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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.
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?
ARC received for review purposes, Audiobook Received for Review, Borrowed from library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Nereyda: I had no intention of reading this book. I haven’t been too impressed with contemporary YA as of late, this author’s last book was a little bit of a letdown (considering all the rave reviews) and this audiobook was narrated by one of my least favorite male narrators. All signs pointed to a no for me… but my brain sometimes (aka almost always) forgets things like this and before I remembered about all the reasons why I didn’t want to read this book, I had already downloaded the audiobook. I don’t like to not review audiobooks I receive for review (unfortunately I don’t have the same mentality when it comes to eARC’s…sigh) so I figured I would give it a try. When I say Nick talking about how much it surprised her in a weekly recap, I moved it up my list. Surprise, surprise, I actually ended up liking this quite a bit… up until the point that I didn’t… but it still wasn’t enough to make me dislike the entire book.
Nick: Yeah I’m not sure what exactly prompted me to pick up the book either, but I saw it available in my library’s Overdrive, and decided to give it a shot. I definitely enjoyed What to Say Next more than I liked the author’s YA debut last year. The characters and romance were really well-written here, but like Nereyda, the big twist in the book managed to take away from my enjoyment. I didn’t end up hating the book, but the twist felt super unnecessary and it annoyed me.
Nereyda: I feel like I say this every single time… but I do not necessarily like YA books that deal with mental illness for various reasons. I keep having the bad habit of getting books that I either don’t know or forget what the book summary is so I wasn’t aware of what I was getting myself into. But, as far as mental illness books, this is one of the better ones I’ve read. In fact, my issue with this book has nothing to do with the mental illness part of the story at all. I loved how Kit and David were portrayed as well as David’s family and the slow building friendship and romance felt so organic that I was swooning right along with them. Also, I have to mention that the male narrator for this book is one of my least favorites… or he used to be. He sounds so different and very YA age appropriate now that I have to give more recent books by him a second chance, both narrators were great.
Nick: Unlike Nereyda, I actually like books that deal with mental illness. A lot of my favorite books tackle mental illness and I feel like it’s an important topic to explore in books. But it has to be done well. And I think here, Kit’s PTSD and David’s autism were handled exceedingly well. You can tell that the author has put a lot of research and care into portraying these two characters. Kit has just lost her father to an accident and she is struggling to deal with her grief and to go back to her old social life. Her emotions were palpable throughout What to Say Next, and you could feel every feeling that she experienced. David has always been a bit of a loner because his autism makes him different, and makes it difficult to easily befriend people. He and Kit find a kinship in each other, and they become really good friends. That friendship slowly developed into a romance that was sweet and heartwarming. Folks, this is exactly the kind of YA romance that I love to read about. The book was going so well and had lots of other great themes including family – David’s relationship with his sister is extra special, and I loved it so much. But then came the twist …
Nereyda: I was really liking this book, I was actually really happy I was enjoying a contemporary this much again… and then it happened. The plot twist in this story that was so unnecessary and made no sense to me. I didn’t feel like that twist added anything valuable other than some drama, in fact, it ended taking away some of my enjoyment of the book. If it weren’t for that twist, this would have been a solid 4 or maybe 4.5 star book, but I was just really annoyed by that twist. Obviously I don’t want to spoil it for you guys (and to be honest I’m a little bit lazy to go into detail #lazyblogger) but this may not be something that bothers other readers as much as it bothered me. Although this twist annoyed me, I still ended up enjoying the book and will look forward to the next author’s book.
Nick: I don’t want to reiterate, but yes, I too felt like the twist was out of place here. The book 100% did not need it, because it was already strong without it. To me, it felt like a cheap addition for the sake of drama, one I could have done without. Regardless, my general feelings towards this book are very positive, and despite it all, I highly recommend What to Say Next.
Have you ever read a book that was going so well until an unnecessary twist like in What to Say Next?
Let us know in the comments below!
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