Monday, September 12, 2016

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum-- Semi-Original = Semi-Liked It

Jessie is lost.  Her mom died, she's been pulled from Chicago to L.A. because her dad married a woman he met online, and she's going to a ultra-exclusive prep-school where she does NOT fit in.

Enter SN.

She gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody Nobody (aka SN) and they claim to want to help Jessie get the lay of the land at Wood Valley.  The two begin a back-and-forth chat that keeps going.  

Jessie feels like SN really SEES her, and she can feel herself falling for him.... only problem is-- he knows who she is, and he's not ready to let her in on his identity.

I hate books like this.  Hear me out-- what I mean is a book that I like but don't love.  I want to LOVE all the books.  But if I don't love it, I want to hate it.  Because I will know why I hate it and I will know why I love it.  But like??  I'm not so good at telling you why I thought it was "just okay".

Since this book is called Tell Me Three Things, I'm going to be cheesy and tell you three things I liked and didn't like.

3 Things I Liked:

1.  I thought this was well plotted and flowed really well.  At no time did I think I should put it down. I wouldn't say I was obsessed with reading it, but I did enjoy it when I was in it.

2.  I found it cute.  I need cute books in my life sometimes because I tend to read and seek out books that deal with TOUGH subjects.  I like to feel the sad and deep feelings, but I can't do it all the time or I would turn into a puddle on the floor.  So I need books like this that are more on the fluffy, fun side every now and again.

3.  Dealing with parental death is a part of this book, but it doesn't take over the whole feel of the book.  This isn't a "dead mother" book.  At the same time, I really enjoyed Jessie's insights about her loss.  It was the most realistic part of this book.

3 Things... Well, Not So Much:

1.  So I feel like I've read a version of this book before and I feel like I liked that other version better.  This felt like it almost followed a YA Contemporary Romance formula, and I wasn't a fan of that.

2.  It. Was. So. Damn. Obvious. Who. SN. Was.  Okay, maybe the author didn't want it to be a giant surprise, but I did!!  I knew who it was and Jessie knew who it was (although she kept pretending like she didn't know), and I was hoping against hope that there would be a massive twist... but no.

3.  Jessie spent a lot of this book trying to make me feel bad for her.  And I did... sometimes.  So, I totally hurt for her about her mom.  And I felt bad for because her dad was being a prick.  But that's it.  Everything else in her terrible life wasn't that terrible at all.

Example(s): She starts a new school and feels really alone.  Enter SN.  Someone who tells her who to make friends with and anything else she wants to know about her new school.  It sort of negates the whole "I'm on my own" argument she tries to put out there.

She is bullied.  Everyone and their mother jumps in to stick up for her.

She feels ugly.  Every dude in a five mile radius LOVES her.  Boys break up with their girlfriends for her.  No one ever rejects her.  She does the rejecting.  (And yes, she's another girl who is obviously very pretty, but pretends like she thinks she's fat and ugly).

Also (going over on my 3 things... sorry!!), what guy would do what SN does??  I think it was a little bit of wish fulfillment going on there.  Teenage boys don't tend to go out of their way to "notice" when a girl is sad and lonely.  And the special snowflake factor was STRONG here.  All the other girls were described as Mean Girl Barbie just so that Jessie could look that much extra-special cool.  I didn't think she was that extra-special.  She was just a girl.

And FYI to the author-- A Pharmacist and a College Professor does not = POOR... even regular middle class.  In any way whatsoever.  They both make 6 figures!!

I did like the book, but it's just not my favorite book done like this.  I do very much LOVE the cover. I dig the simplistic cover designs.

OVERALL: A YA Contemp Romance that I feel like I've read before... and I liked the other version better.  It was good if you could let yourself just have fun with it, but I'm not the laid back type, so it wasn't a favorite for me.  It's completely readable-- good writing, very flowy.  I wouldn't recommend against it, but I wouldn't say it's a must either.

Date Published: 4/5/2016
How I got this book: I bought it
Publisher: Delacorte Press/ Penguin Random House

Add it to your To-Read List!!

This Book Contains:

  • Email/IM messages
  • A band with a dirty name
  • Poetry
  • Bullying
  • Partying
  • Waffles (haha, the cover kind of gives that away right??)
  • Dealing with death
  • Blended family coping
  • Drugs
  • Private school

My Rating: 3/5

Character: Jessie Holmes
Book: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

  • McLean moves and has to start over multiple times when her dad becomes a restaurant consultant.  Instead of having friends in all different places, McLean chooses to reinvent herself and leave everything behind with each move.  I feel like Jessie would enjoy reading about a girl in a similar situation as her, but chooses to go about it in a different way.

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  1. I have had this one since it came out and really need to read it. Most of the not so great things aren't ones that bother me too much - minus number 3 - so I am still hoping to love this one. Glad you did enjoy it even with the issues. Great review!

  2. Great review! I've seen VERY mixed reviews of this one so I haven't been sure I want to read it. I totally know what you mean about reading books that you feel like you've read before, ugh! I feel that way with so many NA and actually a lot of contemporary YA. Glad you liked some of this, though!

    1. That is why I completely gave up reading NA!! Every time I picked one up it was the exact same story!!

  3. Ooooohhh this was such a mess, and so much girl hate. It was like, GIRL CHILL. I love the waffle cover. If an anon DMed being like, I know you and your family, but don't be scared. I would report that to the police. Creeeep.

    You predicted SN?? Omg I didn't hahah. I was so lost from the beginning. I just couldn't stand the MC. And love the comparison to Sarah Dessen! Great review!

  4. I never thought this book would be cute. It doesn't seem cute, but thank you for clarifying that! "hoping against hope" << I think that's the first time I read that phrase haha But it's so true! Sometimes we need to be blind so we can enjoy it more. Your description of the other girls being mean and Jess being the sweet one... Eh, that puts me off. I don't know if I would pick this up :/ Great review though!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews