PURCHASE:Amazon | Book Depository
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?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
The deepest smile on my face, the lightest feeling I’ve had for the longest while, a warmness surrounding my heart… these were the things I’ve felt while AND after reading this book. I went from “Hmmm, this is interesting!” to “OMFG THIS IS THE CUTEST!!! MY HEART!!! ASDFGHJKL;” in like a fraction of a second once the book reeled me in its grasp. And trust me, it didn’t even try. It was just absolutely, 100% effortless.
In other words: this book is a bloody gem.
I’ve loved so many books in the past years, a fair amount of them contemporaries. And many of the contemporaries I’ve super enjoyed – like Faking Normal, Emily and Oliver, What We Saw – the best I could give them were4 stars. The 5 stars that I’ve awarded is reserved for books like Anatomy of a Misfit – books with such amazing narration that feels not only real but also so very authentic to the point that the teenage me of yesterday comes out of her hidden depths just to cry out, “This character is so me. Her feelings, her fears, her insecurities are so me. SHE IS ME!”
Tell Me Three Things is that, in a nutshell. I love this book so much like you all wouldn’t believe. I honestly was a little hesitant at first, but then, as I read 5 pages, the narration made me chuckle. Then I started enjoying it, nodding my head and giggling every few minutes and going, “Holy heck, this narration is so deep and genuine and teenagery and not pretentious at all!” Then I started feeling it, loving it, adoring it, along with my teenage self that, once again, has wished that she read this kind of book when she was still trying fit herself in a world she could hardly begin to understand. And to top it all off? It was all of these things and it was such a light-hearted and cute story, to boot. I resonated with the characters AND felt incredibly giddy about everything, too.
The romance, the character and relationship development, the hows and whys of online connections… man. How do I even begin?
I already mentioned about how the narration was top-notch (it really is. I wish I could highlight pretty much every word here because they’re just so awesome), but I’d also like to reiterate and emphasize how the narration as well made the issues being tackled here so very real and authentic. There’s just something so simple and yet so melodic about Jessie’s voice that makes her feel like she could be your friend or your neighbor or simply yourself (I’m not even a funny person when I was a teenager [and Jessie is, effortlessly, even if her humor is more self-deprecating than anything else], and yet!!!!), talking about out her fears and concerns as you would have talked about them, too. This is the number one reason (plus her bring adorably funny) that makes this book so close to my heart, and it’s so hard to find a narration like that – something that doesn’t pretend to be “lyrical” and “real” but is just effortlessly is.
Imagine yourself as the new kid on the block, surrounded by people you don’t know, far away from your best friend. You have a new mom who you’re not yet ready to accept just yet, a new brother who wants to forget your existence, and your dad is way too busy “trying to move on” with his life without your real mom to understand the things you’re going through. And then someone anonymously sends you a message, wanting to be the person to guide you through this new life you’ve stumbled yourself into, and as you get to know each other, you form a bond with someone you’ve never seen, never heard, never held. And you wonder, is this right?
Imagine that now with the most amazing narration… ever.
The aspect with the anonymous friend over the internet was seriously so well-done. I know how there are books out there with text messaging and social media involved in their stories, but none felt so “connecting” and “right” as the one here. I love how it showed how on the internet, we can be anyone we want to be, in a sort of way. In real life, you limit yourself to the kind of person you think you can survive as (as the elusive kid who ignores everyone, for example) but once online, you’re so happy-go-lucky and vibrant, because the shadow of anonymity gives us the sort of freedom to show the real us to the people we want to reveal ourselves to. And I love how this was tastefully done, and how it was a big part of the book’s suspense, and how it made the story so cuter and exciting on top of being so funny, authentic, and real.
PLUS, DID I MENTION HOW IT’S SO DARN CUTE?! I WAS SMILING SO WIDELY BY THE END OF THE STORY, DAMNIT.
This book surprised me in the best way possible. I don’t regret accepting the review request even one bit because it was so very worth it. Julie Buxbaum is now an insta-buy for me, and I have no doubt she will be an insta-buy for you guys as well once you get a dose of this beautiful, funny, cute, light-hearted story.
THREE THINGS ABOUT ME
1.) I once played around with my retainers back in grade school. My teeth were awful back in the days and I had a lot of dental work done, and oftentimes, I played around with my retainers by rolling them over and over in my mouth. One time, I accidentally did it a little too far and always swallowed the thing. I was like choking for 5 seconds before I managed to get it out of my throat. That was a close call. I never did it again. Also, my teeth are awesome now.
2.) I can’t stand the cold. I don’t like the air conditioners in rooms or buildings, I don’t like chilly airs, I don’t like the cold, period. I prefer a warm sunny day to a chilly one.
3.) I have crab-like, can-be-incredibly-bent limbs and fingers and limbs. If I try to straighten them, they show up bent. My dad says it’s like a crab and he says it’s meant I’ll have a good life. Who knows.
So, I love this book SO DARN MUCH that I am willing to give away my prized review copy to a random bookworm resident here in the Philippines hoping they will love it as much as I did. The release date wouldn’t be for a few more months (APRIL!!!) so the winner will be reading this especially early, so make sure to enter your entries for the chance to win! Just remember, YOU NEED TO LIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES, YOU MUST BE OVER 13 YEARS OLD, AND YOU DON’T CHEAT! We’ll ban cheaters from future giveaways :)
Latest posts by Faye (see all)
- I AM BACK, MINIONS!!!! (plus giveaway) - October 10, 2016
- [Blog tour] + [PH Giveaway] TELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum – My first 5 star book in 2016! LEGIT HERE, YO! - January 23, 2016
- YA Contemporary Books: Where Were You While I Was Growing Up? - January 5, 2016