June 2, 2017

An Unexpected Friendship • What to Say Next

What to Say Next book cover
Kit Lowell is a relatively popular girl who is still dealing with her grief over losing her father in a tragic car accident. David Drucker is a smart, socially isolated boy who makes sense of the world in his own way, with the help of a few guidelines that he and his sister have come up with. On one random day, these two strike up an unlikely friendship when Kit sits at David’s table in the cafeteria during lunch. But there are difficult truths that lie ahead for both Kit and David, and only time will tell if their friendship can survive. 

What to Say Next might be short, but Buxbaum certainly packs a lot into its pages. It’s basically the story of two teens learning to deal with intense emotions and difficult (isolating) situations, and how their unlikely friendship helps them gain another perspective… and I liked that a lot. The entire story felt sincere and honest in a way that I appreciate in my YA contemporary novels, and I found it compelling to see how Kit and David would each fare.

It helped that I took a liking to both main characters right off the bat! Buxbaum does a good job portraying their daily struggles, as well as the things that make them each unique. She also does justice to the portrayal of their friendship, how it slowly develops from a casual to something more for both Kit and David. Even though it was trauma and unlikely choices that brought them together, by the end of the story, it is all too easy to believe that these two were meant to sit at that same lunch table and develop this attachment to one another. 

Buxbaum demonstrates how a new relationship – be it friendship or otherwise – can shift the way you look at your own life. She also brought to life two characters that I would like to be friends with, flaws, strengths and all – Kit and David. I would encourage you to check out What to Say Next, because I personally enjoyed it a lot.

(I cannot personally speak to the portrayal of a character on the spectrum, since I have no real life experience in that area. But from what I know of it, which is peripheral knowledge, it seems accurate.)

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press | Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)
Buy the Book: Book Depository | Amazon | IndieBound


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