ARC REVIEW: What To Say Next – by Julie Buxbaum @juliebux @DelacortePress

Title: What To Say Next
Author: Julie Buxbaum

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: July 11th 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Finished reading: June 27th 2017
Pages: 272

“There’s a famous expression that if you’ve met one person with autism, then… you’ve met one person with autism.
So you met me.
Just me.
Not a diagnosis.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Delacorte Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Forget the fact that the whole contemporary romance genre and me normally don’t get along. Forget the fact that normally I’m almost allergic to anything that can be possibly considered as cheesy. Forget the fact that I’m never a big fan of high school cliches in the first place. Because Julie Buxbaum has done it again and has proven to me I can actually absolutely love a slightly cheesy contemporary romance novel! I already had high hopes after falling in love with Tell Me Three Things last year and What To Say Next has only enhanced that love for her books. I do love it whenever an author is able to make me enjoy a genre that normally isn’t a right fit… What To Say Next is possibly even better than her previous story. Why? A very easy answer: because this story has David. Basically David won over my heart right from the very first chapter and he is without doubt one of my new all time favorite characters. He is just so unique, adorable and his character is extremely well developed! There aren’t all that many books out there with an autistic main character and Julie Buxbaum did a brilliant job portraying him realistically. Then again, the main characters were well developed in general and I really liked Kit’s character as well. The writing style is very enjoyable to read and the story is told in alternating chapters switching between David and Kit’s POV. Both storylines are interesting for completely different reasons, because this story isn’t just about David and his uniqueness. It’s also about Kit and how the sudden death of her father affects her, something that was again portrayed very realistically. I honestly couldn’t find anything negative to say about What To Say Next even though it has a few cheesy moments and high school cliches… Let’s just say that having a character like David makes you feel very forgiving.

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David Drucker and Kit Lowell don’t really know each other that well. Kit is relatively popular and has her own group of friends, while David is basically socially isolated and a loner. Then one day Kit decides to sit with David at lunch, unable to keep faking her feelings with her friends… Her dad has recently died in a car accident and she just can’t handle the reactions anymore. David seemed like a safe bet since he normally doesn’t really talk to others, but somehow the two connect anyway. But will this unlikely friendship last?

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Even though this normally isn’t my genre, I ended up absolutely loving What To Say Next. This story has once again proven to me Julie Buxbaum is an exception to my rule and I will be looking forward to her future books. Her writing style is very enjoyable to read and she is a master in creating the most wonderful characters. David is basically what makes this story into something special and he will stay with me for a long time, although it was really easy to connect to the characters and story in general. In short I can highly recommend What To Say Next!


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WWW Wednesdays #143 – June 28th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m actually almost done with Quirky Essays For Quirky People, an essay bundle written by Barbara Venkataraman I’ve had pending for a long time now. I’m glad I finally picked it up. I’m also still reading Final Girls by Riley Sager, an ARC I’ve been wanting to read for months now even though the hype around it did make me a bit afraid to actually start reading it. The third I haven’t actually started yet, but with a little luck I will be able to start Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt some time today. Fingers crossed, because the review is due next Monday! (And for those who wonder: I won’t mention Little Women again until I have actually started reading Part two.)

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 
My favorite part of The Merchant’s Pearl is hands down the existence of many detailed descriptions of the inner workings of the Ottoman palace and empire of that time. It was really interesting to see how things worked back then and how life was for a concubine… The pace was a bit slow, but the writing style was beautiful. I liked most of the characters as well, although some of their actions started to annoy me during the second half of the story. But that might just have been me and my aversion to anything too overly romance/drama in the first place. If you like historical fiction and romance, you will enjoy reading this one!

2. Each Little Lie by Tom Bale (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/06
There is no doubt I really enjoyed reading Each Little Lie even though it wasn’t as dark and intense as I would have liked. The writing style is very enjoyable to read and manages to draw you in straight away; the plot and plot twists well executed to the point that you really have no idea who is behind it all for a very long time. And while I guessed some things right, there were also a lot of things I didn’t see coming at all.

3. What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 30/06
Forget the fact that the whole contemporary romance scene normally isn’t my thing, forget the fact that this story in a way could be described as cheesy: I absolutely loved this story! Julie Buxbaum has done it again and is proving to be an exception to the rule… Because David won over my heart right from the very first chapter and is without doubt a new addition to my list of all time favorite characters. He is just so unique, adorable and well developed!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have a lot of ARC publish dates coming up, so unfortunately I still don’t have time for other reads… I still need to read The Lost Book Of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, an ARC that was approved a day before it was archived so naturally I didn’t get to it on time haha. I also need to read both Court Of Lions by Jane Johnson and The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney, although I’ll probably read the second first. What’s up with all those historical fiction ARCs publishing soon just when I’m in the mood for a good thriller?! I do want to finally read Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz some time soon though. I still can’t believe I haven’t picked up that title yet!


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WWW Wednesdays #142 – June 21st

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently still reading The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien, a historical fiction ARC set in the Ottoman empire of the late 19th century. I can’t wait to dive into Each Little Lie by Tom Bale afterwards though. I have been reading less mystery/thrillers than usual this month and I’m really missing them! And after loving his other book last year, I can’t wait to read his newest story. I haven’t made progress with Little Women though, mostly because I finished part one last week and I haven’t decided yet whether to just review that part separately or read part two as well and review it as a whole. I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would and it’s taking longer than expected, so I’m not sure what to do…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Book Of Whispers by Kimberley Starr (2/5 stars) REVIEW 
I like stories with a medieval setting and I was definitely looking forward to The Book Of Whispers, but in the end it just wasn’t for me and not just because of the demon overload. The writing style, the demon descriptions, the characters, the romance… There was a lot that unfortunately didn’t work for me and the historical setting couldn’t make up for this. The idea behind The Book Of Whispers is very original though and it must have been a lot of work to mix both elements. There is no doubt this story had a lot of potential…

2. Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon (1,5/5 stars) REVIEW
I was actually looking forward to Can’t Buy Forever as the blurb sounded quite interesting, but unfortunately I ended up having a completely different experience instead. I won’t repeat all the details I’ve mentioned above since I’ve already talked about each point extensively, but it does become clear it was far too easy to find things that didn’t work for me in the story. Was it just me or is the book to blame as well? I won’t be the judge to read the sentence, but at least I’ve put in my two cents.

3. Four Days by Jamie Campbell (3/5 stars) REVIEW
Four Days is without doubt less of a romance story and more of a road trip and sports-focused contemporary read. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the local scenery and the writing style was quite enjoyable to read. I liked the Dutch words popping up every once in a while and how sports played such an important role throughout the story. I wasn’t sure about the characters though and the steamy scenes were a huge turn off for me. But like I said before, if you don’t mind those you will probably enjoy this story a lot!

4. The Weight Of Lies by Emily Carpenter (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 22/06
I requested a copy of this story after seeing various glowing reviews and I will definitely be adding another one to the mix tomorrow. After a few mediocre reads, I finally found something again that was able to grab my full attention! I loved the Kitten chapters in between the ‘normal’ ones and the story itself is intriguing. I found myself eagerly turning the pages to try and find out what her mother was hiding and what secrets the island hides… Very good psychological thriller indeed! More in my review tomorrow. 😉

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have more pending ARCs to get to, but luckily the pile seems a little smaller now… So I’m keeping my fingers crossed nothing interesting will come up for a while so I can get to my own books instead. 😉 I need to read The Lost Book Of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, an ARC that was approved a day before it was archived so naturally I didn’t get to it on time. xD I might read What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum first thought because it has been calling my name ever since I was granted a copy! I also need another dose of mystery/thriller and want to pick up one of my own titles instead of an ARC just this once: Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton. Slip by David Estes is still high on my list as well.


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Friday Finds #121 – February 17th

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FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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TOP 10 Favorite New Authors Discovered In 2016

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With this year almost coming to an end, I thought it was about time to look back at all those books I’ve read and all those amazing new authors I have discovered in 2016. Some of the authors on this list have published their debut this year, while others have been writing books for years and I’ve only started reading their work recently. But what all have in common is that they have written some pretty darn good books! ❤ ❤


1. VICTORIA (V.E.) SCHWAB

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There is simply no way I can talk about favorite new authors without mentioning this author and her work. I don’t know why I have started reading her books before 2016, but what I do know is that V.E. Schwab is now one of my all time favorite authors. Everything she writes is simply brilliant!! A Darker Shade Of Magic is still my absolute favorite, with This Savage Song coming in a close second. But both A Gathering Of Shadows and Vicious were excellent reads as well. I will be looking forward to the sequels that will be published in 2017!

2. FREDRIK BACKMAN

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Although this Swedish author has been publishing books for years, I’ve only recently found out about his work. Fredrik Backman has been all over the book blog community lately, and his work is worth all the hype around it. I read A Man Called Ove last month and completely fell in love with both the character, the prose and the humor used. Not many authors can make me laugh and cry with the same story, and he is without doubt one of my favorite new discoveries this year.

3. BLAKE CROUCH

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I was vaguely aware of this author and his Wayward Pines series, but with so many other pending series I never actually bought a copy of the first book. But then earlier this year suddenly Dark Matter was literally EVERYWHERE. I admit I don’t read a lot of science fiction; not because I don’t like the genre, but there are other genres I simply like better. But it was really hard to ignore this book after so many recommendations, and Dark Matter is definitely one of those books that is actually worth the hype. It was simply BRILLIANT.

4. SHALINI BOLAND

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I requested a Netgalley copy of The Girl From The Sea a few months back, and it turned out to be one of the best psychological thrillers I was able to read this year. Shalini Boland instantly made it to my new favorite authors list, so I was more than honored when she contacted me with the question if I wanted to read/review her newest book The Best Friend as well. it turned out to be yet another excellent psychological thriller, and I will definitely be looking forward to any new thriller titles.

5. MEGAN MIRANDA

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Megan Miranda is another author that became an instant favorite after reading a Netgalley ARC. All The Missing Girls is without doubt one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read and one I cannot recommend enough. I have just received a copy of The Perfect Stranger as well, which will be published next year, and words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading this book soon! 😀

6. TIFFANY MCDANIEL

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Did I mention already how happy I am that I finally signed up for Netgalley this year?! TIffany McDaniel is yet another Netgalley find, and it’s without doubt one of the most interesting and well written stories I’ve read this year. The Summer That Melted Everything is the author’s debut novel, and what a brilliant way to start!

7. ROBERT BRYNDZA

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned before the mystery/thriller genre is one of my favorites, and the books in DCI Erika Foster series always seem to deliver. And to be honest, I’m in awe with the pace Robert Bryndza is able to write and publish so many quality thrillers! The Girl In The Ice, The Night Stalker and Dark Water have all been published in 2016, and although the second book is my absolute favorite, I highly enjoyed all three of them. I will be looking forward to the next book of the series!

8. MAGGIE HALL

theconspiracyofusseriesTo be honest, I wasn’t to sure if this series was going to be for me…But besides the romance scenes I didn’t particularly care for, The Conspiracy Of Us is basically an example of what I would call a perfect read. A fast pace, easy-to-read prose, an interesting plot with just the right amount of plot twists, an international atmosphere, characters I can connect to… Check. Check. CHECK! I loved the first book so much I decided to read the sequel Map Of Fates straight away and trust me, that doesn’t happen often. The third book is one of my most anticipated 2017 releases… And Maggie Hall one of my new favorite authors.

9. HEATHER DEMETRIOS

I saw this book around a lot last year, but was afraid to read it because I thought it was going to be another sappy romance novel. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Heather Demetrios has made it to my new favorite author list with I’ll Meet You There, a well written story full of raw and honest emotions, flawed characters you cannot help but fall in love with and just the right dose of romance. I practically flew through this book and it’s without one of my favorite reads so far this year.

10. JULIE BUXBAUM

tellmethreethingsI always seem to be complaining about romance scenes I didn’t like, but there are authors that can make me forget I don’t actually like the genre all that much. Julie Buxbaum turned out to be one of them. Sure, Tell Me Three Things is in fact quite cheesy and even has the dreaded love triangle, but I fell in love with the story anyway. It’s the perfect ‘feel-good’ read and very very addicting.


I can’t believe how hard it was to narrow it down to just ten authors! I guess it’s a great sign I was able to read a LOT of excellent books this year though. 😉 Have you read any of these books? And what are your favorite new authors this year?

WWW Wednesdays #96 – June 22nd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I know, I know, I have been (shamelessly) posponing A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas for the last couple of weeks. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy and the book is quite big in the first place… I did read a few pages yesterday, but I will probably not finish it before the end of the month unless I’m in the mood for fantasy again. Meanwhile I started reading Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain, which is the second book in a thriller/serial killer series and hopefully just as good as the first book.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I finally managed to finish The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, a historical fiction read I ended up really enjoying. The story has a fast pace and switches between contemporary scenes and the notes of the main character’s mother. I particularly enjoyed reading the historical section and the fact that the story is about the role of women during WWII (something you don’t see often). The only thing I wasn’t convinced about were the contemporary romance scenes, but the rest of the story makes up for it.
* I picked up The Ex by Alafair Burke afterwards, which had been recommended to me by various bloggers. It turned out to be a really fast-paced and entertaining thriller, although some of the scenes/plot twists might be a bit too farfetched (think Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train vibe). The end came as a surprise though.
* After hearing repeatedly I just HAD to read this book, I decided to read Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum next. And I’m glad I did, because I really loved it! The only thing that was slightly annoying would be the love triangle (rectangle?!) and the idea itself might not be that original either, but I still loved this book anyway. Without doubt a great summer read!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I still have an ARC pending: Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), so I’m definitely looking forward to read it soon. I also want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, since I really enjoyed her other novel Between Shades Of Gray. Same goes for Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All by Jonas Jonasson, although I’ve already learned it’s not as good as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared… My newest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz.

Teaser Tuesdays #99 – June 21st: Tell Me Three Things

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Books And A Beat. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

This book by Julie Buxbaum has been highly recommended to me by several fellow bloggers, so I’m really excited to be finally reading it. And so far I’m definitely really enjoying Tell Me Three Things!

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My teaser (15%):

“One of the worst parts about someone dying is thinking back to all those times you didn’t ask the right questions, all those times you stupidly assumed you’d have all the time in the world. And this too: how all that time feels like not much time at all.”

What are you reading right now?