What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Release Date: July 10, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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?

After I found out about the existence of What to Say Next I HAD to get my hands on it and read it. I absolutely adored Tell Me Three Things (read my review)–it was one of my favourite reads last year. Well, I can't believe it, but this one actually managed to top it! Julie Buxbaum is officially on my I-don't-care-what-it's-about-but-I'm-going-to-read-it-no-matter-what list. What to Say Next was BEAUTIFUL. While I don't think that there was much in terms of plot, as the actual storyline wasn't as eventful as her debut YA novel, this one was soooooo good.

You guys, there was so much diversity in this one! It's kind of sad that when books actually have diverse characters we end of celebrating the fact, because it isn't the norm. Anyway, I loved the fact that the author actually did an amazing job of nailing the facts down, too (Indian girl over here who has been disappointed by wrong facts in YA novels!). Kit was such an amazing character–you could really feel how real her grief was and how real her character was. David of course puts her on a pedestal, but the alternating perspectives allows us to see that there is a more vulnerable, imperfect side to her. Speaking of, I LOVED DAVID. Yay for representation of a character with a disability, but also, gosh darn it: I loved this kid. I'm a sucker for the popular-girl-notices-unpopular-boy trope, and I was (sorry for the use of this word but) shipping this the whole way through. He has no filter, and reading his thoughts and observations was fascinating–not to mention, he was also full of surprises. Miney was a great character as well, and I'd love to read a spin-off book of her life at college...or even her years at high school. Doesn't matter because she kicks ass and is the supportive, wonderful sister that everyone should have. So, hooray! for awesome families in general because David's family was the ultimate squad goals, and, while Kit's mom had flaws, she felt so real, too. I'm glad to say that I enjoyed Violet and Annie's characters. They may seem like the typical best friends to the popular girl that's found so often in YA, as in that even though Kit was super nice they were the super mean friends, but they actually backed her up most of the way through, and THAT'S what healthy friendship looks like, folks.

As for the actual events of the book, there were several hilarious moments and some sad ones sprinkled among them. When I said that there wasn't too much going on in terms of the book's storyline before, I meant that there wasn't really major twists or events like there were in Tell Me Three Things. Tell Me Three Things had the email exchange and the mystery of who sends them while the main character basically has two boys interested in her. This one was not as mystery-charged, but emotionally there is a lot that is explored. There's a twist close to the end, that has to do with the tragic event that took place before the book begins. While it was kind of a surprise, it wasn't a huge shock for a reveal, so that was nice.

While this book does deal with grief and sad topics, it had such a cute romance. I loved What to Say Next, and without a doubt it's one of my favourites this year. I was genuinely bummed to see it end because I wanted MORE. Julie Buxbaum is a captivating storyteller with her lovable characters, hilarious and witty dialogue, as well as more than a fair share of touching moments. Her books are now an automatic must-read, and I'm definitely looking forward to what's coming next.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Julia at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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  1. I am such a fan of Buxbaum's. I read her other three books, and hope to get to this one soon. I have been enjoying grief books lately. Great review!

  2. SAME! One of my favorites this year, no doubt.

    "Julie Buxbaum is a captivating storyteller with her lovable characters" OMG, that is almost what I've said about Julie in my review, too.


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