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Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three Things by Julie BuxbaumTell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Delacorte Press on April 5, 2016
Pages: 328
Goodreads
three-stars

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?

 


*This is a review for the audiobook version*

I had a hard time getting into Tell Me Three Things, because in the beginning I really didn’t like the main character Jessie. Her inner dialogue was incredibly boring, and because she avoided talking to her new family and new classmates, there was an overabundance of that inner dialogue. I kept finding myself zoning out while listening.

I finally started to get into the story when Jessie started talking with Somebody/Nobody, a mysterious, self-proclaimed Wood Valley High school student who offers to teach Jessie the ins and outs of her posh new high school. This mysterious emailer was witty, clever, and handy, and brought out a side of Jessie that wasn’t there in the beginning. I finally started to enjoy her character when they began their online friendship, because Jessie was surprisingly witty too. Like Jessie, I started falling for SN.

I finished this book a tad disappointed, because SN’s identity was too easy to guess, but I was also a little happy when my guess was correct, because SN’s identity was the one I was wishing for.

Overall, this book was a good read/listen. It didn’t hit me with any intense emotions, and Jessie was very yawn-y in the beginning, but towards the end of the book I was hooked. The mystery of SN’s identity was consuming, and I was anxious to know if my guess was right. I definitely recommend this book to other contemporary romance lovers, because I think my problem with Jessie might just have been personal preference.

As far as the narrator goes, I had no problem with her. She sounded like a teenager, and was able to tweak her voice well enough for me to keep straight who was speaking and when.

three-stars
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The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Gray

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa GrayThe Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1) by Melissa Grey
Published by Delacorte Press on April 28th 2015
Pages: 357
Goodreads
four-stars

Magic lives in our darkest corners.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants…and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

I quickly and easily became invested in The Girl at Midnight. From the moment I met our MC Echo I knew I was going to like her. Echo is sassy and smart. She’s gotten a raw deal in life but still perseveres. Even though Echo often jumps headfirst into bad situations, she always seems to make it through. She’s clever and observant which makes her a very accomplished thief. She steals everything from books to trinkets to magical objects.

Echo’s early childhood is a mystery to us. She was living on her own in a public library when she met Ala, an Avicen. Avicens are a race of human/bird supernatural creatures. The only thing we know about Echo’s parents is that they weren’t “very nice”. Echo is found by Ala in the beginning of The Girl at Midnight. After a few pages of introduction the story shoots 10 years into the future.

10 years later: Echo is a teenager who has an Avicen best friend named Ivy and a newly acquired Avicen boyfriend, Rowan. Besides Ivy, Rowan, Ala, and a couple other Avicens, Echo is rejected by the Avicens. Being the only full human in the nest, Echo has felt out of place among the Avicens. It also doesn’t help that the majority of Avicens gossip, look down at her, and all but say she doesn’t belong.

The Girl at Midnight really gets juicy when Echo finds a hidden message in a music box she stole for Ala. The message contains a riddle that has to do with the legendary Firebird, a creature who is said to wield such immense power, that it could end the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin. The Drakharin is another race of supernatural creatures in this book. Unlike the Avicen, the Drakharin are human/dragon. Echo, by Ala’s request, undertakes the journey to find the Firebird.

I appreciated Echo’s humor throughout The Girl at Midnight. Even in dark moments, like sitting in a Drakharin dungeon, Echo kept her sarcasm.

I didn’t give this book 5 stars because even though it was great, it wasn’t spectacular. There wasn’t really a cliffhanger at the end of The Girl at Midnight, but I liked the ending well enough to want to read the next book.

four-stars
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Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie HarrisBad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable, #1) by Carrie Harris
Published by Delacorte Press on July 12th 2011
Pages: 201
Goodreads
three-stars

Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town  . . . and stay hormonally human.

Bad Taste in Boys was everything I wanted and needed. It was a cute, quick, fun read that held my interest but didn’t force me to think too much. This book runs mainly on a high concentrate of humor mixed with some light romance, action, and science. Although I’d place it in the paranormal category, the idea in Bad Taste in Boys is that this “zombie” epidemic is purely scientific, having been of viral origins. This turns out to be a good thing because our heroine, Kate Grable, besides being known as the geeky “braid girl” is super smart, brave, and pre-pre-med. Definitely made up that last part. But I’m sure you get the gist. When this mysterious “flu” affects a significant quantity of the student body, Kate is fierce and fearless using her medical knowledge and wit to determine the symptoms, cause, and ultimately, cure.

I instantly liked Kate, most likely because I can relate to her on that whole geek-status level. Proud Member FYI. Although she struggles in most social aspects, when it comes to her pre-pre-med learning and practicing, she’s got it together. She knows what she’s doing, and she’s confident in her ability. As the student trainer for her school’s bad – nay, horrible – football team, she does a lot of medical practice. Although she’s not really friends with the players, she still refers to them as “hers,” which riles her up even more when they are the first to get hit with this zombie-rific wave of sickness. Kate is extremely compassionate. Although there might be some players whom she has every right to dislike *cough, cough, Mike* she still plunges forward and tries her best to help/cure everyone.

Kate’s little brother Jonah is a sweet yet extremely funny character. As the little brother (by a year) you expect him to be super annoying, which at times he definitely is. However, he’s also extremely caring and protective of his sister. When one of the first players starts getting sick and decides to mess with Kate, Jonah jumps right in the middle. He’s willing to beat up a guy two times his size in order to protect his sister. Besides his sweet nature, he’s also got a bit of geek to him, including his mad computer hacking skills, zed head status, and proud ownership of wearable elvish ears.

On many levels this book is kind of cheesy, but it’s a yummy kind of cheese. It’s not meant to be a deeply, philosophical book that leaves you enlightened. It’s supposed to be a funny, quirky, and entertaining ride, which it definitely was. Although along the way Kate does have various friends and her brother helping her, when the really difficult times came she handled them on her own, splendidly. Well, except for the various parts of flesh she lost along the way…

If you’re looking for a quick, fun, and funny read, Bad Taste in Boys is definitely for you. However, just to be clear, this is a book about zombies, and although the tone is light-hearted, there’s still a slight darker edge, which includes dislocated body parts and death.

three-stars