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What to Say Next Captivates Romance Readers

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What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum, just published in July, is perfect for Jennifer Niven and Rainbow Rowell fans.

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum, just published in July, is perfect for Jennifer Niven and Rainbow Rowell fans.

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum, just published in July, is perfect for Jennifer Niven and Rainbow Rowell fans.

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From the New York Times best-selling author of Tell Me Three Things comes this captivating and endearing story about two teenagers’ unexpected connection, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven and Rainbow Rowell.

Kit Lowell has always been well-liked at school. She’s relatively popular, has had the same best friends for years, and has never been one to shy away from attention. That all changes, however, when her dad dies and Kit is left feeling isolated and alone. Enter David Druker. David is a social pariah, with a near genius IQ but not a single social skill. One day, Kit abandons her usual lunch table on a whim and decides to join David’s lonely one. What began as nothing more than a hasty retreat from the attention of her friends soon turns into an unexpected partnership between her and David.

No one expected the two of them to really become friends, least of all Kit and David. After all, David has never really had a friend, and Kit is overflowing with them. But Kit can’t help but appreciate David’s blunt and refreshing honesty, and David had always thought of Kit as someone he could trust and is grounded by her attention. Still reeling from the loss of her father, Kit asks David to help her figure out the mathematical how and why of his car accident. As the two begin to depend on each other more and more, they’ll discover secrets and encounter obstacles that threaten to tear them apart.

This story was told in alternating chapters of Kit and David’s perspectives, and Buxbaum expertly crafted a unique and complex narrative for each. I fell so in love with all of David’s quirks and ramblings and his adorably awkward social interactions. I had never read a book focusing on a character on the autism spectrum before, and I thought Buxbaum did a fantastic job of creating a realistic character in David. She didn’t gloss over any of the ugly or unfortunate parts. As for Kit’s narrative, I thought her character was extremely relatable in the ways that she dealt with her grief and in her interactions with her friends. I especially loved the way Buxbaum brought together such different protagonists without it seeming forced, but incorporated just the right amount of awkward too.

I will admit, there were a few parts where the internal monologue stretched on for a little too long and created a few slow patches, but overall the book moved at a fairly steady pace. Some of the drama was a little cliché or overdone, but not too much that it took away from the story or disrupted its flow. I enjoyed the slow build of the relationship between David and Kit and greatly appreciated that Buxbaum stayed away from an insta-love. The story had a nice balance of drama and whimsy, though I will say that this book is not nearly as lighthearted as the cover would lead you to believe. Overall, however, I really loved this book and enjoyed it immensely.

This book is perfect for anyone looking for a story that will tug on your heart strings, or anyone looking for a cute slow-build-friendship-turned-romance story.

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