Tuesday, April 3, 2018

What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

5 Stars

“You’re saying that on Friday night I have an equal chance of getting vomited on as I do of getting kissed?”

“Welcome to high school.”

So this morning I proposed to Julie Buxbaum via Instagram . . . .

I haven’t heard back, but it’s probably just because we’re in different timezones. I mean, she’s definitely not getting a restraining order, right?

It was my friend AJ’s Review that put What To Say Next on my radar - well over a year after its publication date. Who knows when (or if) I would have ever heard of it otherwise. Sad thing too, because I had read Buxbaum’s earlier book Tell Me Three Things and had a fine time, but alas I have zero ability to remember an author’s name, so I remained oblivious.

On the surface, this could easily be dismissed as one of these stories . . . .

(But, you know, the opposite. Sorry, I don't have a lot of free time to gif hunt at the moment or the ability to words well so just go get this book already.)

To be fair, it is that. It’s the story of David who tells you right on page one that . . . .

“In the 622 days I’ve attended this high school, not a single person has ever sat beside me at lunch.”

A synopsis would be honest in telling you this is what happened to David when Kit decided to sit at his table instead of with her friends one day. But really it’s about . . . .

“What if we took the time to get to know some of the other kids in the other cliques, like the artsy types or the theater dorks? What if we all jumped out of our boxes and chewed up our stupid labels? Who would we discover?”

And it does it in such a realistic high schooly, non-preachy type of way. Not to mention it presents a non-white main character as well as a main character on the autism spectrum along with some depression and a handful of other real-life issues in such a matter-of-fact kind of manner without a bunch of hoopla. Because guess what? Non-white kids and kids who are a little different socially and genius kids and average kids and quirky kids and bully kids are alllllllll the types of kids that you might meet in school so why shouldn’t books include every kind of kid????

If you fell in love with Charlie in Perks and just loooooooove to read about young love, What To Say Next might be the perfect book for you. It made me feel like Kristen Bell when she got to meet a sloth for the first time. You know what I’m talking about???? Her happiness looked a little terrifying just like mine . . . .

Every star.

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