What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Have you ever read a book that just immediately throws you back to being in middle school, reading in a stuffy library while trying to avoid going back to class? Well, I’m no longer in grade school (thank God) but it is fun to read a book that brings you back to that feeling of youth and what it was like to get into young adult literature in the first place. For me, it was authors like Sarah Dessen and Ann Brashares who got me into YA – they provided realistic representation of what it was like to be a teenager. While Julie Buxbaum wasn’t around when I was in middle school and high school, her books really remind me a lot of the books I loved at that time. What to Say Next is another phenomenal, realistic book about what it means to be in high school and seek acceptance while also trying to be being true to yourself.

Two struggling teenagers find an unexpected connection just when they need it most.

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?

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Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Honestly I only picked this up because it was immediately available from my library – I had no idea what reviews were like or even what it was even about. Tell Me Three Things  was a pleasant surprise – it felt like reading an old school Sarah Dessen book or dipping back into the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books – it was a cozy coming of age, a genre that seems to have all but disappeared since the early 2000s.

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

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