Hi Book Lovers!
I’ve been on vacation for a little bit now and on the plane ride to my destination (Wisconsin, to see my family), I was able to listen to this wonderful story! Let’s talk about it.
What to Say Next
By Julie Buxbaum
Pages: 292 pages
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Two struggling teenagers find an unexpected connection just when they need it most.
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?
Kit is struggling to come to grips with her life without her dad after he recently passed away. David has never been able to fit in due to his high functioning state of mind and inability to read social cues. Two very different kids in high school yet when their worlds clash together it is adorable and precious.
I’m going to start by saying I loved David. A lot. He has to be one of my favorite book characters to exist. In reality he reminds me a lot of Jacob Hunt from House Rules by Jodi Picoult. He wants to fit in. He wants to have friends. He wants to be social. He just doesn’t quite know how. Hearing the narrator read through Jacob’s thoughts made me hang on to every word that was being said.
Kit, on the other hand, took me a little longer to enjoy. I initially had a harder time connecting to her character. I knew from the get-go she was struggling to cope with her feelings after her father’s recent death, but it was hard to like her and her group of friends (who I initially thought were annoying and dramatic). However, as the story goes on, it was relatable to see her growing from something so traumatic into a new version of herself and towards the middle of the story when the situation with David’s notebook happens, I appreciated her friends a lot more (they really started to jump on to the bandwagon of genuine friends which was a nice thing to see).
There is some romance in this novel, but it didn’t feel like the front and center of this novel (as I didn’t think it should be). For that, I applaud this book. The setting wasn’t super relevant for me in this book and instead focuses on the character’s development. If you’re looking for something with a lot of drama, love, or craziness then head in another direction!
I didn’t really like the complexity of the situation surrounding David’s notebook nor the surprise piece towards the end around Kit. While neither were completely out of left field, I did wonder why they were in the book and it sometimes just felt like it was there for the book to have some drama. I could have gone without and still loved the book, but I also can see why they were put in there (such as Jacob’s breakdown in one chapter and reciting Pi multiple times to calm him).
Overall this book was such a light, wonderful, fantastic read. I think I found one of my new favorite characters and I’ll be interested in reading more of Julie Buxbaum’s work!
- Have you read this book? If so, did you enjoy it?
- Have you read any other books by this author? If so, are they good?