Narrator: Jorjeana Marie
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: 4/5/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
Julie Buxbaum delves into the inner feelings and life of a teen girl TELL ME THREE THINGS —grief stricken by the loss of her mother, thrown into a new stepfamily, and a move to a new city and school, knowing no one.
With wit, lots of heart, and soul ---and a little help from her new anonymous virtual spirit guide, “Somebody Nobody”--they chart their own course, through daily life’s storms and messiness.
• 733 days after mother died (Cancer)
• 45 days after her dad eloped with a stranger on the internet (wealthy)
• 30 days after they move from Chicago to Los Angeles (New stepmom & stepbrother)
• 7 days after starting as a junior at a new prep school (Public to private-knows no one)
To: Jessie A. Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From: Somebody Nobody (email@example.com)
Subject: Your Wood Valley H.S. Spirit Guide
Tell Me Three Things
An email arrives. An anonymous letter pops up in Jessie’s inbox with a bizarre alias. She is sixteen and her world has just been uprooted like overnight. Someone appears to be there to help her survive Wood Valley High. A guardian angel. For real?
The mom she loved dearly, and her special waffles, is no longer there. Their intimate talks, her support, guidance, and friend. Her dad is distracted, centered on his new wife, and she has an annoying stepbrother, Theo to contend with.
With a cast of supporting characters, Jessie continues to communicate with SN, attempting to guess his identity. She is loving the supportive, funny, and online friend, and comes to depend on him. When she begins making friends, she is still always wondering. Talking with fingertips. It is safe. When will they meet? What is he really like?
A job at the bookstore. Power through the grief. Emotional truths. Naked and unprotected, face to face with life’s fears, battles, and steep mountains to climb. Learning, accepting,desperately trying to fit in.
Juggling guy and girlfriends, crushes, relationships, school, peer pressure, work, family, loves, pain, loss and the ongoing fear and excitement of meeting SN—add in dealing with the normal other teen emotional highs, lows, and frustrations. First times. Trials and failures. Wins and Losses. A desperate need to be accepted and loved. Starting over.
Who does Jessie want SN to be? She continues to analyze everyone she meets to determine if there is a connection to SN – the mystery man. Ethan, Liam, Caleb, or someone else? She will not let go of the crush. The talking, the sharing. The unveiling . . . Possibly, romance, a kiss. poetry, a relationship?
Buxbaum skillfully maneuvers the daily thoughts of Jessie, in her banter with precision, using contemporary subjects, and dialogue, in an entertaining format. Authentic, relatable teen characters, with a nice usage of social media- without being overbearing. Keeping readers glued to
the pages to learn SN's identity.
A fantastic and innovative story for young adults, teens, and even parents and grandparents. (hey, we all have to keep up). We forget too quickly what is was like being a teen. Most of us despised our own teen years; not a time we wish to relive. Junior high and high school are difficult times even for the average teen. A constant state of confusion.
I liked Jessie in so many ways. She was never whinny, selfish, or a drama queen. She took everything in, sometimes without reaction. After all, she did have her faithful SN to confide in.
On a serious note: I loved the commentary from the author at the end. Her heartfelt personal story of the loss of her own mom, at age fourteen. Painful times, delving into those feelings with a powerful story to tell. The beauty of first love, and she tells it with compassion and raw human emotion! The author's first YA debut--Highly relatable, to teens in such a way to balance the loss, grief, with wit and humor.
I listened to the audiobook version (highly recommend) narrated by Jorjeana Marie—a perfect voice for Julie. Priceless. What a great tribute to a mom…Someone is smiling. For fans of YA Contemporary Rainbow Rowell, Veronica Roth, John Green, Jodi Picoult, and Sarah Dessen. Highly recommend!
My three favorite things:
> The Author
> The Characters (SN & Jessie)
> The Narrator
I had to laugh at the blended family with teens. I remarried, when my two sons were 12 and 13. His sons were 8, 12, 15. All five boys lived with us full time. A new school, stepbrothers, rules, sharing their parents, stepparents, other parent (s) remarrying and having their own second families…Madness. The book makes you appreciate what goes on inside a teen’s mind, what they may be going through - lives are being uprooted—maybe they need to be given some slack. Can I have a do over?