Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Summary: 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?
Figuring out Somebody/Nobody’s identity may be the hook for the story, but what really drew me in was Jessie’s all-too-real struggle to recover from the shock of her mother’s death and navigate a new life in a new place. With each new person she met, the question of whether he or she was the anonymous emailer lingered, until I wanted it to be a certain person as badly as Jessie did. The characters and relationships are so sharply drawn, from Jessie’s dad, lost in his own world of grief and healing, to Theo, the flamboyant step-brother who only reluctantly becomes an ally, to Scarlett, the best friend left behind in Chicago who also has to find her way when Jessie leaves, to Ethan, the enigmatic study partner with ghosts of his own. I listened to the book on audio, and Jorjeana Marie’s gorgeous narration was a pitch-perfect match to the wry, understated emotion of the book. This is a story that will suck you in and steal your heart.
TELL ME THREE THINGS is out now.
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