Tuesday, April 19, 2016

{Blog Tour} ARC Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Title: Tell Me Three Things
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: April 5th 2016
ISBN: 9780399552939
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Fully Booked

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?
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I've never been a big Contemporary fan but I couldn't help but smile, laugh, cry and just enjoy my time while I was devouring this novel. There were so many aspects to this book that made me pause and just think about everything. Here are three things I really liked about Tell Me Three Things and reasons as to why you need to read it:

1. The struggles Jessie went through were so real and so relatable. There were even moments where I found myself nodding along to what was happening because I have felt and experienced those things as well: I've found myself not understanding my parents and estranged from them, fighting with my best friend because of a misunderstanding and most of all, feeling alone but managing to find someone to hold on to. There was so much depth to Jessie's story and her vulnerable moments made her so human and I couldn't help but build a connection to her character. I found traces of myself within her and because of those similarities, I was able to truly feel the message of Jessie's life and Tell Me Three Things even more. Trust me when I say that we'll all find pieces of ourselves in Jessie and that will give more meaning to this story for you (it's all very subjective).

2. The interactions between Jessie and those around her as well as the relationships built and remade were so compelling and weighty. I adored Jessie and Somebody/Nobody's (aka SN) emails/messages to each other. Their conversations gave the book a lighter feeling with a sweet touch of banter and flirtation. But it wasn't just cute moments between the two of them, there were heartfelt moments too and those were the ones that really struck me; they understood each other and in a way, their hearts were in the same place. There really was so much depth between the two of them. But even more than the Jessie and SN pairing, I have to give props to Scar, Jessie's best friend. Even though there was a big distance between the two of them, she was still there for Jessie and constantly lent her ear for her friend, even at her own expense. But honestly, out of all the relationships Jessie had built, it was the strained interactions with her father and her new family that really hit me. It was painful to see her want to understand what was happening but not being able to communicate that to her father; also, her denial over her new step-mother and -brother pulled that taut string even tighter (I did like her conversations with Theo, her step-brother, though, he's a cool guy). All the strings in Jessie's life where somehow interconnected and it was amazing to see certain strings get pulled to their limits but somehow not break. For me, the solution to most of the issues in the book was communication and being able to truly speak what's in your heart, and I think Julie Buxbaum was able to tackle that perfectly.

3. On a lighter note, while Tell Me Three Things was mostly about finding yourself and making amends and all that deep stuff, I really did enjoy the romance aspect of this book, as well as the mystery of who SN really is. I had my suspicions as to who he was and I really liked who he turned out to be. There was meaning to the journey of discovering his identity and that made the unveiling all the more exciting. There were a lot of "squee" moments for me in regards to the romance in this book; there were so many cute and awkward scenes that I couldn't help but be happy.

Julie Buxbaum was able to highlight so many parts of this book and give them all equal importance. I normally get bored with Contemporaries but that was not the case with this one, the story was so unique and so riveting that I actually couldn't stop reading. There's enough of everything to appeal to anyone's reading palette: a touch of angst, a little bit of romance and mystery, and a whole lot of depth in Tell Me Three Things. I cannot recommend this book enough.


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