DNF Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

V23 new typeface tagline.inddTell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publicatio Date: April 5th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Point of View: 1st Person Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, High School, Death, Humor

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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.



I was very excited to read this book. When I saw someone comparing it to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I immediately squeaked with delight!

I didn’t like it. At all. In fact, I don’t see why this newly released novel is so popular. I can think of dozens of novels dealing with similar themes that are funnier and a thousand times more gripping.

It started out just fine. There were e-mails exchanges and context for the story. Those were okay, really. That is, of course, before I got tired of the ubiquitous immatureness. Aren’t they supposed to be in high school? And 16-year-olds?

This book is trying too hard.

I read eighty pages before I realized that this was all déjà vu to me and that finishing this book would be pointless, if I was going to read what I’ve read countless times before. I wasn’t bored per se, but I felt like reading this book wouldn’t show me anything new.

So I stopped. I wish I could say that I regret leaving the story, but the humour never even made me crack a nano-sized smile. That alone should justify my prematurely closing this book.

If you’re looking for funny, unputdownable, original, epistolarish while incorporating the theme of death—though less intensely, I wholeheartedly recommend to you My Most Excellent Year. If Tell Me Three Things and My Most Excellent Year were sparring with their words and humor, the last-mentioned would win for sure.

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14 thoughts on “DNF Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

  1. Sorry you didn’t like it 😦

    You basically read my mind! I’ve been feeling weird about reading this all day! And I find that it’s heavy. I know that she lost her mother. But I have read other books about death and they have never felt this heavy. Also like everyone seems to hate Jessie. It’s really dramatic as well. I’m gonna be DNFing this as well.

    I hope your next read is better! Great review 😀


  2. I actually love this book but sometimes I kinda didn’t like Jessie because she’s so dramatic. Awesome review, Lola!


  3. I am still excited to read this – just because I have been for a long time Still, it is nice to see a different review than just the 5 star kind. Sorry this didn’t work for you. I am going to check out My Most Excellent Year now though.


  4. I’m sorry you didn’t like this one! I haven’t read a lot of books like this one – I think if I had, the novelty would have worn off! Will definitely check out the one you recommended though.


  5. So many have loved this that it is nice to see someone that it didn’t work for, simply because we all know every book isn’t going to work for everyone. Thanks for the honest review Lola!


  6. I, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of this book. I read and reread this at least 5 times already. In fact, glowing review up ahead (as soon as tomorrow). But such is everyone’s differing tastes in books, eh? 🙂


  7. You are the first person I’ve seen to give this book such a low rating. Now I really need to read this. I must see how I feel. Sorry it didn’t work for you.


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