Monday, September 25, 2017

REVIEW: What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum - 4.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM
Title: What to Say Next
Genre: YA Contemporary-Tough Issues
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication: July 11th 2017
Cover Rating: 3/5

So what IS the definition of a MPDG(manic pixie dream girl for those of us who have had the pleasure of never coming across this horrible trope)? Google says: a type of female character depicted as vivacious and appealingly quirky, whose main purpose within the narrative is to inspire a greater appreciated for life in a male protagonist. So, by the definition alone, What to Say Next can be considered a MPDG book. I am usually half and half when it comes to liking or disliking these books. We really need to come up with a new for books that are about a boy and a girl and both parties are suffering from some form of illness/impairment because that is what this book was. But both characters made each other better and that is what I tend to take with me after I finish books like this.

Kit's father just died and she is trying to figure out how to cope with everything around her. David sees life as mathmatic equations and doesn't like disorder and he might possibly have Aspergers but don't ask him that because he will deny it because the DSM definition doesn't fit him exactly. These two have never really talked to each other but have gone to school together their entire lives. So what brings them together? Kit's father's death does. And his death might end up being the very thing that tears them apart, too.

Kit was a hard character to deal with. It's not that I didn't like her, I did. But she was dealing with her fathers death in such a brutal and painful way that I couldn't help but feel what she was feeling. When you have a character that can project her actual emotions on to the reader, you know you have found a great author. Kit took on far too much and couldn't dig herself out from under it. She was a child being drowned with so many adult problems.

David was just David. There is no one like him in the world and there never will be. Although he didn't have the same issues that Kit has, he still had his own. It was beautiful to get to watch him grow and transform throughout the book. Watching him learn and adapt really helped the reader, in this case me, understand him more.

This story was awkward and clunky, all the things teenage lives truly consist of. It was awkward and clunky because a) it's high school and b) David's way of thinking really brought everything to the surface. There was no hiding things with him. He made everything that happened clear cut and added brutal honesty to every situation. Kit just made it all weird because she was trying to cope with something that she just couldn't handle. Together, these two got together and changed each other, for the better. There was also a large amount of bullying and social cliques in this book that I didn't care for but they served their purpose in the plot.

In the end, I am glad I decided to pick this book up on a whim and blow through it in three hours. The book might not stay with me forever but David will. He was a beautiful character to read about and he really made this book shine.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.


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