Expected publication: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
What if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met?
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?
My Thoughts:Let me tell you three things I liked about this book: (1) the characters were perfectly casted, (2) the plot was original, (3) the underlying message was topical and full of purpose. Great story by Julie Buxbaum that caught my attention and captured my heart.
Jessie Holmes is struggling through her Junior year at Wood Valley High School. It’s been 733 days since her mom died, and her father has added to the adjustment by carting her from Chicago to Los Angeles so they can live with his new wife. To say the transition has been tough is an absolute understatement. Her new step-brother doesn’t seem to be willing to help her acclimate to her new school and the girls at WVHS are just downright mean and callous. However, when Jessie gets an anonymous email from a fellow WVHS student who takes it upon himself to help her navigate the halls of their upscale school, Jessie doesn’t know whether to take this as another prank or well needed hand.
There were so many layers to the story that only added to the experience. I really came to like Jessie from the very beginning. She went through so much in such a short amount of time and managed without the help of her father. She was absolutely applause-worthy. She managed to make friends, get a job and figure out her place in her new environment all on her own. She did have moments of frustration, but Jessie never gave up. She definitely serves as a good role model to young adults.
I also appreciated the message that came along with social interactions on the internet. Talking about connections without context and how online relationships allow for good impressions because they can so easily be manipulated is so true. Julie Buxbaum tackles several online issues that are topical to today’s time, and I liked how she weaved it into her story.
In this book, you have a father that finds someone online and marries her rather quickly, as well as Jessie who is connecting with an anonymous person and begins to develop feelings without ever meeting them in person. All possible disasters, but Buxbaum isn’t here to preach or teach lessons, she simply uses these topics as a platform to a bigger part of her story, which is Jessie’s strength and courage to adjust and create her own path.
In addition to that, Julie Buxbaum also touches on death and grief. She pulled at my emotions when Jessie longed for her mother during her more difficult times. I loved to hear how Jessie felt about her mom, which made her loss so much more heartbreaking. Jessie acknowledged that losing her mother would never be okay, but she would power through the soul crushing grief. She talked about all of the milestones her mom would miss like her high school graduation, life lectures, college acceptance letters (or rejections) and most of all her mom would never see who Jessie would grow up to be. So emotional!
Overall, Tell Me Three Things had depth, heart and memorable characters that made for an enjoyable fictional journey. Loved this one. You should definitely check it out!