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Two or Three Things I Forgot To Tell You

2.85  ·  Rating Details ·  542 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
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, an
Hardcover, ebook, 212 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 25, 2013 sally rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 spe
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 th
Aug 18, 2012 Deitre rated it liked it
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 tee ...more
Dec 11, 2014 Elle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
1.5 stars - YA Realistic

After 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.
Apr 12, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
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
Feb 04, 2016 Kyria Collins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 f ...more
Feb 28, 2015 Buchdoktor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, w ...more
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 thi ...more
Lisa Cook
Dec 09, 2015 Lisa Cook rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beyond
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 afterm
Leanne M.

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 com

Drennan Spitzer
Oct 17, 2012 Drennan Spitzer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

In 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 m
May 24, 2013 Christine marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Did Not Finish

I 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
Oct 21, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 ...more
In the beginning I was totally confused, what was going on!? I really did not like Merissa, she has problems. I don't get why she cuts herself? Sure, to punish herself, but she is so rude to her friends, like Nadia! She called Nadia fat when she's like 119 pounds, and that is not fat. I honestly don't know where the author was going with this book, my friend said this was a great book and to be honest I don't think so. Maybe that was the point...I'm disappointed. Hopefully if I ever reread this ...more
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 acce
Zoe Benfield
Sep 29, 2014 Zoe Benfield rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've heard amazing things about Joyce Carol Oates, so when I read this book, the first book I have ever read by her, I was sorely disappointed. I don't find the book to be written well at all, and I'm really not a critical person when it comes to how a book is written, because I know each author has a different style. I also feel that there was no connection between these stories. Besides the fact that these girls are tied together by the death of a friend, there was no reason to even have them ...more
Pamela Scott
May 14, 2014 Pamela Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 mo
Her books are so disturbing, and this one is not an exception. She adds a layer of creep and dread and hopelessness; other writers have tackled the same themes in their YA books, but with Joyce Carol Oates' writing, I sometimes have to look away. The bad fathering/fathers choosing new families/fathers wanting their daughters to be sexy in the "right" way was particularly painful to read.

Like some of the other reviewers, I was also really bothered by the main characters' obsession with weight. I
Nov 08, 2014 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw some other reviews where this book was panned, and I would have to disagree. While I didn't adore the book, I have admired Oates ever since reading her short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (It's a chilling story of a flippant, narcissistic teen girl, Connie, who meets an untimely and yet inevitable end.) Oates wrangles with the dark stuff masterfully, whether it's roaming serial killers or suicide. She will lure you with beautiful lines as her characters' lives unravel. ...more
Feb 18, 2015 Fedelm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those curious about female teenage psychology and/or dysfunctional lives of the wealthy.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 27, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Erin Callahan
(Excerpt from my review at Forever Young Adult)

Oh Christ on a Kabob, I hated this book so much. But I'll get to that. So, this book is about Merissa (not Melissa, not Marissa, no matter how many times I misread her name) and Naomi, two girls only related through their shared friendship with the now dead Tink. Tink committed suicide earlier in the year and her ghost hangs over the shattered lives of her friends.

I don't mean that metaphorically. Like, her ghost hangs around. Not in a spooky way. M
Feb 26, 2012 Fred marked it as to-read
Recommended to Fred by: Charlotte
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
Jul 01, 2012 Lynne Lowe marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Wow, one of my favorite authors has another book coming out in August! I can't wait!
Katie Paton
Dec 08, 2015 Katie Paton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to read this novel. But in the end, to be honest, I think this novel is just a bit of a mess.

Firstly the sentence structure seemed off and strange, e.g. there was a lot of long, dragged out sentences that disrupted the natural flow of reading the novel.

Also, the change in narrators and tenses confused me. I felt like as a reader I was introduced into one concept of the novel and then abruptly changed to another plot line or something else without understanding the first con
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 8/26/12:

I 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
Diane Ferbrache
Tink was the new girl in town -- a former child star, now just unique. Before the story begins, Tink has died, likely the result of a suicide. Merissa and Nadia, two of her friends are having a difficult time dealing with Tink's death. Each girl is coping in different ways -- Merissa is cutting and Nadia is obsessing over a young teacher. Each girl is also certain that Tink is very present in their lives.

While this book is very readable and incredibly difficult to put down, it's really not very
Erin Sterling
Told from the perspective of 2 high school students after a friend of theirs commits suicide about various ways they are coping with their own emotional issues. Personally, I didn't really like this book--I would give it 2 stars myself--although more objectively speaking, it's a well-written book I think teens would like and lends to conversations about suicide, cutting, cyberbullying, etc. What bothers me is that having grown up as a NJ teen in a relatively affluent town (like the girls in the ...more
Cathy/The Crazy Bookworm
I have never read a Joyce Carol Oates novel before, but I have heard many great things about her writing. When I heard she was returning to the Young Adult scene, that piqued my interest. Once I learned about Two or Three Things I forgot to Tell You, and that it was along the same lines of Wintergirls and Thirteen Reasons Why(Which I both loved!) I was excited to give it a try.

The book started off a little slow for me. There was a lot of character development in the beginning and not so much sto
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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ... Rosamond Smith and Laure ...more
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“There are some secrets so toxic you can’t share. Especially if you love who it is you’d have to share with.” 4 likes
“If she lets us down, if she’s weird sometimes—just ignore it, and love her. Just love her.” 3 likes
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