Book Review: ‘What To Say Next’


This is the cover of What To Say Next. The book was released on July 11, 2017.

Marlee Sorrells, Editor-in-Chief

When told to not judge a book by its cover, ‘What To Say Next’ by Julie Buxbaum is the perfect example of that. While the cover looks like a fun and colorful book, it immediately opens with one of the main protagonists, Kit, talking about how it had been exactly a month since her father died and how she wished her mother would address her grief with her.
The book follows the lives of the popular girl battling her grief and mental health issues that came from the death of her father and a loner-type boy, David, who is on the autism spectrum. Buxbaum accurately writes both of these characters realistically and doesn’t let them fall into the typical tropes someone would expect for these two characters.
Throughout the book, Kit develops into a new character as she grows through her grief and learns how to cope with her mental health struggles. As she is growing, she befriends David and they help each other through different issues, such as grief and bullying, which leads them to achieve a beautiful friendship.
While this book isn’t the happy-go-lucky book someone would expect from seeing the cover, it’s one that handles real issues that real teenagers face today in a way that isn’t blown out of proportion or dramatized for the sake of the story. It’s rare to find a book that handles situations like bullying, death and mental illness in a way that isn’t hyperbolized. However, the writing at times is sporadic and hard to follow. For those reasons, I give ‘What To Say Next’ 7.5/10.