Review: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

IN A NUTSHELL

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her. 

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

 

THOUGHTS BY YOURS TRULY

Julie Buxbaum’s books have been in my TBR list for what feels like centuries. I’ve been dragging my feet because didn’t expect to be blown away by them. I expected them to be good but I never imagined good wouldn’t even come close to describing how fantastic her stories are. This is the first Julie Buxbaum book I’ve ever read and I can tell you right now, I’m a goner. I will forever read every single word Julie publishes. I wouldn’t dare miss one of her beautifully written stories.

 

Kit lost her father recently and since then she has turned into a new version of herself. A version who is incapable of sitting with her best friends at lunch. A version who can’t say a small fashion lie to make her friend feel good. A version who walks out in the middle of class without an explanation.
Everyone at school is being nice yet it feels like no one actually understands what she’s going through. Her best friends keep telling her it’s time for her to open up in order to move on, they want her to go back to the old Kit. But she fears the old Kit died along with her father in that car accident.
Everything feels wrong. Everything feels pointless. How is she supposed to move on with her life after everything that happened?

It’s never been easy for David to make friends because he is different. His best and only friend is his sister, Lauren, who is the complete opposite of him. She helps him keep a notebook where he can write notes of the people who can be trusted and those he should be wary around because apparently David is too trusting. She says people tend to say things that aren’t true, like those moments he gets called a moron at school when he is actually incredibly intelligent.

Thirty days after the accident, Kit was just looking for a moment of silence because suddenly it feels like betrayal to sit with her friends and laugh about stupid things as if her life hadn’t completely changed.
That day, Kit ends up sitting next to David during lunch because he is great at being quiet. Refreshingly, when he does talk with her, he’s not fake. He doesn’t repeat the typical “he’s in a better place now” every one says to people after they’ve lost a loved one. He’s been the only who’s said the right thing at the right moment.
So Kit asks him for help in her search for the reason why everything happened. He agrees, of course, without even imagining what they’ll end up discovering.

 

I’ve never felt the urge to protect someone as much as I did while reading this book, I still feel like fighting every single person who bullied David in school because of his autism. I was pleased to find David had such an amazing sister/friend in Lauren. She’s the loveliest.

I’ve said I love a lot of characters in the past but all of that love pales in comparison to the amount of love I feel for David’s character. I’m afraid I’ll run out of good adjectives to describe David so I’ll just say he is wonderful. He is the most genuine character I’ve ever read. It was refreshing to find someone who is not fake for once.

I love that the world gets to know him and read his point of view since the story alternates between his POV and Kit’s POV. It was a pleasure getting to know David.

 

There were a lot of moments where I was able to relate with Kit. Reading her thoughts on diversity felt as if she was reading my mind, as if she was turning my messy thoughts into actual sentences. I related so much to her way of thinking. I love reading stories about diverse characters because I always find them to be so very real.

Kit is half white and half Indian.  She gets what it feels like when you find people who don’t understand that this planet is a diverse place and we’re all different and that it is not a thing people have to be scared of.

I think a lot of readers all around the world will be able to relate to Kit’s character just like I did.

 

From front cover to back cover and everything in between What To Say Next is one of the most beautiful books I’ve been lucky enough to read. I lived inside this book for a few hours and a piece of my heart will forever belong to it.

Julie deserves a standing ovation for this book. She did amazingly when writing about bullying and autism and grief. You will find the loveliest characters inside this book’s pages. She wrote a story that is lovely and heartbreaking at the same time. She wrote a story that you will never be able to forget.

 


🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻


 

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