WHAT TO SAY NEXT by Julie Buxbaum

WHAT TO SAY NEXT

Age Range: 12 - 16
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KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: July 11th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-553-53568-6
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2017




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