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What to Say Next
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What to Say Next
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"What to Say Next reminds readers that hope can be found in unexpected places." –BustleFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a story about two struggling...
"What to Say Next reminds readers that hope can be found in unexpected places." –BustleFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a story about two struggling...
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Description-

  • "What to Say Next reminds readers that hope can be found in unexpected places." –Bustle

    From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. Nicola Yoon, the bestselling author of Everything, Everything, calls it "charming, funny, and deeply affecting."

      
    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?
    Named a Best Young Adult Novel of the Year by POPSUGAR
    “Charming, funny, and deeply affecting all at the same time.” –Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star
     
    “Heartfelt, charming, deep, and real. I love it with all my heart.” –Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter 1

     

     

    David

     

     

    An unprecedented event: Kit Lowell just sat down next to me in the cafeteria. I always sit alone, and when I say always, I don’t mean that in the exaggerated vernacular favored by my classmates. In the 622 days I’ve attended this high school, not a single person has ever sat beside me at lunch, which is what justifies my calling her sitting there—so close that her elbow almost grazes mine—an “event.” My first instinct is to reach for my notebook and look up her entry. Under K for Kit, not under L for Lowell, because though I’m good with facts and scholarly pursuits, I’m terrible with names. Partly this is because names are random words completely devoid of context, and partly this is because I believe names rarely fit the people they belong to, which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. Parents name their child at a time when they have the absolute least amount of information they will ever have about the person they are naming. The whole practice is illogical.

     

    Take Kit, for example, which is not actually her name, her name is Katherine, but I have never heard anyone call her Katherine, even in elementary school. Kit doesn’t in any way look like a Kit, which is a name for someone who is boxy and stiff and easily understandable with step-by-step instructions. Instead the name of the girl sitting next to me should have a Z in it, because she’s confusing and zigzagged and pops up in surprising places—like at my lunch table—and maybe the number eight, because she’s hourglass-shaped, and the letter S too, because it’s my favorite. I like Kit because she’s never been mean to me, which is not something I can say about the vast majority of my classmates. It’s a shame her parents got her name all wrong.

     

    I’m a David, which also doesn’t work, because there are lots of Davids in the world—at last check 3,786,417 of them in the United States alone—and so by virtue of my first name, one would assume I’d be like lots of other people. Or, at the very least, relatively neurotypical, which is a scientific, less offensive way of saying normal. That hasn’t been the case. At school, no one calls me anything, except the occasional homo or moron, neither of which is in any way accurate—my IQ is 168 and I’m attracted to girls, not boys. Also, homo is a pejorative term for a gay person, and even if my classmates are mistaken about my sexual orientation, they should know better than to use that word. At home my mom calls me son—which I have no problem with because it’s true—my dad calls me David, which feels like an itchy sweater with a too-tight neck, and my sister calls me Little D, which for some inexplicable reason fits just right, even though I’m not even a little bit little. I’m six foot two and 165 pounds. My sister is five foot three and 105 pounds. I should call her Little L, for Little Lauren, but I don’t. I call her Miney, which is what I’ve been calling her since I was a baby, because she’s always felt like the only thing in a confusing world that belongs to me.

     

    Miney is away at college, and I miss her. She’s my best friend—technically speaking, my only friend—but I feel like even if I had friends, she’d still be my best one. So far she’s the only person I’ve ever known who has helped make being me a little less hard.

     

    By now you’ve probably realized I’m different. It usually doesn’t take people very long to figure that out. One doctor thought I might...

About the Author-

  • JULIE BUXBAUM is the author of the New York Times bestseller Tell Me Three Things, her debut young adult novel. She also wrote the critically acclaimed The Opposite of Love and After You, and her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two young children. Visit Julie online at juliebuxbaum.com and follow @juliebux on Twitter.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 26, 2017
    One month after the death of her father in a car accident, high school junior Kit Lowell is beginning to realize that “grief not only morphs time, but space too.” Distancing herself from her two best friends, who are back to talking about things like prom, Kit begins spending lunch with her socially isolated classmate David Drucker, appreciating his awkwardness and blunt honesty. David has always considered Kit to be the most beautiful girl at school, but his Asperger’s syndrome has left him largely alienated and their interactions brief. As they grow closer, revelations about the car accident and the contents of David’s notebook (filled with commentary about his peers) threaten their tenuous relationship. Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things) uses split first-person narration to give readers striking insight into both teens. Unlike his peers and the school administration, readers will easily see David as a complex, brilliant individual. Discussion of Kit’s family and heritage (her mother is Indian) bring additional complexity and depth to this portrait of grief and recovery. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2017
    Opposites attract after tragedy strikes.Autistic white teen David Drucker spends every lunch period eating alone. When Indian-American popular girl Kit Lowell joins him one day she's just looking for a quiet place to sit. It's been one month since Kit's father, a white dentist, died in a terrible car accident, but Kit is still flailing. As the two teens get to know one another and eat lunch together each day, they find themselves bringing out their own best qualities. Slowly but surely, romance blooms. There's a warmth and ease to their relationship that the author captures effortlessly. Each chapter alternates perspective between Kit and David, and each one is fully rendered. The supporting characters are less well served, particularly Kit's first-generation-immigrant mother. There are two major complications in Kit's story, both involving her workaholic mother, and the lack of development defuses some potential fireworks. The central relationship is so charming and engaging that readers will tolerate the adequate tertiary characters. Less tolerable is a late-in-the-game reveal about Dr. Lowell's accident that shifts the novel's tone to a down note that juxtaposes poorly with everything that came before. The author pulls out in the final few pages, but it still leaves a sour taste in the mouth. A pleasant romance hindered by some curious choices. (Romance. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2017

    Gr 7-10-David is a middle-class high school student who describes himself as nonneurotypical, or having a "borderline case of Asperger's." He has a loving family, including an older sister who deftly helps him navigate social interaction, in part through a notebook wherein he describes his world and determines whom he can trust. One of the trusted few is a classmate named Kit, an ambitious only child wracked with grief over her father's death. Fleeing devoted friends who suddenly seem ridiculously shallow and self-absorbed, Kit sits at David's table one day for lunch. Tired of pity and platitudes, she warms to David's "brutal honesty" about the death of her dad. Slowly, with pathos and humor, Kit and David develop a friendship on the outskirts of the high school milieu. Their story emerges from alternating first-person narratives that progress effortlessly. The pair's friendship is tested by David's inability to read cues and by closely held secrets that both of them are nursing. It blooms into first love, and both grow as a result of their challenges. With this layered novel, Buxbaum handles the theme of identity with rare genius. As narrator, David inspires love and respect, not because of his neurological and social struggles, but because he is an admirable human being. His neural challenges do not define him or his trajectory. Similarly, questions abut the meaning and importance of ethnicity (What does it mean to be Asian? Or Italian?) thread their way through the book without overwhelming it. VERDICT A must-have for YA collections.-Sheri Reda, Wilmette Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Christina Baker Kline, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train "Told in the alternating voices of a girl whose world has been shattered and a boy who is the only person in her life who sees her clearly, WHAT TO SAY NEXT is about the power of connection and the beauty of compassion. With sensitivity, wisdom, and heart, Julie Buxbaum weaves a story in which loss and grieving are balanced by humor and insight. This novel is so compulsively readable that you'll be surprised how deeply your emotions are stirred."
  • Cath Crowley, author of Graffiti Moon and Words in Deep Blue "Julie Buxbaum has written my perfect love story--two brave, flawed characters ditching the idea of 'normal,' falling in love, and finding the unanswerable answers to life in each other. I adored it."

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    Random House Children's Books
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