“Tell Me Three Things” by Julie Buxbaum

Three things I loved about this YA novel: (1) It was adorable. You couldn’t help but to love the characters, and simply put, it was a treat to read. (2) It reached my inner high-schooler. I only venture into YA from time-to-time, and despite it’s focus on the death of a parent, TMTT was lighthearted enough to remind me of the joy of high school love. I squealed along with Jessie at the prospect of Ethan and SN. (3) It has a good balance of humor and death. Jessie is still mourning the loss of her mother and dealing with a new school, new friends, new love interests. But she is able to laugh at herself and have witty conversations with SN and other characters, which for me, was the highlight of the novel.

Three things I didn’t like: (1) There are obvious, and sometimes inaccurate, stereotypes that play too big a role in the story. Yes, bullying is real, I’m not denying that, but being hated and bullied by an LA school full of all-blonde, skinny girls? The perverted teacher? A nice-guy boyfriend who doesn’t realize his girlfriend is the witch of the school? A little too far-fetched, and I don’t think it was strong enough to work. (2) I realized very early on who “SN” was, so it was frustrating to read along as the main character continued to guess (and for the longest time, incorrectly). (3) While I loved Jessie’s humor and self-awareness, she was too put-together for a sixteen-year-old girl. I’ll admit it: I was a nerd in high school. I certainly wasn’t in the popular circle. And with that perspective, it’s hard to relate to a character who has two close friends and two to three of the popular guys interested in her only two months after she starts at a new school.

It’s worth a read, and a quick one at that. You could easily read in one or two sittings.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Published: April 5, 2016
I started: Nov. 22, 2016
I finished: Nov. 25, 2016


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