What to Say Next

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Jul 2017

Member Reviews

I remember it too clearly, right after I finished reading Julie’s Tell Me Three Things, I said to myself: “Julia Buxbaum now belongs to my auto-buy-authors list.” 
And here it is, I’ve been given a chance to be a part of a PH Blog Tour, hosted by a fellow Filipino, and sponsored by Penguin Random House International. Thank you so much, guys!
This quick, sweet, and interesting read would have gotten a perfect 5 stars if it wasn’t for the fact that I thought the book centered on death, and I am soooo tired of stories with such subject. (I am not telling you that this novel is mainly about death)
I was once a high school student, and as everyone knows, being one is not a joke. Especially if you’re around people who are mean (the total jerk and bitches). You will be afraid to speak out. You wouldn’t like each other. You will want to be someone else. Wish that you’re in a different place. But that is high school, that is life. And you need to have courage to stand for yourself, because only you can.
I sometimes find myself connected to the characters. And that’s what makes me like this book even more, the connection. The diversity present in the novel, and the characters who have strong voices make the story stand out. I enjoyed reading about David’s qualities, as well as being inside his head, I liked that I got to learn more information about such mentality. 
Overall, this novel made it to my 2017-favorite-reads, and this has been another beautiful book written by such a lovely author.
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I was very surprised when I read What To Say Next. I requested this book on NetGalley and was accepted in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t touch it for so long, but as soon as I finished this book, I immediately regretted not having read it before its release to tell you guys about it! But this was just a fantastic story, and I look forward to reading many more books by this author, like Tell Me Three Things, which she released last year, as well as her future books!

This book was written from the point of views of the two main characters, Kit and David, and both of their voices were so unique and captivating. I never got bored while reading this book, and I was always curious to know what each character would say next… #sorry, I had to.

Kit was dealing with a lot of grief throughout this novel because her dad had just died in a car accident. Meanwhile, David, an autistic teen who struggled to interact with other people and understanding the social codes, was the sweetest person, so caring and SO much fun to read from. I really appreciated seeing the representation of autism and how it was done in this book. I loved the author’s note at the end of the book, in which she expressed how much she would miss David’s voice, and I agree. He was a complex, loveable and realistic character I grew really fond of.

Don’t let that cute, innocent cover fool you, though, because this contemporary novel certainly has some darker tones. It was cute, romantic, and beautiful, but it was also tragic, and both of the main characters had to mature and learn how to overcome difficult situations. Some parts of the book were set in high school, and it was great to read about Kit’s circle of friends and all their dynamics. She definitely grew a lot by the end of this story, and it was flawless. There were always some plot-twists, and despite the size of this short book, I thought the author expanded and explored everything she could about these characters and their lives. It was engaging and well executed.

This is a gorgeous story of love, loss, friendship, and adolescence. I would highly recommend it!

Rating Report:
Plot: 4/5 stars
Characters: 4.5/5 stars
Writing: 4/5 stars
Pace: 4/5 stars
Enjoyment: 5/5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.3 stars!
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I would give the characters in this story 5 stars and the actual story 3 stars (the almost-end probably less). Kit and David were both great and had different, unique voices which kept me really engaged and routing for both of them. The story did drag at times and felt a little too character-driven when, at least to me, it seemed it should have been plot-driven. The thing that really turned me off the story happened at the end. There was a twist (I guess I would call it that?) that seemed so out of no where and that was then quickly resolved and it made me feel really cheated.
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What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum is a weird (“good weird” 😉) book for me. It has weird (“good weird”😁) main characters. It has a good weird plot. I good weirdly love it!

My attention hasn’t been caught until Chapter 7. For the first six chapters, I thought it was kind of slow-paced, and I hate slow-paced books. But, when I got to Chapter 7, I already thought that “Wow, it’s getting interesting!”

Before reading this book, I have zero idea of what it is about. I think the synopsis is so vague, especially when you get to actually read the book, you’ll just realize that the synopsis gives nothing about what the book is really about; and I think it’s good. It’s good to be surprisingly amazed!

This is my first time reading a book by Julie Buxbaum and I’m thinking why I haven’t read Tell Me Three Things (and her two other novels) before. Now, I’m putting Tell Me Three Things on my to-buy-and-to-read-ASAP list because I REALLY LOVE JULIE BUXBAUM’S WRITING!

What I love about What To Say Next:

It’s so fun to read! I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed getting to know David and Kit.
It’s like David and Kit are my BFFs and they’re telling me their story! It’s so cool to be part of the their tribe. 😉
It is such a DIVERSE read! 💓
It has unique characters and unique plot.
David is so weird, good weird.
I get to know more about David’s situation (I’m not gonna say what situation because I think it’s spoilery? 😀)
I feel so connected with David and Kit.
I love how the feeling of loss and being different was dealt so real and raw here.
All these are caused by one thing actually: SUPERB WRITING!
There’s only one thing that I didn’t like about it though. It’s the last part, like the last four or five chapters. I think the ending is somehow good, but I think it could be better. It’s just that I feel cheated. But nevertheless, I want more of David and Kit! 💓

I recommend this if to everyone. You’ll surely love it! It’s now my new favorite YA contemporary novel. Welcome to my tribe!
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I didn't want this book to end. It was so sweet and different from a lot of other YA romances I've read.
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David Drucker is a teen who spends most of his lunch breaks at Mapleview High alone. Being social is not his best talent, as he is dealing with Asperger Syndrome. But then one day Kit Lowell joins him at his empty table.
It was just a few months ago that Kit lost her beloved dad in a car crash. After that, she finds it difficult to be with her old friends Annie and Violet, as they don't quite understand the mourning she is going through. She doesn't even understand it herself.

Slowly, Kit breaks the shell that David has build around him and they become friends. Kit totally loves that David just say what he thinks, even all the random facts he seems to know. David learns more about the accident of Kit's father, and together they try to figure out what happened.

What Kit doesn't know is that David falls in love with her, while slowly on she starts to love him too.

But then someone posts David personal diary with notes in it about everyone in his classes and what he thinks of them, and he is the target of everyone pointing a blaming finger and him and he even receives serious threats.
And on top of that they find out some very revealing thinks about Kit's father's accident, while she is dealing with the fact that her mother has hidden quite some secrets from her..

What To Say Next is the new book by Julie Buxbaum that was high on my want-to-read list after I have read and reviewed her previous book Tell Me Three Things. Was it just as fantastic? Not really.
First of all, I found the pace of the story slow. Certainly in the beginning it was very focused on David's trouble with socializing. That really slowed things down. Secondly, the friendship between David and Kit took quite some time to start up, and in the meantime there wasn't anything happening of impact in the story. Ofcourse a friendship needs time to build up, but you have to keep your readers interested in some way. 

The other thing that I found a bit odd that in the end Kit finds out that she was actually in the car as a passenger when her dad's car crashed. When that was revealed I thought; Huh?? It really set you on the wrong foot as a reader, maybe that was the intention of the author, but if found it confusing as untill the moment that is revealed Kit wants David to help her find to find out what happened. How could she not know then that she was in the car herself? Traumatic memory loss is an option, but that isn't mentioned in the story.

So overall I had very mixed feelings about this book, I was hoping it was just a good and had a entertaining storyline like the previous book, but it didn't met my expectations.
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I've been waiting for What To Say Next since I've heard that Julie Buxbaum, the author, is releasing another after Tell Me Three Things. I was excited and immediately tried my luck to join the tour when I saw the announcement over Twitter. I could say I enjoyed reading the book even though I had a hard time on the first parts of it, a little slow at first then it was getting better as the story continues. 

David the introvert, honest and smart kiddo. Kit, a pretty, grieving but moving on type of girl. Both have different attitude, both wants some change and they found it on each other. They're story is a bit odd (I didn't mean anything negative). They used to not notice each other until one day Kit just sat on David's lunch table. Since then, the two slowly enjoyed each other's company. They talk inside and outside of school. Will they have a good relationship as the story goes? That's what readers have to find out. 

I may have some hindrances when I read this book but I managed to enjoy every pages of it when I have enough time, it was like one to two hours per day or sometimes until I fell asleep. It was a little challenging with work BUT this book always change my mood. The moment I start reading, I'll definitely start to relax. The book was simple and straightforward, there may have a little flashbacks but that's on Kit's head. Reading What To Say Next was worth it. I loved how she described her characters and how she twists her stories. I bet other readers will love this book as well, light and smooth read, amazing and catchy book cover and especially that's Julie Buxbaum! I, personally, will always read her works. I do love it!

The author never failed to make her readers happy. Her works are really awesome and she did it again on What To Say Next. I am looking forward for more of her works.
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Wow! This book was just amazing. I flew through it and was sad when it was over. I was expecting a cute contemporary and this book surprised me with its depth. 

As a mother to an Aspie I went into this story knowing that it was possible that David's voice would be hard to write authentically. I didn't want to be disappointed by its inaccuracy. I was so happy to see that Julie Buxbaum hit it right on! I could see my own son in David's struggles to navigate social situations. I especially loved the way his family rallied around him and how much he grew throughout the book. 

Kit is an absolutely beautiful soul and I ache for her. Her father's death was so devastating and she struggled so much with picking up the pieces of her life. I am so glad she has found her tribe.
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I liked the characters in this novel better than the plot. I loved the interplay between Kit and David. They both reject the label "normal", largely by necessity. David is aware that his personality quirks will forever separate him from his peers. Kit's grief is a tangible barrier from her old life. These characters have glimpsed beyond the societal facade. That part I loved. I even loved their doomed infatuation, even with it's obvious conclusion.
What I didn't love was the mystery. For the first two thirds of the book, the mystery of the car accident is seldom addressed, merely mentioned. For it to become the major plot catalyst felt a little clumsy. The revelations about the accident didn't have enough evidence supporting them.
It was still an engaging and emotionally complex novel. It just could have been much stronger.
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I just finished WHAT TO SAY NEXT by Julie Buxbaum and I will definitely be recommending this Young Adult novel.  Buxbaum divides the first person narration between two high school juniors: Kit Lowell, whose father has recently died in a car accident and David Drucker, who has difficulty with social situations since he experiences symptoms of Asperger's syndrome and is socially isolated as a result.  As David explains, "we just assume other people understand what we are talking about. That we are, as the idiom goes, on the same wavelength.  In my experience, we are not."   

After her father's death, Kit finds that she cannot relate to her friends' conversations about prom and clothes and chooses instead to have lunch with David (called Little D by his supportive sister, Lauren, whom he calls Miney).  Spending some time together gradually leads to Kit and David building trust, sharing concerns and battling the prejudices and shallowness of other students. Buxbaum does an excellent job of allowing the reader to develop empathy by viewing events from the perspective of each narrator. WHAT TO SAY NEXT is full of charm and humor, but it’s not easy. Kit's grief and some personal revelations about her parents plus David's candid perceptions of others cause significant drama. As one character says, "One of the few perks of the sh*t so monumentally hitting the fan is you discover who your real tribe is. It's the only way through."  Julie Buxbaum says that David and Kit were her favorite characters to write and her affection is obvious – I am looking forward to reading more from this talented author.

On a related note, Buxbaum refers to a famous expression that when you meet one person with autism, you meet one person with autism. We have to keep working to build bridges and make connections.  Perhaps this article and accompanying video, recently posted on The New York Times, will help add insight about the difficulty with eye contact which David and others experience.

Online review has embedded video - here is link to New York Times article (with video):
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/health/autism-faces-genes-brain-development.html?_r=1
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This book is one of those stories you don't ever wanna miss.
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EXCERPT OF MY REVIEW TO BE POSTED ON JUL12 AS PART OF PH BLOG TOUR:

I had fun meeting both David and Kit and I cannot wait to get the chance to re-read the book again. I guess the core magic of Julie Buxbaum’s books is that they compel you to reading them repeatedly with her effortlessly lovable characters. They have this light and easy air for such characters dealing with deep and heavy stuff, but no, these characters are not cartoonish. What these characters have is balance and believability. They felt real and they invoked feelings from me. In “What to Say Next” David and Kit made me feel that although friendships and relationships are hard, they are not that complicated. Conversations can be easy. You don’t have to impress and overthink what to say next. Just listen to what the other person is saying and be your honest self with your replies.
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I love this. I love this. I love this so much!!

I was so not expecting this book to be so good! It’s the first book I read from the author, although Tell Me Three Things has been in my TBR for way longer.

This book is so freaking good! It’s sad, it’s beautiful, it’s emotional, it’s unique. It’s everything I wanted!

I read it all in two sittings, while I was sick, and I was so happy I got to read this! This is such a touchy story! I don’t want to spoil anyone, but I think it’s important to say a thing that isn’t in the synopsis, because if I knew that I would have gotten to this book even earlier!

David is on the spectrum – Asperger’s Syndrome. Which since it changes from person to person and I only know one person with this syndrome, I don’t know how accurate the book is, but it seems pretty realistic to me. Things like social awkwardness, high IQ, and apparently problems with motoric skills, which I didn’t know about, are normal to have and it’s what in this case David has… In his case, it’s actually mild, but it’s of course, nonetheless difficult for him and for his family.

In school, David was always bullied or avoided, and being noticed was even rarer than the previous ones. Until one day Kit comes and sits at his table, to “be alone”. I really liked how their friendship developed and I couldn’t wait for more moments with them.

David was the best character I’ve encountered so far this year. I loved him to pieces. He is cute, awkward but in a sweet way and as honest as one can be. It was so refreshing and interesting to read about him! I loved to see how strong willed he was and how he adapted himself, in a world that is not as kind as it should be. Kit was also a nice character, although sometimes I didn’t really know what to think of her. But I still understood since she was grieving her father and things seemed to get only worse instead of better. And more than that I loved them together, getting to know each other.

If you’re not new to my blog, you probably already know how much I love books that have strong friendship values and this one was extremely inspiring. I devoured this book and loved every moment of it. There were moments that I couldn’t take the smile out of my face and others where I just wanted to cry. It was both heartbreaking and warm-hearted.

Although there is a part I hoped to be a bit clearer, I had to give this 5 stars because I loved this book that much. Definitely a favorite, and I would recommend it if you like a good and unique contemporary book!

This is a beautiful and unique contemporary book that will for sure surprise you!
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David is fearless with his words. He has the power to say the things that we keep to ourselves when we’re told to shut up. He’s not afraid to make a point, especially if his point is valid.

While I mostly consider honesty as David’s strength, it also happens to be his weakness. And this is why I love Lauren (a.k.a. Miney) and how supportive she is as David’s sister. David’s notebook was her idea, and that notebook really helped him navigate the war zone that is high school.

Kit is dealing with grief, and she needed a break from the world. She found peace in David’s company, and as friendship blossomed between them, they discover truths about each other that might just change the course of their sailing relationship.

Kit and David were awkwardly cute. I think they complement each other, and I rooted for them right from the start. So when the train of revelations started rolling, my heart held tight to the railings and hoped for beautiful things to happen in the end.

They did. ❤

I mean, pinky hand-holding? Twin prime numbers as an analogy for love that stands the test of time? That week-long plan for a ~thing?

Kit and David have their own charm.

David is an Aspie, and another thing that I loved about this book is the research Julie had done to write this. What to Say Next made me curious about David’s condition. I wanted to know more because I’m not really a socially-aware person and I wanted to change that.

What to Say Next was sweet, but it was raw and it was real. Meeting David and Kit was as refreshing as having a milkshake in the middle of a long, summer day. I found parts of myself in them, and they’re my kind of people. I wish I could meet them in real life.

Julie Buxbaum wrote a book that deserves to be shared with the world.
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Forget the fact that the whole contemporary romance genre and me normally don't get along. Forget the fact that normally I'm almost allergic to anything that can be possibly considered as cheesy. Forget the fact that I'm never a big fan of high school cliches in the first place. Because Julie Buxbaum has done it again and has proven to me I can actually absolutely love a slightly cheesy contemporary romance novel! I already had high hopes after falling in love with Tell Me Three Things last year and What To Say Next has only enhanced that love for her books. I do love it whenever an author is able to make me enjoy a genre that normally isn't a right fit... What To Say Next is possibly even better than her previous story. Why? A very easy answer: because this story has David. Basically David won over my heart right from the very first chapter and he is without doubt one of my new all time favorite characters. He is just so unique, adorable and his character is extremely well developed! There aren't all that many books out there with an autistic main character and Julie Buxbaum did a brilliant job portraying him realistically. Then again, the main characters were well developed in general and I really liked Kit's character as well. The writing style is very enjoyable to read and the story is told in alternating chapters switching between David and Kit's POV. Both storylines are interesting for completely different reasons, because this story isn't just about David and his uniqueness. It's also about Kit and how the sudden death of her father affects her, something that was again portrayed very realistically. I honestly couldn't find anything negative to say about What To Say Next even though it has a few cheesy moments and high school cliches... Let's just say that having a character like David makes you feel very forgiving.
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For a more in-depth review watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWyqa...

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Kit is a popular high school student who's life is destroyed when her father is killed in a car accident. David is the boy who always sits alone at lunch. When Kit sits at David's table during lunch the two form a connection which may help them both heal and start a new path in their lives.

This book was had for me to rate because I loved Buxbaum's "Tell Me Three Things" so much however I thought "What to Say Next" was a strong story with characters that felt well developed. Kit's depression and David's autism felt realistic and believable and I appreciated the honest portrayls you don't always find in young adult literature.
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This novel! Oh gosh, it was so beautiful. I liked it better than Buxbaum's first YA debut! Both Kit and David were amazing characters, both complex and dealing with such real issues. Buxbaum does an amazing job at making it realistic as possible, too, and that adds to their depth. And, also, that romance? Sooo swoon worthy!
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Julie Buxbaum's books are so compulsively readable, so it's no surprise that I couldn't put this one down. I adored this story of David and Kit. So much heart, humor, and wisdom!
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