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.


4/5 Stars

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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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,