What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: RH Canada
First Published: July 11th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary Romance, Death, Mental Health
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?
This he said/she said contemporary romance story was darker than I expected. I mean look at that cover. Doesn’t it just scream summer fun and lots of sun?
I think it does. What a beauty. Lovely physical appearance aside, WHAT TO SAY NEXT, is a gripping read with serious themes, such as the death of a parent, bullying, mental health and betrayal.
Wasn’t expecting it, right, from the looks of the cover? Oh how we are proven time and time again how looks can be deceiving.
Regardless, I liked this book for its seriousness. I believed Kit’s grief—she lost her dad in a car accident. This trope is definitely overused in YA novels, but it’s true that there are a lot of young people in real life who’ve lost a parent, too. I am one of them.
So I’ll never tire of these novels. And I don’t think there should be less of them because of their abundance. To me it’s like saying there should be less characters suddenly gaining powers in fantasy novels. Hell no—powers are hella cool.
Kit and David are cute together. Not sexy… but cute. You see, David has Asperger’s, which strangely enough is somewhat hidden throughout the story, although more like unacknowledged by David. He has—I don’t know if it’s because of the syndrome—the voice of a twelve-year-old, even if he is sixteen.
Too young. He doesn’t know how to act around Kit or how to be romantic. He is learning. The learning process actually interested me, but I couldn’t find him romantic. Honestly, he speaks like a robot. Not even a geek or nerd—a robot. His feelings were rarely described in a lyrical manner and his contrived speech turned me off.
Which is a shame because I enjoyed almost everything else: the writing, storyline, development of relationships, character growth and even the heartfelt grief.
But I really don’t think we needed that depressing plot twist. Too much, IMO.
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