Review: What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Audiobook, Duration: 09:06:23
Published July 11, 2017
by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
My rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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?

My thoughts…

It has only been a month since Kit lost her father in a car accident. Kit begins to pull away from her friends because they cannot understand what she is dealing with. Needing an escape and wanting peace and quiet she sits with quiet David at lunchtime. Kit asks David for his help to figure out what really happened with the car accident her father was in, and of course David can’t resist.

Kit has always been part of the popular crowd and David has not. David is incredibly honest and he doesn't quite have social skills like everyone else. Kit likes this about him and realizes that she enjoys his company. David also begins to like his time with Kit, she has always been nice to him, but talking to someone like they do is new for him. David is on the Autism Spectrum, with high-functioning Autism, Asperger's syndrome.

“Kit stares at me, and I stare back. Eye contact usually feels like an ice headache. Just too much, too fast. Sharp and unpleasant. With Kit it feels like the first few seconds on a roller coaster, all gravitational force, no escape, pure thrill.”
― Julie Buxbaum, What to Say Next

At times David is made fun of at school and has a difficult time determining who means well and who doesn’t. His older sister, Lauren “Miney”, watched out for him quite a bit when she attended the same high school, now that she has graduated she worries about David. Lauren encouraged David to keep a notebook of facts of other students that he can rely on to help keep things straight when interacting with them. David’s relationship with Lauren was incredible.

The friendship that develops between Kit and David is beautiful and will make your heart feel, but it is not without problems. They both will learn things that they were not expecting when David discovers the truth behind Kit's father's death and they are not be prepared to deal with what those circumstances and emotions. Eventually a romance blossoms and I adored every moment of it.

“There's a famous expression that if you've met one person with autism, then... you've met one person with autism.So you met me.Just me.Not a diagnosis. I realize I hurt you. I forgot to think about you first. I did not put myself in your shoes, as the expression goes. (Though as a sidebar, I think wearing other people's shoes is kind of disgusting; I'm only okay with the concept metaphorically.) So you know, you are all I think about.”
― Julie Buxbaum, What to Say Next

What to Say Next, is the second book that I’ve read by Julie Buxbaum, this story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, a fantastic read.

Happy Reading -J 


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