Review: Tell Me Three Things | Julie Buxbaum

“Perfect days are for people with small, realizable dreams. Or maybe for all of us, they just happen in retrospect; they're only now perfect because they contain something irrevocably and irretrievably lost.”

Book Info

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Number of Pages: 328
Perspective: First
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Tell Me Three Things is about Jessie, a teenage girl who moves from Chicago to Los Angeles when her dad gets remarried two years after her mother’s death. She gets anonymous emails from someone at her school who offers her mentorship in navigating the tricky dynamics of her new prep school. For a complete summary, you can go here.

Book Review

TL;DR: Must-read story about young love, moving across the country, and overcoming grief.

Rating: 5/5

Full Review: I started this book at 10 pm and did not stop until I finished it at 2 am. I also gave it my Best Book Award. This is definitely a feel-good young love story and I’m all for it. But what made it amazing is the complex characters with real feelings. It tackles the issue of grief, which can be hard to balance in a love story, but Buxbam handled it brilliantly. The characters could have easily fallen into cliche stereotypes—i.e. hot musician, mean popular girls, new girl, etc—but they were just substantial enough to avoid that label.

It reminded me a little of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because of the emails and trying to figure out their true identity. It also reminded me a little of the love in To All The Boys I Loved Before, but the main character in this book was a lot more mature and already a little more experienced.

I borrowed this book from the library and now I wish I had bought it. If I see it at my local half-priced bookshop, I will definitely grab my own copy. I would re-read and loan out this one.

As someone who has been the “new kid” at school many times, I could relate to Jessie. I would have loved having a secret admirer to tell me some tips for who to avoid and who to make friends with. I can also relate to the weird feeling going back to visit old friends, only to realize that they have moved on. It is such a normal teen experience that I don’t see written about a lot.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of young adult contemporaries. I think people who experienced the loss of a loved one at a young age could also appreciate this story. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

“Just because you're strong doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for help sometimes.”

My Rating

5 star
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