Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Random House; Delacorte Press
Pages: 336 pages
Source & Format: Publisher; ARC
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Summary (from Goodreads)
What if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met? 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?
1. Julie wrote one of my all-time favorite books, The Opposite of Love. I bought the book on a whim while I was in college, and I've returned to it again and again over the years. I can't tell you exactly why I love the book and its heroine so much - just that I do. It's the kind of book that I'm hesitant to recommend solely because I want to keep it to myself. That book turned me into a Julie fan for life!
2. I'm absolutely in love with the way Julie writes. I still remember when I flipped to the first chapter in The Opposite of Love. There was something about that opening line - “Last night, I dreamt that I chopped Andrew up into a hundred little pieces, like a Benihana chef, and ate them, one by one.” - that told me I had to take the book home. And I'm pleased to say the writing has been my favorite thing about all three of Julie's book!
3. I'm thrilled that Julie has written both adult and young adult fiction! I've always been a fan of adult fiction, but it was blogging that helped me develop a love for young adult fiction. After reading The Opposite of Love and After You (Julie's adult fiction books), I was desperate for another book by her. It was a happy surprise when I learned she was releasing a young adult book! I truly hope it introduces more readers to her work.
Thankfully, Julie pulled it off! I shared Jessie's skepticism when she got that first email (was it an elaborate hoax to humiliate her?!), but I found myself anxiously anticipating each new email and IM as I turned the pages of the book. The way their friendship developed had me itching for the moment when SN's identity was finally revealed! The concept could been awkward, but it ended up being one of my favorite things about the book.
2. I loved the different relationships. I'll admit - my favorite relationship was the one between Jessie and Somebody/Nobody, but that's partly because their banter made me smile so much! I could totally understand why Jessie started to let her guard down while talking to SN, and I was definitely hoping that would SN would turn out to be a certain somebody from Jessie's school... This relationship had me grinning from ear to ear!
I loved the friendships. I appreciated the honesty from Jessie's best friend from home, Scarlett, and how they supported one another and worked through their issues. I enjoyed watching Jessie make two new friends in Los Angeles, too! There was tension in Jessie's relationship with her dad and with her new stepmother and stepbrother, but I liked that family relationships were important in the story - even when they weren't perfect!
3. There's so much honest emotion in these pages. Tell Me Three Things brings together two very different emotional experiences in such a seamless and believable way. Jessie is grieving after her mom died of cancer - and after her father remarried and moved her across the country. In a lot of ways, she feels abandoned and alone. I ached for her! I felt like Julie did such a wonderful job of depicting Jessie's grief in a realistic way.
At the same time, Jessie begins to develop a friendship with SN... and a crush on someone at school. So, the sadness permeating the book because of her loss is intertwined with the joy of falling in love. I found myself tearing up and giggling while I was reading! I was so emotionally invested in the story, and I loved how Julie paired first loss and first love. (PS - I read the last chapter five times. That's how happy it made me!)
1. “In the Venn diagram of my life, my imagined personality and my real personality have never converged.”
2. “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.”
3. “She will never see who I grow up to be -- that great question of who I am and who I am meant to be -- finally asked and answered.”
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.