ARC Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

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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.

review

4/5 Stars

***I received this ARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and as part of #FirstInLine

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for a feel good story
  • You’ve lost someone
  • You’re still figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and who you’re becoming. If you’re human 😉 

Tell Me Three Things is refreshing and funny and honest. It’s a story of learning who you are and how you change after loss, but more, how you find yourself while falling in love for the first time. It’s silly and charming and full of those quintessential awkward and embarrassing moments that everyone experiences in high school and especially when talking to the opposite sex. Get ready to three things: (1) laugh, (2) learn, and (3) love.

PROS:

  • There are so many perfectly quotable and deep moments that sound so casual it’s crazy. Moments of identity, of embarrassing agency and power as a woman, as a person. 
  • Smiling. It’s impossible not to laugh and blush and smile. I relived so many moments in high school in these odd 300 pages and I’m still living some of those uncertain, floundering moments when dealing with someone you’re crushing on and body issues. Always. 
  • The mystery is killer. There are so many false leads, so many clues, and tons of hints that will point you in all sorts of directions. You have to know. NEED to know. And you’ll definitely have a favorite to ship.
  • Characters are real, vibrant, you’ll feel like you know them on a personal level and encountered them in real life. 
  • Jessie. I adore her. She’s so much stronger than she knows. Her insecurity is raw and honest, and she questions, she doesn’t understand how awesome she truly is. But who does in high school? She’s funny, a little nerdy, smart, and oh so turned upside-down in her new life. It’s crazy refreshing how authentic she is.It’s all there, front and center. She never pretends to be something she’s not.
  • SN. Everyone needs an SN to guide them through the insanity of high school, to make them laugh, to hold their hand when the loss threatens to consume, and when people are the worst. SN truly shows the power of building a relationship based on something more than the physical. SN is dorky, weird, shy, but playful. Seriously hot. Get ready to fall.  
  • It’s easy to get so consumed by your own drama that you lose sight of how others are suffering. That’s an important aspect of this story too. Loss doesn’t isolate you. You don’t do it alone. And you should never have to feel that way.

CONS:

  • The mean girl was overly cliché. It made things a little predictable.
  • It took forever for the reveal…so long.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Trial by Charm by Jolene Buchheit

syn       Seventeen-year-old Julia Wright doesn’t understand her friends’ obsession with boys. She proudly maintains her composure no matter who is in her presence – though some annoying and rude boys still manage to grate her last nerve. Then she is blackmailed into being the manager of the men’s
swim team, and finds herself face to face with the worst of them all.
       Team Captain Vander Thelxinoe is the typical self-assured jock. He has the ability to change people’s minds at will, only his charms don’t work on Julia. Now he’s anxious to figure out why, and the closer he tries to get, the more desperate she is to stay away-especially when he somehow awakens a side of her she never knew existed.
       Their unexpected friendship puts Julia in the middle of a quest she doesn’t quite understand. As her familiar world begins to unravel around her, Julia must partner with the one person who knows how to push her buttons-and, in doing so, discovers the unbelievable truth about who she really is.
       Can Julia and Vander survive the trial set before them, or will they face the extreme consequences of failure?
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       As a substitute teacher, Jolene spends her days in high school classrooms harvesting material for her Young Adult novels. She also uses it as an outlet for fangirling by showing upcoming book-to-movie trailers at the end of class, or discussing vital issues like whether Katniss should have picked Gale or Peeta.
       She is committed to helping Special Education teenagers become independent adults and helping them find a way to focus on the positive especially when life gets hard. At home, Jolene loves to cuddle with her husband, two kids, and three cats-sometimes all at once-while reading Young Adult books or repeatedly watching movies based on them.

Excerpt
       I study his profile. His chiseled jaw and dark, floppy hair are like something out of a magazine advertisement. His eyes, too—they aren’t dark to match his hair, like mine—they are parts of green and blue, much like the painting of the sea in the other room.
       “Who painted that piece above the couch in there?”
        He shrugs, not answering me in any concrete way. Then he shifts his weight from one foot to the other and his awkwardness makes it clear to me.
       “You did it, didn’t you? You’re a painter.”
        He shrugs again. I hop down from my stool to go take another look at the painting. The artist must have signed it, and I will get my answer that way.
        I go down the hall, past the bathroom, the stairs, and the front door until I’m standing in the parlor, looking at Vander, who is blocking the painting from my view. He must have gone through the dining room next to the kitchen to end up in here before me. He’s staring at me and chewing on his lip while flexing and balling his hands. He’s more nervous than I have ever seen him—not before a swim meet, not in class when he didn’t know an answer, not when he told me how he felt in the bathroom a little bit ago. This is where his heart lies, in this painting of this island.
        I try to look around him, and he leans over.
        “Don’t.” He is stern, but gentle. He clears his throat. “Please don’t touch it. You will want to, but don’t.”
        He’s right. I do want to touch it; I want to climb inside of it. I’m seeing it, and somehow it’s seeing me, and it’s making me feel pulled apart. I want to dive into the waters, to swim to that far-off land, and I also want to turn the boat around and sail as far and as quickly as I can in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the light from the sun is dimming, laughing at me for thinking I can have any control here.
I want in!
        Vander grabs both of my arms, which are currently outstretched toward the painting. My knees are on the seat of the couch, and I don’t even remember moving forward. His voice startles me. “You can’t.”
        I blink hard and turn to look him fully in the face. “I can’t what?”
        “You can’t go there, and you can’t go away from there. It’s just a painting.” Was I talking out loud, or can he read my mind? How does he know what I was thinking? I let him lead me through the dining room, back into the kitchen, where the timer is going off. I shake my head to let loose the feelings that painting stirred in me.
        “It’s more than that, and you know it. How?” I don’t even have to finish the sentence. He knows exactly what I’m asking.
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Enter for your chance to win a signed paperback of Trial By Charm, bookmark, and an evil eye necklace
Magical reading, 
Jordan

Cover Reveal: Will of Fire by Yasmin Fazli

Release Date: May 24th, 2016
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       Elle knew that unraveling the secrets on Acryen would be difficult, but she didn’t know that it would be deadly. She knew this from the scars on her body and the heat in her eyes.
       Three months have passed and what was meant to be an easy journey across the ocean has turned perilous as she’s come to realize that they’ve boarded the wrong ship—a slaver’s ship run by a cunning and devious man known only as Captain Red. Elle can’t help but find herself drawn to him and repelled at the same time. Yet, when a powerful hurricane hits the ship and Elle’s life is in danger, Peter’s hidden powers awaken, and now, they’re in trouble. The stakes are much higher than before, and Elle’s afraid that the only way out is with blood.
       Elle must find the necklace awaiting in Gyoar before an elf meets her end, a quaid falls prey, a mother commits treason, and a king masks his mistake.
       But above all, she must find it before her fate is sealed in ashes.
       Because where hope lies, fire breathes.
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Yasmin Fazli was born and raised in Southern California, changing schools her whole life. Now, she is an undergraduate college student studying biology to satisfy her love for the sciences. Yet, another part of her started to show more and more: her love for writing. She often dreams of mystical places and the perfect bad boy/prince charming who will come sweep her away. Until those happen, she continues to write away, living her fantasies through typed words with all kinds of sweets in one hand and a cup of chai tea in the other hopeful that one day her words could inspire even just one person.
Find her on Youtube, Instagram, or Twitter @YasminFazli
Magical reading, 
Jordan