Teen Review: What to Say Next
Review by Sudipta, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group.
What to Say Next is a novel written by Julie Buxbaum, published in July 2017. This novel falls into the genre of romantic fiction. What to Say Next relates a lot to teen problems, on how to solve them and what steps need to be taken. This book is also a two-tale, meaning you will read the perspective of both protagonists throughout the novel.
The novel is about David Drucker and Kit Lowell. David Drucker is a student with an IQ level of 168 and not surprisingly is very different from other teens. Kit Lowell is a popular and collected Indian-American girl. David had always been a loner, sitting at a lunch table all by himself every day. To his surprise, one day Kit Lowell comes and sits down at his table. David decides to start a conversation with Kit Lowell, who also happens to be his secret crush. During the ensuing conversation, he finds out that Kit’s father has recently passed away. Kit knows that David is a highly intelligent boy and wants his help to figure out if there was anything that could have been done to prevent her father’s death. David agrees to help out.
There are many bullies that David has to face along the way. But Kit provides him immense support by standing up for David and shows the school that David isn’t as weird as everyone thinks he is. During the investigation, David and Kit begin to develop feelings for each other. David finally finds out how Kit’s father had died. However, little does he know that Kit already knows those facts but instead wanted to know as to how she could’ve personally stopped her father's death.
This novel, focuses on bullying that youth face in school, how to cope with issues within the family, and how to start afresh again when stuck in a rut. Both characters face many difficulties in high school. David is different which is why he’s lonely and not a social butterfly. By engaging with someone new like Kit and showing his true self to those around, David blossoms into a new and friendly person. Kit faces many family problems in her life. Her father’s death is an example. Her father had meant a lot to her so she decides to shut everyone out of her life so she can keep herself isolated. In the end, that doesn't work, so she decides to open up to David and tell him whatever feelings she bottles up. Lastly, this novel shows the steps on how to fix these problems in different ways.
I personally really liked the book and connected with both of the characters. Being able to read both perspectives was very helpful in understanding the story-line. It even made the story much more intriguing along the way.
I absolutely recommend this novel. It relates to teen problems in school and family problems at home and also how to handle them. What to Say Next makes you feel you are David or Kit. Lastly, this a teen romance so if you are into romantic novels this is a book for you!