cover image Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things

Julie Buxbaum. Delacorte, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-553-53564-8

Jessie’s mother has been dead for two years, and because her father has recently married a woman he met online and moved the family to Los Angeles, Jessie is starting her junior year at a fancy private school where she knows no one. The only good news is that a classmate and self-described “spirit guide” is anonymously emailing her tips about surviving Wood Valley High. “Somebody Nobody” is a great virtual conversationalist, and they turn out to have plenty in common, including grief. Jessie begins making friends and grappling with her complicated family dynamics, but she’s always wondering about her correspondent. Could he be brooding, handsome Ethan, her English-project partner? The cute guy at work whose girlfriend has it in for her? Stepbrother Theo? The dialogue—both spoken and typed—is consistently funny, and adult author Buxbaum (After You) makes everyone, even subsidiary characters, believable. She maintains suspense until the very end, and even if readers think they know who “Somebody Nobody” is, the desire to find out whether Jessie’s real-life and virtual crushes are one and the same will keep them turning the pages as quickly as possible. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM. (Apr.)