Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book review - What to Say Next

Title: What to Say Next
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: Don't Tell, Don't Tell, Don't Tell by Liane Shaw
                      Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer Smith
mostly delightful with a few disappointments

Summary (provided by publisher): 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 opinion: 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.

More information: What to Say Next releases July 11.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

No comments:

Post a Comment