Wednesday, May 31, 2017

31. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

read on my iPhone
2016, Delacourt Press
328 pgs.
Finished 5/31/17
Goodreads rating: 4.11 - 16,116 ratings
My rating: 4.5
Setting: Contemporary Los Angeles, CA

First line/s:  "Seven hundred and thirty-three days after my mom died, forty-five days after my dad eloped with a stranger he met on the Internet, thirty days after we then up and moved to California, and only seven days after starting as a junior at a brand-new school where I know approximately no one, an email arrives."

My comments:  4.5  This was a dreamy YA romance, cleverly told with a combination of first person narrative and text messages between the protagonist and her best friend from Chicago, her new friends in LA, and a mystery classmate at her fancy new unfamiliar high school....who befriends her by text message and won't share his identity.  No, I am not an enjoyer of romance fiction, but this one suckered me in (and I do mean suckered, not sucked...)  right from the start.  An excellent cast of characters, the LA setting (that I wish she'd given a bit more attention to) and the epistolary aspects of the book worked very well together.  The plot includes typical high school angst, typical bullying, but not-so-typical dealing with grief, a new step family...and poetry.  The new stepbrother is even gay, so lots of issues are being "hit."  There's lots of older ya stuff going on - Jesse is a junior in high school - so I wouldn't recommend this for middle schoolers because of some very explicit conversations about sex.  Possible Spoiler alert:  Even though you know practically from the start who her secret admirer is, it's still pretty cool how it's revealed at the very end of the book.

Goodreads synopsis  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?
           Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

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