Goodreads // Amazon
ARC via Publisher for review tour (THANK YOU, Random House)
Published: April, 15, 2016
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago—the closest place she has to something like home—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?
The thing is, Jessie does need 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 in LA 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?
Tell me three things. . .
One. I’ve never loved anyone the way I’ve loved SN. From bravery to confessions over the keys of a message board, he’s something else entirely. Two. I want every book ever written by Julie Buxbaum in my possession immediately. And my immediately I mean yesterday, last year, right now. Three. The relationships and feelings and hope and faults in this book are more relatable than what I could have ever hoped for. When I want a book about heartbreak, I need a dose of happiness, topped with some humor. This book did that. This is a book that does heartbreak and growing up well.
I promise I love heartbreak and dark humor just as much as the next person. But I need good dose of happiness with it. A little bit of wonder. I read a book last year that was beautiful, but it was just so sad. This book was sad, but it wasn’t drowning me in despair. It had hope and growing up and….well…it had SN. Who is by far my favorite character. And, by the way, I call dibs. Because he is just. Le sigh. When Jessie’s mama dies, Jessie in her dad spend their time mourning. They go through the motions. When her daddy meets this woman online, he marries her in just over a month. By doing this, he uproots Jessie from Chicago and moves them to California. The book goes over her new life, the terror of a new high school, new steppeople, and her evolving self.
Let me introduce you to the characters. Oh, no. Please. Have a seat. Make yourself a cup of coffee. Comfortable?
Jessie. SN. Her dad. Her stepmother. Theo. Dri. Ethan. Scar. Gem. Agnes. Liam.
All of these characters have something going on, just like everyone in real life. We all have bad thing that happen, and sometimes we hide it and other times we hide behind it. Ethan is just such a sweetie. Such a sweetie. Through the project they do, so his darker-than-thou persona, he’s a total heart breaker. And then Theo (stepbrother) is a scream and a half. I like the kid. He’s got moxie to him. I do wish we saw him a bit more. His character development was killer, especially after the whole temper tantrum in the beginning. Dri and Agnes relationship is that of Scar and Jessie’s and it was totally sweet.
Jessie and her dad’s relationship is kind of the foundation to the story, even if it isn’t super highlighted. The struggles finding balance after losing her mom, and the huge change she’s forced into really puts a strain on the relationship. I think Buxbaum addressed this struggle as well as it could have been addresses.
Color me impressed.
The book is cloaked in mystery. I mean, who is the great and mighty SN? Through the book, we have this whole Sherlock Holmes thing going on with Jessie trying to find out who the kid is. With all the other things going on, this kept the story on a good stream. I love it. Love it. LOOOOOOOOVE IT.
Okay. I’m good. You’d be good too if you bought the book and read it while eating waffles.