Read Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates Online


Joyce Carol Oates masterfully captures the unique experience of being a teenage girl in this provocative and poignant new novel in the vein of Wintergirls and Thirteen Reasons Why.It wasn't like she had not warned us.It wasn't like she had not prepared us.We'd known that something was wrong those last several months.But then, Tink hasn't actually vanished. Tink is gone, anJoyce Carol Oates masterfully captures the unique experience of being a teenage girl in this provocative and poignant new novel in the vein of Wintergirls and Thirteen Reasons Why.It wasn't like she had not warned us.It wasn't like she had not prepared us.We'd known that something was wrong those last several months.But then, Tink hasn't actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet—she is here somewhere, even if we can't see her.Tink? Are you—here?...

Title : Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13501407
Format Type : Hardcover, ebook
Number of Pages : 212 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You Reviews

  • sally
    2019-01-26 06:39

    Simply awful. Could not even finish it - especially after this: " her heaviest, she'd weighed 119 pounds -- horrible! (Nadia was just five feet four inches tall.) By the start of the fall term she'd managed to get her weight down to 111, which was still high -- her goal was ninety-eight..." (p 201)Nadia had been described as chubby, round, flabby, etc, and when I got to that description, I just lost it. I tried really hard to plow through, though. I assume that though it is the narrator speaking, the voice is tinged with the self-criticism of the character, and therefore unreliable. However, I could not finish what was already an extremely mediocre read.small nit pick: I don't think there are ANY contemporary rich NJ teenagers who wear straight leg jeans and sweaters from The Gap.

  • Darkfallen
    2019-02-14 09:41

    Okay so I am really disappointed. Maybe it's because I was so SUPER excited to read this, that the let down is hitting even harder, but whatever it is I'm so upset to say that I couldn't finish this book. There is a number of things wrong with this. First of all the writing it, for the most part, a jumbled mess. It's a series of run on sentences separated by even longer parenthesis. I mean by the time you get to the end of the sentence you've already forgot where you were when it started. All the sentences being broken up by dashes and parenthesis just makes the flow off and you almost stumble over reading it.Then there is the everything that is going on in here. You are constantly jumping from one thing, to another, to the next, and OMG What Is Going On?!?!? You have Merissa and her friends are all in high school. Dealing with all the pressures that go along with that, and the fact that their friend, Tink, killed herself. Merissa is under even more pressure because she is known as The Perfect One and therefore she has no room for failure. And while I should feel sorry for her, or just feel for her period, I can't. Mostly because of the heartless way she talks about her friends, and the way she handles her life. For instance she refers to her friend, Nadia, as being soft, flabby, and fat throughout the book, and then you find out that poor Nadia only weighs a measly 119 pounds. Then Merissa starts cutting on herself because it's more thrilling than having an eating disorder? REALLY?!Overall I am just flabbergasted at how this book turned out. I really thought this was going to be one of those reads that changed your life and broke your heart, but I was terribly mistaken.

  • Deitre
    2019-02-09 03:54

    Joyce Carol Oates in an author that I’ve seen frequently when I’ve browsed the shelves of a school library. She is a New York Selling Best author especially in the are of young adult literature. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the experience of reading one of her novels. This was a first. I read this book in a day, truly committed to the lives of Merissa, Tink and Nadia. The novel is arranged into three distinct parts. Each part featuring one girl. In this novel we are presented with aspects of teenage life, that unfortunately is occurring in some of today’s schools. It was slightly depressing knowing that one of the girls has already done the inevitable. Her actions ultimately effect the choices that the other girls make within their life and high school experience. I’m very torn about the amount of details that I provide for this review. However know, that this novel deals with the following issues: bullying, sexting, suicide, inappropriate relationships etc. This would surely be a novel that I would suggest would be more suitable for the upper high school female student. I appreciate the fact that the author is capturing the issues that teenagers face today. However, I found that the beginning of the novel was slightly written at a slow pace making it hard for the reader to grasp what was truly going in the story. Once you get through Part 1, Part 2 and 3 flow a whole lot smoother in your mind when reading. In conclusion, I could see this book as a choice for a young adult female book club pick where discussions of events is facilitated by an adult.

  • paperysoul
    2019-02-07 01:53

    1.5 stars - YA RealisticAfter I finished it, I regretted I bought this book and it was friggin' expensive (RM 34.90) for a story that I don't even understand and characters I can't connect. I'm highly disappointed, alright. I liked the subject matters (suicide, insecurities etc) but the writing style, it isn't my cuppa tea. It is not recommended but if you insist, read on your own peril.

  • Lauren
    2019-02-01 09:01

    Like everything she writes, Oates' new YA novel packs an emotional punch. She writes about a group of teen girls who all have problems of the Laurie Halse Anderson variety and, like those of the aforementioned author, the story feels fresh and important, never trite. An interesting and hopeful read for teens and their parents!

  • Kyria Collins
    2019-01-27 02:01

    WHAT in the actual heck? I mean, like, what the *car horn*?? When it comes down to novels, particularly ones geared towards my age group, that deal with serious real-life issues such as depression, alienation, cutting, suicide, eating disorders and what not, I tend to gravitate towards those since I take those issues very seriously, so naturally I was drawn to this book once I saw all of these things be mentioned in the plot summary, especially regarding the situation of people who have lost a friend to suicide and the apparent direction of the story showing how all of three of the main characters' lives are changed and affected by this. And I had pretty high hopes for this book, and reading about Joyce Carol Oates' long-standing reputation as a critically acclaimed legend in the world of literature on the back of the book sleeve added to those hopes!...which is why I, with the lackluster result of the final product, felt as greatly gyped and deeply let down as I did. The poor, lazy and vague development of the plot and characters, unrealistic and shabby depiction of serious situations--ranging from a forbidden student-teacher relationship (inappropriate!), anorexia, poor body image, harassment and teasing due to past sexually unsavory behavior, emotionally neglectful and verbally/emotionally abusive parents (all of which are in the life of one character!), using cutting as a way to cope with the pressure to be perfect, losing a friend to suicide--absence of any emotional connection to the characters and their plights, the jumpy and unorganized writing style, which seemed to patterned in the format of a teen's diary or notebook of some sorts but came across as a forced and contrived attempt on Miss Oates' part to sound cool, raw, edgy, down-to-earth and relatable to teen/young adult readers kinda landed with a whimper instead of a bang. Speaking of which, the way some of characters spoke didn't even sound like teens--yes, yes, there are plenty of them that are mature and intelligent enough to carry themselves as such, but even then it's not to the degree of how pretentiously and unrealisticly they're depicted! Also bothersome was the way the issues of suicide, self-cutting and eating were depicted: when Merissa began cutting, Nadia began starving herself and their friend Tink killed herself, there was no genuine emotion, urgency or realism in terms of showing the true ugly side to all three of these destructive actions as well as hitting the nail on the head with the emotional/mental/psychological state, feelings, mindset, psyche and behavioral traits of someone with a dark compulsive addiction; they were treated very passively, like minor trends or random things that just "happened" from day to day but weren't such big deals--not overtly, but subtly--which is an absolutely HORRIBLE message to send not just to teens and young adults, but anybody, and GOD FORBID that anyone who's suicidal, anorexic, depressed, self-harming and such reads this and absorbs the toxic messages from the story! Plus, neither one of the girls telling any of their families and friends about their issues and getting the help they desperately need--on Nadia's part, she was being teased by the boys on the football team just because, um...went down on a completely different boy (jerks) and was being neglected by her father and stepmother, who were also jerks to her, so I understand that (even though it wasn't wise of her to start a relationship with one of her teachers, a big no no), but Merissa came from a decent family and had decent parents who loved and cared about her in spite of them being divorced and her father dating someone else, so there's no excuse on her part--bothered me as well. But that's not it: on the part of Tink, there wasn't anything particularly likeable, relatable, memorable or sympathetic about her. Parts of the dialogue that discussed Tink, including flashbacks of her first showing up to school, her interactions with Nadia and Merissa, etc., just fell flat on its face and failed to evoke anything in me to feel sad or care about their friendship or Tink, who, via flashbacks, just came across as rude, childish, vapid, cross and a bit obnoxious, even her death didn't make me feel sad. Oh, and she appears as a ghost that popped up every now and then during the book and at the very end of the book, which REALLY made it cheesy and melodramatic. Not to mention that it unwittingly reinforces the dangerous false myth that, in teens' minds, they'll come back as a ghost who will watch over everyone and everything and come and go anytime they choose after they kill themselves, which is complete BULLGUNK! That said, I didn't like nor feel anything for Merissa; she too was unlikeable, especially in the way she talked about Nadia, though it's also the author's fault in the shabby and contradictory way in depicting Nadia and her mental/emotional state in her anorexia, describing her as round, flabby, puffy and a bit chubby then revealing that the poor girl is only 119 pounds! Somebody please tell me HOW in the world is that fat or chubby in any way, and how OFFENSIVE this is to any female readers who really are going through an ED and low body image/self-image?! It's one thing to realisticly write in the mindset of someone with an ED and poor body image and evoke some urgency, emotion and realism, it's another thing to dangerously reinforce toxic and detrimental mentalities that will only push more and more people to follow suit at the expense of their own health. Worst of all, Merissa and everybody else describe her as flabby, chubby and round, and not only is Merissa cold and judgmental in joining in on the vendetta against Nadia, in one of the chapters she admits to resorting to cutting because she thinks it's "more thrilling" than having an eating disorder! Do you have ANY IDEA what that says?! 1. Merissa might as well have said to/about Nadia, "You're starving yourself? That's so lame, and you're lame too, but I cut myself--cutting is cooler than that, and that makes me cooler too!" 2. Like I said earlier, it passively treats two very dark and seriously destructive compulsions as trends or mundane hobbies that are no big deal and are just things "to do" but in this case it takes it to another level by treating them like parts of a popularity contest to use as judgment against others who are suffering, and it's absolutely NOT OKAY to even infer such messages. Overall, SHAME on Joyce Carol Oates for sending such horrible messages in romanticizing, normalizing and perpetuating such negative and toxic behaviors and the stereotypes/stigmas that attach themselves to them--the poor writing, plot, structure and what not are the least of our problems. And I thought that "Twilight" and "Beautiful Disaster" were terrible books that I thankfully never read! Vote: 0/10!

  • Christie Bane
    2019-02-01 04:53

    And just like that, I love Joyce Carol Oates again. Man, this is exhausting! It's like the literary equivalent of that bad boy relationship. He's making you crazy, and you want to kill him. But then, oh my God, you have one of those nights with him and you know you will never leave him even though you know you're in for more bad times if you stay. That's me and Joyce Carol Oates. This is a book for teenagers, and even though I had nothing in common with these characters when I was a teenager, the message is everyone is insecure at that age no matter how much they look like they have it together on the outside. For me to feel like 16-year-old me had anything at all in common with Merissa or Nadia is ridiculous on its face, but yet I totally get them.Although I thought the plot of this book was JUST SLIGHTLY rambling (totally thought it was about Merissa -- nope! it's about Nadia just as much), I didn't care because I enjoyed the rambling journey that much. I kept thinking all the way through, don't do it, girls! Don't do what Tink did, no matter how your life seems to be spiraling down or how humiliated you've been! I know they both thought about doing it, but then time passed and they didn't do it, just became stronger afterwards, which is what happens to the great majority of people in their situation.And how do you explain why the Tinks DO do it? Don't ask me. I've been wondering that for a long time.

  • Christine
    2019-02-23 09:45

    Did Not FinishI received an ARC copy through a book blogger exchange program: ARCycling. Unfortunately, I just wasn't able to finish this. Or really ever get into it, for that matter. I'm sure this book is right up someone's alley but sadly, just not mine. I'm not going to write a review because, well, I didn't finish it. I do want to mention why it didn't work for me, however. Needless to say, the things that weren't for me might be things you love about novels. So here we go:1. The writing was so confusing. The sentences lasted forever and had lots of parentheses--these things, whatever they are called--commas, etc. Having those sometimes, and where appropriate, is fine. It seemed like almost every other sentence had them, though. It was a bit excessive and like I said, I was confused as to what we were actually talking about by the end of the sentence. To be demonstrate this, here's a quote from the ARC:Like a scene in Tink's TV soap opera Gramercy Park--(Tink had played a DVD of an episode for her girlfriends once, from a long-ago time when, in the story line of the saga, Tink had played a little girl of nine and her mother, Veronica, had played a neurotic rich man's wife, unrelated to Tink--the girls had laughed at the hokey melodrama, underscored by mood music, such sad, silly women whose lives were a tangle of disappointed marriages and love affairs)--except this was Merissa's real life.See what I mean? One very convoluted sentence and I didn't know what we were talking about by the end. Not all of the sentences are this extreme, but some just as confusing as this.2. I couldn't relate to the characters. Now before I get into this, they are very realistic characters. The things that Merissa dealt with could and does happen in real life. I don't know much about Nadia's character. I didn't make it to her part of the story. But Merissa's character had quite a few personal problems and why I can understand she would be driven to do these things, it's how she talked about other people that frustrated me. Again, here's an example to further demonstrate my point:"How Nadia could bear to look at herself in the mirror, Merissa couldn't imagine. Nadia's features were pretty--especially her warm brown eyes--but her face was round as a plate and she had, if you looked at her sideways, an actual belly."Reading this sentence REALLY made me mad. Sure, I know high school girls can be extremely judgmental, but still. Merissa says things of this nature multiple times thereafter. She was self absorbed and rude as a snake...behind people's backs. I also didn't like how she called her father "Daddy" every time she thought about him. I stopped calling my dad "Daddy" when I was 10. Maybe some high school seniors still call their father "Daddy?" I don't know. I only do when I'm being silly and trying to persuade mine to give me something ;) But other than that? It sounds a bit childish. That's just me, though.3. I hated reading, in detail, how Merissa cut herself and why she chose the spots she did. It made me cringe and I found myself skipping over these parts, as often as they were talked about. I mention again: these things that she does to herself happen all too often in today's society. I felt bad for Merissa because nobody should feel compelled to deal with stress and anxiety in this way. I appreciate that Ms. Oates wanted to bring awareness to this ever prevalent phenomena. People do need to be more aware of this and I applaud her for being brave to tackle the issue. I just didn't like reading about snipping of veins and skin. *cringe*4. Lastly, the plot tended to jump all over the place. I'm sure you noticed it in the quote I presented with point #1. One minute Merissa is in her room talking about texting a friend and the next she's rambling on about falling down the school stairs a year ago and all the attention she got from it. Characters were introduced that didn't really have a point (up until the point at which I stopped) and just added to a long list of things that I felt I probably should remember. The flashbacks didn't seem to serve a purpose or help further the plot, either. I was very confused about where we were, why Merissa was now talking about this subject, and if it actually had anything to do with what she'd been thinking about in the previous paragraph. There also didn't appear to be an actual plot going on. I only made it to page 57. Maybe the writing got a little better. Maybe Merissa calmed down a bit. Maybe some fantastic plot developed. I just don't know. I've been trying to read this book for over a month and sometimes, you just have to accept that a book may not be for you.

  • Drennan Spitzer
    2019-01-25 05:53

    Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol OatesIn Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You, a somewhat unconventional Young Adult novel, Joyce Carol Oates explores the pressures and experiences of the senior year of high school for several friends. First, let me say that I am always amazed that Joyce Carol Oates manages to produce the volume of work that she does. I am in awe that one woman is so prolific and that so much of it is just so engaging and well written. But it strikes me in reading and thinking about Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You that Oates’s genius lies not in her ability to churn out words (although as a writer, I certainly envy her that) but in her understanding not just of human nature but of what motivates humans, especially women in American culture. We see this in her more famous, more serious, more literary works like Blonde and We Were the Mulvaneys, but here to Oates displays an understanding and sensitivity to the feelings and neuroses and traumas that plague women and young women in our culture, such as self-mutilation, suicidal ideation, body image issues, and eating disorders. In what is clearly a Young Adult novel, Oates presents the high-pressure prep school world of friends Merissa, Nadia, and their recently deceased friend Tink Traumer. This is a world that lacks the glamor we have come to expect from series like Gossip Girl and instead shows the shadow side of the world of moneyed teen overachievers. This Young Adult novel lacks the sort of clearly delineated plot that some readers might prefer, focusing instead on several character-driven trajectories. Oates structure the novel by breaking it into three separate parts, each with a distinct point of view of one of three central characters: Merissa, Tink, and Nadia. By doing so, Oates invites us to focus on the girls and their emotional lives, rather than what happens to them externally. This then becomes a novel not about what happens but about how these girls respond and how they feel. This allows Oates the opportunity to explore in an authentic way the experience of being a teenage girl in contemporary culture. Oates manages with thoughtfulness the very real emotional and psychological difficulties these girls face, self-mutilation or “cutting” being made to be particularly understandable. I think that for adults particularly it is easy to be dismissive of behaviors like self-mutilation and suicidal ideation, so prevalent really among young people. We tend to say to young women, “Just stop. Don’t do it. Don’t cut,” not always realizing that there’s a deep motivation behind the behavior and that the behavior fills some emotional void in the young woman. Oates’s treatment of the theme allows us to understand and even empathize with what might otherwise seem such an incomprehensible choice. And it’s precisely this kind of treatment of behaviors otherwise marginalize and labeled as neuroses and even pathological in our society that makes Oates remarkable. She takes that which we’d much rather dismiss because we want to ignore it and presents it in a way that it becomes not just understandable but something we can develop some compassion for, even if we continue to dislike the behavior. As much as I like Oates’s work and am drawn particularly to her novels which tend to be somewhat tragic, I am tired of the focus on the plight of the middle- and upper-middle class female. Certainly, this is a demographic I relate to. I understand the neurotic, prone-to-depression, slightly-anxious woman just trying to make her way in an upper-middle class world that feels hostile and threatening at every turn. But where is the sensitivity to those who truly suffer, to those even in the United States who are disadvantaged and abused? While Merissa, Nadia, and even Tink face difficulties that are both uniquely their own and are sadly prevalent among teenage girls in our culture—neglect by parents and emotional and psychological distress—I would like some acknowledgement that ultimately their position of privilege allows them opportunity to overcome these difficulties that the truly disadvantaged in our culture may not have.NOTE: This review originally posted in a longer form at the book review website Luxury Reading: and at my website

  • Hannah
    2019-02-23 05:00

    I really hate my terrible memory. I thought Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You sounded like something I'd like, but the name Joyce Carol Oates sounded familiar, and I didn't know why. If I'd thought about it more, instead of going with the "Ooh. Want. Buy." instinct, I would have remembered that I'd read Big Mouth & Ugly Girl by this author and that I didn't like it. I probably wouldn't have read Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You knowing that, and that would have been a good thing, because I had more of the same issues with Two or Three Things that I'd had with Big Mough & Ugly Girl.Joyce Carol Oates's style just doesn't work for me. Somehow, I found the writing both immature and confusing. The sentences feel overdramatic and just really, really weird. I can't even explain it, so I'll give an example - this is how the book starts (page 3):"Merissa! Congratulations!"Hannah's excitement was genuine. Hannah's happiness for Merissa was genuine. Merissa could see.Merissa had been afraid - just a little, putting herself in Hannah's place - (for Hannah Heller's grades were inevitably just slightly lower than Merissa Charmichael's, not to mention the fact that Merissa was associate yearbook editor, Drama Club president, and cocaptain of the girls' intramural field hockey team as well; and Hannah had applied to virtually all the same colleges and Merissa) - that Hannah would be hurt, and envious, and even resentful, for it is not nearly so easy to be happy for your closest friend's good news as it is to (secretly) rejoice in your closest friend's bad news.I don't usually like using quotes in reviews, but that shows it better than I could explain. The writing is like that the entire time. If you don't have a problem with that style, it might be a good read for you, but for me, the writing was just frustrating.Asides from the writing, the story and the characters didn't work for me, either. To be honest, I didn't really see the point of it all. I hate saying that, because I'm not someone who thinks that literature always has to have a "point," that it always has to teach you something. But I just mean that for me personally, I didn't see the point, because the story didn't really go anywhere. It sort of circled around Tink's suicide, but not really. Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You is about three of Tink's friends, after Tink's suicide. It's split into three parts, with each of the girls telling their story individually, and none of the three really worked for me.I never felt like I really got to know any of the characters, and that's a big part of why I didn't end up liking this book. They each have their problems, and there's some pretty messed-up stuff going on, but I don't feel like we got to go deep enough to explore those issues in any meaningful way. The way it is, they're just kind of... there. I don't feel like any of the characters are fully developed, and there was none of the character growth or resolving of issues that I'd hoped for.I also struggled with seeing how these three stories tied in with each other; other than Tink, I didn't see a connection. And everything about Tink is just sort of weird. Tink, like, visits them in their dreams, or her ghost visits them, and she gives the girls advice. I didn't get what all of that was about, and since it's never addressed what's really going on with Tink, it felt kind of pointless to me.Somehow, I just felt removed from the story throughout. I've been having a hard time getting into books lately, so it might have to do with my reading slump, but I think it was at least partly the book's fault. The weird writing style, the lack of character development, and the plot that didn't go anywhere made it really hard for me to enjoy this book. I guess Joyce Carol Oates just isn't for me.Reviewed at http://www.paperbacktreasures.blogspp...

  • Buchdoktor
    2019-02-12 08:41

    Merissa scheint die von allen bewunderte erfolgreiche Modellschülerin zu sein. Am Ende des vorletzten Schuljahres erhält sie schon eine Studienplatz-Zusage für eine amerikanische Elite-Universität, sie schreibt stets Bestnoten, führt das Hockeyteam und bekommt natürlich im Schultheaterstück die begehrte weibliche Hauptrolle. Doch bei einem Blick hinter die begeisterten Fassaden sieht die Sache ganz anders aus. In der Schule und auch zuhause wagt Merissa es nicht, anderen den Rücken zuzudrehen, weil sie stets damit rechnet, dass dann etwas Gemeines über sie gesprochen wird. Als lustvoll, weil verboten, empfindet Merissa das heimliche Ritzen. Ihre Narben trägt sie wie ein verstecktes Tattoo. Der elitäre Vater-Tochter-Bund bröckelt, der die weniger intellektuelle Mutter ausschloss und aus der Zeit stammt, als Merissa noch klein und niedlich war. Die Siebzehnjährige fühlt sich als fast Erwachsene vom Vater nicht mehr beachtet. Mädchen dürfen nicht wachsen und nicht erwachsen werden, so die unterschwellige Botschaft. Merissas gesamte Lebensplanung ist der Bewerbung um den Studienplatz untergeordnet. Sie spielt nicht Hockey, weil sie es will, sondern weil es für die Bewerbung taktisch sinnvoll ist, auch Theater, Musik und ihr soziales Engagement werden taktisch klug eingesetzt. Merissa, Nadia und Tink waren einmal eine eingeschworene Dreierclique. Doch seit Tink die Freundinnen durch ihren Selbstmord verlassen hat, haben die Zurückgebliebenen umso stärker mit ihrem Gefühl der Wertlosigkeit zu kämpfen. Tink fand es nicht nötig, anderen zu gefallen und nahm dadurch die Rolle eines Anti-Paradiesvogels ein. Nadia findet sich im Vergleich zu ihrer jugendlich-kapriziösen Stiefmutter zu dick und gerät an der Schule ungeschickt in einen Strudel aus Sexting (Mobbing mit sexuellen Inhalten) und üblem Tratsch. Beiden Mädchen ist die tote Tink immer noch so nahe, dass man beim Lesen sogar an Tinks Tod zweifeln könnte. Tinks Tod wirkt auf die Mädchen so bedrohlich, dass Merissa das Wort nur mit einem Stern zensiert zu denken und zu schreiben wagt.Joyce Carol Oates hat mich schon auf den ersten Seiten ihres neuen Jugendromans damit gefesselt, dass sie die Häme hinter der Fassade von Glück und Erfolg nur beobachtet. Die Fäden verknüpfen und die Vorgänge analysieren müssen ihre Leser ganz allein. Ihr Buch gehört zu den besten Jugendbüchern, die ich in diesem Jahr gelesen habe. Es verursacht dieses bestimmte Kribbeln, mit dem sich ein klassischer, völlig zeitloser Text ankündigt, über den man auch noch in vielen Jahren ebenso kontrovers diskutieren kann wie heute. Die Persönlichkeit Merissas hat mich im ersten Drittel des Buches mit Abstand am stärksten gefesselt, wenn auch die Zusammenhänge erst mit der Charakterisierung der Dreier-Clique deutlich werden. Merissas Lebensumstände karikieren den amerikanischen Traum vom Aufstieg aus eigener Kraft, halten überehrgeizigen Eltern den Spiegel vor und entlarven nicht zuletzt die Häme, die die Beziehung zwischen den Jugendlichen vergiftet. Ein starkes Buch.

  • Leanne
    2019-02-19 03:00

    The first half of the book alone would have gotten two stars. It's melodramatic and extremely sentimental, but Merissa's story was the more realistic. Her's is the typical straight A, perfect blond that everyone loves but who is secretly unhappy. Blah blah. Despite her being somewhat unlikeable, I was actually moved by her story.Nadia is SO FAT. She's--gasp--119 pounds at her heaviest and 5'4"! I know the point is for the reader to realize she isn't fat and pity her, but everyone in the book comments on how chubby she is, they're so used to private-school-in-New-Jersey girls, so it might give off the wrong impression, especially when the author comments on her chubby cheeks often. She also has an extremely unrealistic crush on her teacher that gets her into trouble later, and is labeled as a slut because she gave a guy a blowjob. Her whole storyline was just so incredibly unrealistic and melodramatic, though I suppose it might show younger girls reading (those who haven't been exposed to sexual issues) that slut shaming is hurtful and wrong.These girls are connected and allegedly protected by their dead friend Tink, who is really a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She came to the private school full of preps as a sort of low key punk, shocking all the students. Tink had committed suicide, and visits her friends as a sort of half ghost. Sentimental much? Tink prevents the suicides of both friends. I prefer to think the friends thought of Tink and stopped themselves from killing themselves, but I don't think this is what the author intended. These girls go around talking aloud to dead Tink.Overall, the book was exemplary of a teen novel, and just the reason I normally don't read them. It was insanely sentimental in trying to get its point across, unrealistic, melodramatic, and just packed with over exaggeration. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who isn't in love with teen lit set in high school. Also, my copy says "Ages: 14 and up." I think that's a bit too old for this book; I'd say it would suit a twelve year old better.**I received an ARC copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads program**

  • Lisa Cook
    2019-02-06 01:52

    I love Joyce Carol Oates, but I'm not a big fan of YA, so take that for what you will. This book was good, but it was definitely stuck in its genre. Oates is a master of narration, but this book was manic. This was ridiculously melodramatic and aimed at easily impressionable tween/teen girls. The book was very literary in its merit, but the plot was so overly wrought for its sentimentality and attempts to connect with its target audience. The book is told from multiple perspectives in the aftermath of a teen suicide, leaving her friends to make sense of life after the fact. This novel was entertaining, but so over the top. One girl has a secret. But her friend has a secret, too? But their other friend has committed suicide and she had secrets of her own. Ooooh... After a while it got kind of ridiculous. The novel starts of with Merissa, dubbed "The Perfect One" for her constant anxiety to perform under pressure, be the best, get the best grades, get into the best school and prove she is worthy of Daddy's love since he doesn't love her mother anymore and instead now loves some other woman he has moved in with and now wants a divorce. Oh, and did I mention she's also a cutter? Geez.... I just couldn't get over the fact her name was spelled Merissa. Then there's a brief interlude that deals with the infamous Tink, who came into this circle of friends, then left via barbiturates and a bottle of wine as quickly as she came. Then the last part deals with Nadia who is a whopping 119 pounds but wishes she was 98 so of course she's slightly anorexic, who's in love with her teacher and also dealing with daddy issues of a different nature. But don't you fret, it all turns out hunky-dory in the end anyway.This novel was good. Oates has enough writing chops to make anything worthy of reading, but the melodrama just felt so forced to me I couldn't get over it. Another feat of Oates' talent, but this is not my genre of choice. And also, I won this book from a Goodreads Giveaway! So yay!

  • Katie
    2019-02-02 05:05

    This was an amazing book. Perfect for Jr High aged students because it deals with bullying, suicide, cutting, and friendship. This book for the most part was an easy read and also easy to understand. This book is told in parts and shows the different impacts that each of these things can have on teens. There is some strong language in this book. One of the main characters in the book is actually a spirit, because she killed herself, so when you are reading you you have to understand that she isn't alive. The other two main characters are alive and the spirit helps them grow up and face the problems they are dealt in life. Very moving book, I loved it!

  • Katie
    2019-02-13 03:53

    It makes me sad to only give this three stars. I really love Joyce Carol Oates, because she deals with some really dark aspects of relationships. I didn't find the cutting narrative particularly realistic, but I could believe Nadia's story. I am also not really sure about the choice to have the story told from the perspective of those two characters. The book didn't feel as cohesive as I would have liked. Regardless it was still pretty good. I am not disappointed that I spent New Year's Eve and the first hour of 2013 getting to know the words of Joyce Carol Oates.

  • Barbara
    2019-02-01 10:03

    An amazing story of three young women facing obstacles all too common today. As an educator, I recognized these girls and what was happening to them. Oates does not let us down, but the book is for the more sophisticated reader, one who can tie the three stories together more easily than the less experienced. A great read.

  • Fred
    2019-01-23 05:49

    Honestly I am not usually a fan of "literary" novels for a host of reasons, including that nothing ever happens, or when it does it's something awful. But for some reason the spare but evocative words of this title intrigue me, and I am looking forward to it!

  • Lynne Lowe
    2019-01-29 01:43

    Wow, one of my favorite authors has another book coming out in August! I can't wait!

  • Sonia
    2019-02-21 05:55

    E’ il primo libro di Joyce Carol Oates che leggo e l’impressione è buona. L’autrice si tuffa nell’adolescenza esplorandone ogni aspetto e fragilità quasi fosse un trattato, utilizzandone con maestria il linguaggio e i meccanismi mentali, tanto che il romanzo sembra effettivamente scritto da una ragazzina. Non manca nessuno oscuro cliché di questa età meravigliosa e ingrata: disfunzioni alimentari, paura di essere giudicati e di non conformarsi ai coetanei, depressione e manie di suicidio ed autolesionismo, bullismo e cyber-bullismo, l’ossessione per il peso e per lo smartphone, i primi innamoramenti, i problemi familiari, le incomprensioni con i genitori e gli adulti, traumi infantili irrisolti, difficoltà di comunicazione e segreti da mantenere. Alla fine viene da pensare che in fondo sono contenta di esserne venuta fuori, per quanto si guardi sempre a quegli anni giovanili con nostalgia.Nel romanzo, la vita delle ragazze protagoniste viene sconvolta dal suicidio di una di loro, la più carismatica del gruppo, la cui scomparsa (mai nominata da nessuna di loro con il termine “morte”) scatena una vera e propria crisi esistenziale nelle amiche, un crollo delle loro certezze. Ne escono in particolare 3 figure di adolescenti, perfettamente delineate dalla Oates, quella di Tinni, la ragazza suicida, così particolare, quasi mitica nella memoria delle altre, e quelle delle amiche Merissa, la ragazza bella e vincente della scuola, e di Nadia, la ragazza più insignificante impacciata. Le due sembrano essere le meno simili, ma la tragedia di Tinni in qualche modo le avvicina, rivelandoci in loro insicurezze e fragilità molto simili, lo stesso bisogno di piacere ed essere approvate - dai genitori assenti, dai compagni di scuola - le stesse pressioni per emergere, per rincorrere e mantenere un ideale di perfezione vana. L’adolescenza, dopo tutto, è un’età di convinzioni assolute. Ma alla fine, dopo tutto questo processo di elaborazione del lutto, le due mostrano di aver raggiunto una certa maturità, nel difendere, con successo, il professore di fronte a tutto il consiglio scolastico e mostrandosi così pronte ad andare avanti.(english review):It is the first book by Oates I read and I got a good impression of her. The author dips herself completely into teenage, exploring each side and fragility of it, as if it were an dissertation on the matter, using its own language and mental paths so skillfully it really looks like the novel was written by a young girl. No dark cliché on this wonderful yet ungracious age is missing here: food dysfunctions, fear of being judged and to not conform to their peers, depression and suicidal manias, self-harm, bullying and cyber-bullying, the obsession for weight and for smartphones, first loves, family problems, incomprehension with parents and adults, unresolved childhood traumas, difficulties in communication and secrets to keep. In the end you would say you’re glad you got out of it all alive, although one always looks back to that youthful period with a little nostalgia.In the novel, the lives of the girls gets upset by the suicide of one of them, the most charismatic of the group, whose disappearance (never referred to by anyone with the word “death”) provokes a real identity crisis in her friends, a collapse of their certainties. Three figures of teenagers emerge in particular, perfectly drawn by Oates: that of Tink, the suicidal girl, so peculiar, almost legendary in the memory of the other girls, and those of her schoolmates and friends Merissa, the winning, charming beauty of the school and Nadia, the clumsy, mediocre one. The last two seem to be the most different, but Tink’s tragedy somehow draws them closer to each other, revealing similar insecurities and fragilities in them, the same need to be loved and approved – by absent parents, by their schoolmates – the same pressure to stand out, to pursue and keep the same vain ideal of Perfection. Teenage is an age of absolute beliefs, after all. But in the end, after the painful process of recovering from their friend’s loss, they both show to have grown up, somehow, in successfully upholding the case of their professor in front of the whole school board, showing to be ready to move on.

  • Claire McKinley
    2019-02-08 03:02

    Read this book with caution. I don't mean that in warning for graphic content, though there is definitely much of that in this book. I say it in regards to the intentions and messages of the book. Joyce Carol Oates writes in a very snide, almost sarcastic manner, which not too many readers seem to have picked up. I don't think that this book is attempting to accurately represent reality. It is using the scenario of teenage girl's lives to make comments about various issues in society, from gender inequality to body image issues. Of course, it would be easy for one to read this book and take it at face value, which I imagine would cause one to dislike the book immensely. Things such as the comments about Nadia's weight, which of course could be seen as unreasonable, are actually carefully constructed representations of the ways in which society conditions young girls to hate their bodies.This book is very intriguing and while a bit strange in parts, a very interesting read on the whole.

  • nathaliemayi
    2019-02-08 06:03

    Das Buch geht mit wirklich wichtigen und sensiblen Themen so unfassbar respektlos um und vermittelt absolut schreckliche Werte. WIE KANN SO EIN BUCH BITTE ALS PSYCHOLOGISCHER JUGENDROMAN AUSGEZEICHNET WERDEN??Dem Leser wird beispielsweise eine der Protagonistinnen als dickes Mädchen beschrieben, dass gemobbt wird. Immer wieder wird betont wie "dick" und "wabbelig" sie ist. An anderer Stelle im Buch wird dann geschrieben, dass sie 54kg wiegen würde. WAS SOLL DAS DEM LESER SAGEN?? Erst hatte ich angenommen, dass dies das gestörte Selbstbild der Protagonistin darstellen soll, aber auch von ihren "Freundinnen" wird sie als dick und rundlich beschrieben. Also bleibt es am Ende so stehen, dass 54kg zu dick sind, was ja wohl absoluter Schwachsinn ist!?Und das ist beiweiten nur ein Beispiel, es gibt so viele in diesem Buch. Ich frage mich wirklich, was sich die Autorin dabei gedacht hat? - Wohl nicht besonders viel..

  • Carrie Palombo
    2019-02-01 05:40

    Yet another solid work from Joyce Carol Oates. Anyone who rates this poorly probably doesn't appreciate her in general.Not sure if this is considered YA, buy it's probably too adult for YA, stylistically speaking.

  • Mzissou
    2019-02-14 08:03


  • Corissa
    2019-02-15 03:04

    This felt like 3 short stories instead of 1 concise book. I wasn't impressed.

  • Charlotte
    2019-02-02 08:53

    Un style plat, une histoire ennuyeuse, sans début clair ni fin satisfaisante, sauvés par la justesse de la représentation de l'adolescence.

  • Pamela Scott
    2019-02-21 05:58

    I loved Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You. This is a YA book but I was barely aware of this as JCO sucked me right into the dark, disturbing world she created. Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You is JCO at her best. I love the title as well.STRUCTURE: Two of Three Things I Forgot To Tell You is split into three sections. The first, Prologue: Tink deals with Merissa Carmichael, a high school senior who has been self-harming since her best friend Katrina (Tink) committed suicide six months before. As the pressures of her senior year mounts and her parents announce a divorce her cutting spirals out of control. II Tink Tink Tink Tink Tink Tink Tink Tink: A Scrapbook deals with Tink’s arrival at school, her friendship with Merissa and her friends, her suicide and the aftermath. The final section, III The Slut deals with Nadine, another of Tink’s friend and her crush on a teacher that goes horribly wrong. Like Merissa, she has been the most affected by Tink’s death. The chapters in each section are number and have a sub title (i.e. 1 Good News). Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You is written in the third person. I like thee three-act structure. I felt thought Merissa’s story wasn’t really resolved and ending with her still self-mutilating and I still had a lot of unanswered questions. The chapters are all quite short so I could read Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You fairly quickly.PLACE: I found the world JCO creates in Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You was very realistic. She reminded me of how hard it is to be a teenager when you have to juggle so many things. I think people forget how hard it is to be a teenager as they get older. They look at the past with rose-tinted glasses and wish they could still have it so easy. They forget what it was really like to be a teenager when you’re not quite an adult and far from a child. I think JCO captures this perfectly. The teenage world she creates in Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You is frighteningly believable. I enjoyed Merissa’s story the most. I felt it had the most emotional impact. I can understand her need to self-harm. I’ve felt like cutting myself in the past to let some of the pressure out. I found Tink’s story heart-breaking. She seemed so confident and her suicide was a shock. Nadine’s story was more funny than sad. We’ve also had daft crushes on people and made a fool of ourselves. I thought it was sad when she was cyber-bullied when her crush and actions became public knowledge.CHARACTERISATION: JCO created believable, flawed and human characters in Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You. The best characters were Merissa, Tink and Nadia. They were the most realistic portrayal of teenagers I’ve read in a long time. I liked Merissa the most. I could relate to her the most on a personal level. I could relate to the pressure she was under and her need to cut to let it all out. I never cut myself but the possibility crossed my mind more than once. I can see where she’s coming from. I felt sorry for Tink. She had been a successful child actress and her mother was a famous actress. I got the impression she didn’t have much of a life. I actually cried when she killed herself. I also found Nadine a very real character. She wasn’t popular and was flattered by Tink’s friendship. Everyone wanted to be friends with Tink. Nadine was quite chubby and awkward. She reminded me a lot of myself when I was a teenager. I was impressed by how realistic the characters were. JCO perfectly capture the struggles of being a teenager.PLOT: JCO was brave when she wrote Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You. She tackles some pretty dark subject matter. The overall plot deals with Tink’s suicide and the impact this has on her two closest friends, Merissa and Nadine. Merissa self-harms and is clearly suicidal. She thinks she hears Tink speaking in her head and feels her presence around her. It’s rare for a writer to tackle the subject of suicide. I can’t think of another novel I’ve read that deals with this. Tink is clearly very messed up and depressed. More controversial issues. Nadia is offered drink by some boys in school and there is the impression she had sex with them all. Her intense crush on a teacher spirals out of control and almost loses him his job. JCO offers nothing particularly original with Two of Three Things I Forgot To Tell You but she offers something emotionally deep, realistic and moving.

  • Fedelm
    2019-02-18 07:54

    The novel takes place at a New Jersey prep school. "Tink Inc." is a group of girls at this school -- including POV characters Merissa and Nadia -- who were friends with (apparent) suicide victim Katrina "Tink" Traumer and are highly concerned with why she died as well as their own lives, especially school pressures (getting into an Ivy League), bad relationships with their parents, and self-image. Boys do play some role but are mentioned relatively rarely in the book -- almost as though the young women are too busy to deal with them. The middle of the novel focuses on Tink herself during the year before her suicide when she moved to the new school and became friends with the other girls, but the first and third sections are from Merissa and Nadia's points of view and largely about their individual school and home lives. The writing sometimes seems disjointed, with very brief words and sentences or weird run-on sentences imitating fleeting thoughts or the flow of streams of consciousness, and this may put off some readers. However, the majority of the book is not like this. Either way, for me it worked well.There is less plot than psychological and emotional exposition. By seeing into the minds of these young women we hopefully learn why some people feel depressed, lonely, suicidal, or just misunderstood. I thought that such depictions as of a "perfect" high-achieving girl who hates herself and self-harms, power-hungry men who twist the words of others to suit their own ends, teachers who are just trying to help their students and run into awkward situations as a result, teachers who like to show off, parents who "can tell you're lying" when the youngster is telling the whole truth, lonely students' crushes on teachers, how parental abuse or neglect leads directly to violent or shocking behavior in their children, etc., are painfully realistic. I wish I could say it's overdone and melodramatic, but I can't ignore that there's just so much in here that I recognize.One of the simpler examples: when Nadia, who is supposedly "overweight," finally reveals her actual height and weight -- the latter of which is at the low end of normal -- and her "target weight" -- which is clearly underweight -- this isn't meant to be taken seriously by the reader as the author's judgment of what is truly overweight, but an indication of just how warped these girls' reality has become due to their socialization (in this case, the pressure to be "skinny"). When reading that part, I was reminded of much earlier in the book (easy to forget unless you flip back to that page) where the "perfect" girl Merissa, who is also an athlete, shows her height to be taller and her weight to be lower than Nadia's. (A thought: it's also possible that Nadia's "flabbiness" may be due to a low physical fitness level; she may have a low weight but also poor muscle tone, which is not unheard of. The point still stands: their society puts too much focus on *appearance* and number of pounds, and not enough on health, nutrition, exercise.)Spoiler: the question of whether Tink is truly still communicating with the girls after her suicide doesn't seem to be answered. The girls' experiences can easily be interpreted one way or the other. My interpretation is "likely not" but that it ultimately doesn't matter; whether she's still around or not, she was a strong influence on the girls and it's only natural that they would still feel this long after she's gone.My only complaint is that it needed a bit more resolution. I did like the character development -- Merissa and Nadia clearly become more mature, responsible, and confident by the end, as indicated in their meeting with the board of trustees and their treatment of each other. But the ending was just too quick and clean and I was left in doubt. I'd ask for a sequel, but I'm worried for the survivors. And the cat.

  • Rachael
    2019-02-02 02:51

    For more of my reviews, check out my blog @ Moosubi Reviews!Rating Clarification: 1.5 / 5At first glance, the blurb definitely gives a sense of mystery, especially one around Tink. It seemed to me that Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You would be a touching story, full of emotion. While the stories presented in the book, to an extent, touched me, I found that the writing did not appeal to my tastes...The book is mainly divided into three parts, covering the stories of Merissa, Tink, and Nadia. Honestly, I found it extremely hard to get through Merissa's part of the story - her voice just didn't click with me, and she seemed detached. You learn that she's naturally beautiful, skinny, and popular, but is under a lot of pressure and cuts. For one, her "reason" for cutting didn't make sense to me. I might have understood this wrong, but apparently she can't have an eating disorder since she's already pretty skinny, so cutting is... better?Her voice also jumped around a lot, which made for a lot of confusion on my part. Reading Merissa's story at that point seemed taxing to me, considering her attitude. At one point, she calls Nadia "flabby", when she's only 119 pounds, which is probably one of the reasons Nadia eventually developed an eating disorder. Her mom, who clearly loved Merissa, was always being put down in Merissa's head. The way that she interacted with other guys in school just made her seem like an ice queen.There's also not really an ending to Merissa's story... it just stops. I was hoping that there was some kind of ending which wrapped everything up, but we just moved on towards Tink's story. Then when we encounter Merissa again in Nadia's story, she seems well and is interested in another boy. The transition just seemed awkward, I suppose.In Tink's story, you get to learn more details about what happened in the past, as well as what kind of person Tink was. This part was much less confusing for me, but I still felt like the narrator's voice was detached. However, after reading Tink's part of the story, however interesting it was, I felt like each parts of the story didn't really relate - they read more like three short stories in the same world, rather than one whole novel. Personally, that type of writing didn't appeal to me, but other readers might think differently.Finally, in Nadia's story, you learn about a crush on a teacher she has, as well as her eating disorder. I felt like the half of her story where she talks about being called a "slut" and her eating disorder were interesting, realistic, and touching to an extent. However, how her eventual crush turned out was unrealistic - honestly, who would start a petition to get that teacher back, and would it really work? In my mind, it couldn't happen. At that point, Nadia also seemed so naive - her teacher obviously didn't like her back, and she was doing something that was unnecessary and stupid...Overall, Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You was a disappointing read :/ The different voices of the characters, jumbled-ness of the writing, and realistic-ness of the book didn't appeal to me. I'm not too sure who to recommend it to - maybe fans of Oates' other YA novels?*Thank you to ARCycling & Ashley Loves Books for gifting me this book*

  • Andrea at Reading Lark
    2019-02-11 06:40

    Review Posted on Reading Lark 8/26/12: really appreciate the authors who step up and shine lights on some of the not so pretty aspects of being a teen. I applaud them for having the ability to show teens that they are not alone in their struggle. There is someone out there - even if it's just a fictional someone - that understands their pain. These novels are critical and contain lessons that teens need, but they are often heartbreaking and difficult to read. This was certainly the case with this novel. I felt like every time I opened the book a new dollop of depression would be heaped upon me, adding itself to the layers of tragedy and melancholy I had already digested in previous pages.My heart broke for each and every character in this book. They are tackling issues such as suicide, depression, body image issues, eating disorders, self mutilation, dealing with divorce, sexting, and cyberbullying. It almost felt as if Joyce Carol Oates looked at a high school and decided to show every difficult issue that the students might encounter. There was so much going on in this book that I felt overwhelmed. Also, due to the serious nature of the plot, I didn't run home to read. This isn't one of those novels that you're excited to spend time with each day - it felt more like a necessary chore. As a teacher, I feel it's critical for me to understand these issues so I can recognize the signs should any of my students suffer from the same afflictions, but that doesn't always make it easy to read and digest. This isn't a shiny happy book although in the end I did get a sense of hopefulness. The main strength of this one is how it grabs you and refuses to let you look away without evaluating your daily interactions. How many students do I come in to contact with who seem perfectly put together on the surface, but are crumbling at frantic speeds inside?One of my biggest complaints is the writing style. It's very sparse and the narrative tends to jump around a bit. This is not my favorite style of writing, but I am always open to pushing myself to try new writers and genres. I did eventually settle into the writing and was able to piece together how Tink, Merissa, and Nadia are connected, but it did take some effort on my part. I didn't feel truly connected to any of the girls - I was more of an outside observer. There were times were I felt almost guilty for being a witness to some scenes.This is a novel that holds valuable lessons, but be sure to be in the right frame of mind for it. This is not a book I would recommend after a rough day or when you're not feeling particularly chipper. I do appreciate that this felt more "literary" than the typical YA novel. Seeing such a different style of writing can help readers hone their skills in tackling complex narratives.One Last Gripe: I could never quite figure out who the narrator was in Part II which annoyed meMy Favorite Thing About This Book: I liked seeing Merissa evolve from being broken to standing up for a friend and becoming an encouragement to someone else who was hurtingFirst Sentence: "Merissa! Congratulations!"Favorite Character: I didn't have oneLeast Favorite Character: Merissa's Dad

  • Christie
    2019-01-29 01:42

    I have a love/hate relationship with Joyce Carol Oates. Sometimes I read her and after I’ve settled into the odd rhythm of her writing I think, yeah, that was pretty good (We Were the Mulvaneys; Beasts) and then sometimes I read her work and think, that was a lot of effort for nothing (Rape: A Love Story) and then there’s this time, when I read Two Or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You and about two thirds of the way in I thought, what the hell just happened? Merissa Carmichael has just been accepted into Brown, her first Ivy League choice. Merissa, M’rissa to her friends, has it all going on: good student, good athlete, good friend, pretty and popular, but she is also deeply troubled.…in the little bathroom adjoining her room, with trembling hands – trembling with excitement, anticipation! – opening a drawer beside the sink, and, at the very back of the drawer, seizing the handle of a small but very sharp paring knife – bringing out the knife, and pressing its tip against the inside of her wrist, where the skin was pale and thin…Nadia Stillinger, Merissa’s friend, “hadn’t a chance of getting into Brown, or any Ivy League university” has her own problems including a father who works too much and a too young step-mother. She’s fat, too, weighing in at a whopping 119 pounds. And everyone knew that it was “utterly, utterly disgusting to be fat.”The one thing Nadia and Merissa share is Tink, the child-star who moved to their town of Quaker Heights, New Jersey during their junior year. Tink is a “short, fiery-haired girl” whose “face was pale and plain, as if it had been scrubbed, and even her freckles looked bleached.” She’s unlike any other girl at Quaker Heights High. She talks back to teachers, doesn’t give a rat’s ass for fashion and doesn’t even seem all that interested in making friends, which is why the girls in Merissa’s circle so desperately want to fly in Tink’s orbit. She seems fearless. Until she kills herself – which actually happens before the story begins – so much of the story is told in flashback.Two Or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You isn’t your average YA novel. First of all, the narrative is Joyce Carol Oates wacky. The narrator is one of the girls – but not Merissa and not Nadia and not Tink. Lots of personal pronouns, though, like “We were stunned” and “We laughed because Tink laughed”. Still, the first part of the novel is tightly focused on Merissa and her penchant for cutting and the trauma of her parents’ crumbling marriage. Then, Merissa is abandoned (presumably in a much better emotional place than when we meet her) and the focus switches to Nadia and her problems – mostly to do with an incident at a party and her inappropriate feelings for her kind (and handsome) Science teacher.You either get used to the way Oates writes or you don’t. This book is rife with parentheses and asides couched in dashes. Perhaps the writing is meant to mimic the frenetic minds of its characters, but whatever the case I read the novel quickly. I can’t say I didn’t like it, but I can’t say I loved it, either. There is potential for discussion because the book is topical and in many ways captures the complicated and fraught time in a young woman’s life just before she is about to step over that imaginary line into adulthood. Sadly, some don’t make it.