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Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You

2.84  ·  Rating details ·  702 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You is renowned author Joyce Carol Oates's newest novel for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Wintergirls and Speak, said that "the painful honesty of this book will crack open your heart."

Senior year, their last year together, Merissa and Nadia need their best friend Tink more than they ever did before. They have secr
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 2.84  · 
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Jul 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
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
Christie Bane
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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, th
Mar 24, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish
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
Drennan Spitzer
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
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, ...more

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

Lisa Cook
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Well, Goodreads is telling me that I read this book back in 2014. I remember nothing of this book. As I was reading, nothing jumped out as, "hmmm, I think this sounds familiar." That should be your first glimpse as to how I felt about this book.

There are certainly issues discussed. And the issues that are discussed are definitely deep and probably suffered by many young girls. Oates was able to tackle the issues in a very realistic manner, but a very quick manner. I think if she had concentrate
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 26, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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 marked it as to-read
Wow, one of my favorite authors has another book coming out in August! I can't wait!
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 auto ...more
Cal McKinley
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 gende ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
So this has what I call "Andromache syndrome," it has two separate plots that barely connect. The first concerns a high school girl named Merissa, the second a girl named Nadia. I don't mind books with several subplots, but if they don't eventually join together and form something greater (as in, for example, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"), then the structure just doesn't work.

However, what this book lacked in unity, I thought it fulfilled in passion and wonder. In the end, this is a book ab
Feb 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
The last little bit of this book was such a drag! I have had this on my to read list for years, and finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. Yeah, I regret that decision. The writing is a bit clunky and and although I love the idea of really writing for the strange kids - this was so close to my school experience! - the story wasn't particulary well thought out, and it kind of goes all over the place without really resolving anything. And then Nadias story at the end felt like a wei ...more
Carrie Palombo
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
This felt like 3 short stories instead of 1 concise book. I wasn't impressed.
Pamela Scott
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 m
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
For more of my reviews, check out my blog @ Moosubi Reviews!

Rating Clarification: 1.5 / 5

At 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 Nad
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
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Sam Sattler
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult

Joyce Carol Oates books generally focus on the vulnerability of women and what can happen to them when they least expect it, especially if they wander into situations or places they are physically or emotionally unprepared to handle. Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You, the author’s latest Young Adult novel (said to be appropriate for readers 14 and up), is a cautionary reminder that women first enter this danger zone as girls – when peer pressure and a desire to “fit in” make them especial
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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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