Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum: Stereotypical, But Rocked in the Relationships Department

3 stars, BOOKS, REVIEWS / Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Tell Me Three Things Julie Buxbaum Aimee Always Review

Tell Me Three Things
by Julie Buxbaum

published April 5th 2016 by Delacorte Press
young adult | contemporary | romance

My rating:


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?

The first half of Tell Me Three Things sucked a lot, a solid 2 stars. Lots of annoying tropes and typical plotlines. Buuuuut the ending was too cute for my poor soul, so I had to bump this up to a 3.


1. There were too many stereotypes and girl-on-girl hate.

This book is literally drowning in thin, blond, rich, bitchy Queen Bees, and yes, they all wear skimpy, barely-there clothes. The ultra-rich and high-class school the heroine goes to is there for the sake of judging others, and putting shame on girls. The heroine herself should be guilty of this!

2. This book is predictable.

There is literally zero mystery in this book. We're supposedly supposed to guess who Jessie's secret email-pal is, but it's pretty obvious from the start. Sure, I did second-guess my original assumption a few times, but those moments of doubt lasted for a grand total of 5 seconds.

3. There are some unrealistic things.

I have no idea how no one's questioning how Secret Email-Pal Dude (this isn't what he's actually called in the book–don't worry) got the Jessie's email. Despite him claiming right off the bat that he's not creepy, I find this to be incredibly shady and unrealistic. I, for one, would run for the hills if someone I don't know would randomly email me, claiming to want to help!

Also, Jessie assumes things WAAAAY too much, and way too fast. YOU'RE SHAMING THE NAME OF WOMEN, JESSIE.

Here are 3 reasons why TELL ME THREE THINGS is kind-of a 2-star read: Click To Tweet


1. The friendships and sibling love were fabulous!

Exhibit A: Jessie and her step-brother, Theo, start off on the wrong foot. They hate each other at first, and ignore each other at all costs, but eventually learn to help each other out and to be good support systems to each other!

Exhibit B: Jessie has a long-time friend from before she moved, who she loves dearly. She never "replaces" her with someone else, despite making new friends in her new home. They also go through some fights, which is very realistic. Overall, their friendship is solid and I love that.

2. The ending was TOO CUTE.

There might be no mystery as to who Secret Email-Pal Dude is, but it's sort-of okay because he is one adorable "secret admirer." He says lots of sappy stuff that will melt your heart at the end of the book!

There are 2 reasons why TELL ME THREE THINGS is worth 3 stars and not just 2: Click To Tweet

Have you read this book yet? If not, do you want to?! Let me know in the comments!

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18 Replies to “Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum: Stereotypical, But Rocked in the Relationships Department”

  1. That cover is so cute, it's a shame the actual book falls so flat. To be honest, I'm so sick of the bitchy, thin girl stereotype. it's such a tired cliche, at the very least have another thing, rich girl whose nice to even out the odds. I think I'll give this one a pass, but thanks for the review, it's always so tempting when I see that cute cover at the bookstore.

  2. I really, really enjoyed this one (4.25 stars). I get what you’re saying about Jessie making assumptions so fast. She definitely jumped to make assumptions – and usually the wrong ones. Ha. But I guess I was willing to overlook that. I admired her for keeping it together as well as she did. I tried to imagine myself at her age in her position and I think I would have fell apart. Locked myself in my room, refused to come out, and cried all the tears. But she kept going. The “secret” behind S/N was completely obvious but I liked it anyway. They were just good together. My big issue was how much I resented her father for totally checking out as a parent. He didn’t have that luxury, not with a still grieving teenage daughter who needed him, but he wallowed in his own grief and his new life and left her to fend for herself. That bothered me so much.
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  3. Lovely review, Aimee! < 3 I read this book a little while ago and enjoyed it overall, even if I have to agree that it was really predictable and the girl-on-girl hate was quite annoying. I really loved the ending just like you, everything was really adorable and I also LOVED how Jessie and Theo's relationship evolved, it was one of the best things about this book for sure <3
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  4. I hate when the main character shares the same flaws as her "enemies." If she hates their behavior, then why do it? I'm happy the ending made it slightly better for you! Also, that cover just gave me the Midnight Munchies, lol! Now I have to go find a snack…

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  5. I'm sick of the wealthy, blonde, bitchy stereotype. I thought young adult was past that now. Damn. I can see why you struggled with it though Aimee, cute ending and friendships aside, it sounds pretty cliche sadly. I haven't seen this one around before but no doubt most readers will probably agree. Awesome review Aimee and sorry you couldn't have enjoyed it a little more <3
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  6. I still need to read this one but I've been hesitant to pick it up because of a lot of the things you mentioned. I still plan to read it but think I will go into it with low expectations. That way if I do love it, it will be a pleasant surprise. Thanks for your honest review!

  7. Girl-on-girl hate that is excessive drives me batty too. It's way too stereotypical and all-around BS, telling everyone that this is how girls act: with catty spite. And that's not true at all. Thumbs up on pointing that out!

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