Saturday, November 4, 2017

YA Reading Jungle - "Tell Me Three Things"

When 14 year old Jessie Holmes' mother dies, she feels lost.  Counting each day afterward is her way of marking time, waiting for the pain to ebb.  Her dad is buried in his own grief, leaving her adrift, with only her best friend, Scarlet, to cling to.  Fast forward two years and Jessie is blindsided by her father's announcement that he is remarrying...and that they are moving from Chicago to California.

Stunned, Jessie finds herself in a West Coast mansion, living with her dad, new stepmother and a stepbrother, who wants nothing to do with her.  In addition to mourning the loss of her mom, she is now separated from her town, school, and best friend.  She lands in a private school, populated with veneer-smiled, expensively dressed teens.  This is not a place where she will ever fit in.

When an anonymous male student texts her, identifying himself as "Somebody Nobody", and offers to be her guide through the maze of her California hell, Jesse is suspicious, but decides to accept.   This strange boy becomes a lifeline for her as their virtual relationship grows and she develops coping skills that she never knew she possessed.

I did not expect to like this book targeted at young teen girls, as I viewed reading it as a chore.  The anxious, drama-filled 13 year old in my family circle is in need of appropriate books, so I've taken on the role of designated screener.  "Tell Me Three Things" by Julie Buxbaum is a genuinely surprising read.  The writing vibrates with humor and authenticity.  The young protagonist's struggle to adapt to loss, change, and relationships is spot-on.  It is a New York Times bestseller for good reason and I highly recommend it.  I know our drama queen will love reading it!