the publisher (Thanks Julia!)
Buy locally: Fully Booked
Buy online: Amazon | Book Depository
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?
Don't you just love the initial intrigue you feel right after you read the summary? I did, and my expectations for the novel weren't really that high to begin with. But oh wow, as soon as I was 20 pages in I know I'm going to enjoy reading Jessie's story. So let me tell you three things that made this such a good read for me.
One: Jessie, Jessie and Jessie. S/N. Theo, Scar, Liam, Dri, Agnes. In short, the characters.
I absolutely love stories that hooks the reader right from the start, and meeting Jessie pulled me right in. A lot of aspects in her life is something I have experienced myself, and reading, remembering that similar place and point in my life instantly made me connect and relate with Jessie. I don't know how she did it but there's something in the way that Julie Buxbaum shaped Jessie's character that didn't make her an annoying person despite her life being very dramatic, and her being in the midst on an emotional time of her life. Here is a teenager, grieving, suddenly presented with a life drastically different than she's used to, alone, surrounded with everything unfamiliar. I admired Jessie in a lot of ways because she got through it. Jessie is fascinating, and her thoughts allowed me to know her more. What better way to present the story than being seen in her eyes.
And S/N. S/N, S/N, S/N. Oh, I just love him. Entertaining, witty, humorous, and despite being weird (Yes, even I can use the word to describe S/N) I can't get enough of S/N. Before I knew it I was looking forward to reading the banter, the IMs, the conversations with Jessie. Because that's just it, full of laughs and amusing thoughts of two teenagers. Though shrouded with secrecy, we also get to know S/N through the random facts shared in their conversations. It's like Julie was giving away bits and pieces and clues so the readers can find out who this person is, and I just ate up every single thing thrown my way. I loved that the uncertainty of S/N and Jessie's relationship was evident, and how it was properly expressed that real life and cyber versions of themselves aren't similar, that not all things might be real or true, how easy it is to say things online than to say it in person.
One more thing that I love: how there's a spectrum of other interesting characters throughout the book, each of them contributing in making the story likable and lovable. Theo, who I love to hate and hate to love. He has his own share of grief, and though most of the time he confuses me, grabbed my attention as well. Scar, who I loved because she's such a great best friend. And thrown in a couple of other hot guys like Liam, Caleb, Ethan to the mix to further muddle the trail that leads to S/N and it makes the story all the more adorable.
Two: The feelings, oh the feelings.
I've lost count how many times I found myself chuckling or full on laughing while reading. I was also frustrated, worried, anxious at various points of the book. To be able to feel such a variety of emotions while reading is something I don't always get to experience, but this book just gave me so much joy, laughter, made me a little teary eyed, sad, nervous and made me hold my breath in a span of 300 pages. Finding a place to belong, learning to live a good life after such a devastating loss and finding love in unexpected times and places, the story takes me through all of that. In the history of big secret revelations, the twist in this book is probably the best anti-climactic moment I will like for a long time. It was so... S/N.
Three: Julie Buxbaum's writing
I will be honest, I've figured out who S/N is very early in the story. But you know what? I think figuring out just who this online, mysterious friend is added an extra dimension to my reading. Because then I get to know this person as S/N and as who they are in real life. The contrasts in personalities, the why's, the what's and the how's that made them such a person. (I refuse to give unnecessary clues away!) The journey S/N and Jessie made before the secrets were revealed. I didn't give up until I see it happen, how Julie will bring the readers to that point. The story itself is simple and straightforward, but I like how as a reader, I get more than what I expected and that's what makes it such a special read. There's depth, emotions, lively characters, and it was such an engaging story. Who am I not to fall in love with such a potent combination?
In closing, here are the three things I know:
1. I recommend this book to all of you. It's already been a week since release date and you need to grab a copy NOW.
2. I am so glad I had a chance to read such a story. Another book to add on my favorite YA contemporary list. And I am proud to say that I will read anything Julie Buxbaum writes from now on.
3. Do I need a third reason? If yes, please read my review again and see if I can convince you one more time.
Kai's favorite quote:When I close my eyes at night, I see last moments, impossible goodbyes.
But I don't dream anymore. Do you dream? I miss it.
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