Friday, January 8, 2016

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

"Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago—the closest place she has to something like home—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?" -Goodreads synopsis 

"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."

I'm finding this review hard to write... That typically happens when I'm so angry at a book that I can't even see straight. This isn't the problem I'm facing with TMTT. I liked it so much that there is so many things I want to say. I've truly never faced this issue before with a contemporary book before. It's my least favorite genre to read. Not including John Green books, I don't think I've ever been excited to finish a contemp book before this... I really thought about it too and nothing comes to mind.

I'm going to do this review a little different and stick with the common theme that TMTT and I'm going to tell you the three things that made me love this book.

1) The "Dear Reader" note. It really isn't often I read these. This time I figured why the heck not. So glad I did. Julie explains why this book means so much to her, and why it was this book was so easy and so hard for her to write. She talks about the loss of her mother and how it really changed her whole life. This personally meant so much to me because I too lost my mother way before her time. What really hit home for me is when she quotes her main character Jessie. "She will never see who I grow up to be-that great mystery of who I am and who I am meant to be-finally asked and answered". This hit way to close to home. It's such a selfish/non-selfish reason to think this, but it is so very true. It took me years to realize that my mother wouldn't be there for events and that's when everything really hits you.

2) Jessie. She is an outstanding lead. She is the perfect combination of raw real human emotion and comical teenage girl. She gives the right emotions at the right time and talks to her age. She is beyond relatable and will completely pull you into her story. When Jess struggles, loves, gets lost you feel like you're right there with her. The funny dialog she manages to keep up through out this story is just great. Julie also hit the nail right on the head with how teenage girls think. Jessie's life has so many typical YA tropes in it that it could have easily taken this down a mundane path that would have ultimately lead to me having the same issues that I do with others. However Julie makes the typical something new and fresh. Jessie is a breath of fresh air along with all the other side characters.

3) The mystery. When you read the synopsis of the book you figure out right away that there is basically a "who done it" style plot. Jessie starts receiving emails from an anonymous sender going by the username Somebody/Nobody (SN). This style would normally annoy the crap out of me. I've read plenty of books that have done this and almost 100% of the time I find myself skipping ahead, not caring about the story, getting bored, just not caring, and sneaking to find out the answer. With TMTT this wasn't at all the case. I was so interested in the story and going through things with Jessie that I didn't want to find out until the last possible second. The mystery as you can tell is all about who is SN. You, like Jessie, will go back and forth about who you think it will be. I will say that I had a pretty good idea about who it might have been, but I often found myself second guessing. Second guessing made reading this book so much fun. Warning: Julie will leave you guessing until the last second. The only thing I will suggest is that you keep maybe a little scrap piece of paper to write down the names of the guys in this book. Once all the key players were introduced once or twice I had to stop and remind myself who was who and who had what traits. When I jotted it down I was right back on track. Also kind of made me feel like I was playing a game of clue or something.

Tell Me Three Things will without a doubt be my favorite contemporary all year. So thankful to have gotten an early copy of this, and am excited for others to get to read it too. This book has so much heart, so much fun to read, and left me with a huge giddy grin on my face.

10/10 Stars