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The hits and misses of Tell Me Three Things

We give you a few reasons why young adult novel, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, succeeded and failed at the same time.

Camillia Dass

Published: 11 March 2017, 11:01 AM

If you’ve been paying attention to the literary scene, you would know that one title in particular has been making its rounds.

Written by Julie BuxbaumTell Me Three Things is a book that bloggers and reviewers have been raving about.

It follows a young girl who is forced to move to Los Angeles because her father has decided to remarry after her mother died. However, enrolling in an elite school with filthy rich snobs and staying in a home that doesn’t feel like home can be hard.

Introducing S/N. An anonymous person at school who makes it his personal mission to guide Jessie in Wood Valley High through emails and messages. As S/N and Jessie’s conversations go deeper, Jessie has to decide if pursuing someone online is worth it when her real life relationships are blossoming just as well.

Now this was an incredible book, but unfortunately, while I would love to completely rave about it, I have to be objective.

Here are the hits and misses with Tell Me Three Things.

The hits

1. A fresh plot

When it comes to Young Adult books, you generally see very formulaic books. It can be quite hard to find a book that has a unique plot line and characters that stand out from the typical John Green ones that you see in every book.

Tell Me Three Things was your typical high school love story, but with a twist: the anonymous S/N.

I have read hundreds of young adult novels, and I have yet to come across a single one that twists technology and love so wonderfully.


Tell Me Three things is Julie Buxbaum’s debut novel.


I loved how the author subtly sent a message about how we can get quite caught up with online interactions in this modern world, till we forget that typing words on a screen and saying them in real life are two very different things.


2. It was a very lovely read

I know that in the next section I’m definitely ripping this book to shreds, but before I do that, I have to say that it was a very lovely read. The plot flowed well, and it was gripping in the way most romance novels are.

The misses

1. It was unrealistic

We read chick lit novels for the hunky guys that sweep the girl off her feet, and for the mushy, happy endings. However, we also read Young Adult to feel like we are not alone in the crazy things we experience as we grow up.

So tell me, how can anyone believe that the dorky new girl manages to attract the attention of three guys within her first few weeks in school?

One of them is a guy that everyone has a crush on (but no one ever succeeds), and the other is a guy who dumps his prom queen cheerleader girlfriend to be with her.


Let’s try to not set unrealistic expectations for our youths, shall we?
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2. It was too convenient

One of my biggest book peeves is when everything is too convenient. The author included events that would never happen in real life in her debut book to wrap up the story, which made it unrealistic yet again (see my previous point).

I just hate it when the whole story just gets wrapped up with a lovely little red ribbon at the end.

While Tell Me Three Things had its issues, it was still a nice escape that I enjoyed. I recommend it for one of those times you feel like reading a trashy romance novel. And yes, I meant trashy in a positive way.

Other books reviewed by user:

1. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

2. Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

3. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

4. My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood


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