Losing a parent is always difficult, but especially when a teenage girl loses her mother. Jessie and her father are close, but the relationship is definitely different than what she had with her mother. Jessie feels like she needs to be strong for her father, and Googles everything she would normally have asked her mother.
Two years later her father returns from a business trip and announces that he has remarried, to a woman he met online, and they are moving to Los Angeles. Her stepmother is nice enough, but Jessie feels totally displaced. The house is a mansion and her stepmother some type of movie mogul. She pays for Jessie to attend the private school her stepbrother attends, and he just ignores her.
Her first day at school she meets the mean girls, but an email pops up from “Someone/Nobody,” SN for short. SN becomes her first friend and confidante, but Jessie doesn’t know who he is and he wants to keep it that way.
She gradually makes a few friends, finds a job at a bookstore, and even has a bit of a social life. Meanwhile she is in constant touch with her best friend Scarlett from Chicago, and between Scarlett and SN, she muddles through.
The SN plotline is reminiscent of one of my favorite films, “You’ve Got Mail,” where the Tom Hanks character sees the Meg Ryan character in real life, but also has this secret email relationship with her. SN works the same way, to a similar end.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Young Adult novel. Buxbaum has written two previous novels, both women’s fiction so this was a new direction for her. This was a bit reminiscent of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, which I loved, so that is high praise indeed.
4/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
TELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum. Delacorte Press (April 5, 2016). ISBN 978-0553535648. 336p.