Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

I’m not sure this book knows what it wants to be. Lots of sadness and self-pity for humor. But not quite deep enough for the real stuff. Still, it wasn’t bad.

Jessie moves to LA her junior year of high school – new kid problems. Strikes up an online connection, and then builds real life relationships. There is some romance, but it has a lot of coming-of-age. Jessie is dealing with the death of her mother and her father’s remarriage. She’s dealing with being an outsider.

I think the book would have been really good had it committed. But the stereotypes, shallow characters and generalizations kept it from the full-on emotional experience it could have been. And there was way too much sadness for this to be a rom-com.

There was a cute little mystery that kept me turning the pages when I would have otherwise surrendered. And I like Jessie’s emotional growth. (Although some of the issues were resolved with far too little work. It felt like boxes being conveniently ticked.) I didn’t love this book, but it was the right read when I was looking for something charming and unchallenging.

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