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July 25, 2017

#FirstPage with @juliebux & @DelacortePress

 


Welcome to this week's First Page Tuesday! This week we have the amazing chance to share an excerpt with you of Julie Buxbaum newest title What to Say Next. And we couldn't be happier!  We die hard loved Tell Me Three Things.  The fantastic thing is that this book also releases today!  So check out the sample below then click the link and buy it! 







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?





JULIE BUXBAUM is the author of the New York Times bestseller Tell Me Three Things, her debut young adult novel. She also wrote the critically acclaimed The Opposite of Love and After You, and her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two young children. Visit Julie online at juliebuxbaum.com and follow @juliebux on Twitter.

David


An unprecedented event: Kit Lowell just sat down next to me in the cafeteria. I always sit alone, and when I say always, I don’t mean that in the exaggerated vernacular favored by my classmates. In the 622 days, I’ve attended this high school, not a single person has ever sat beside me at lunch, which is what justifies my calling her sitting there--so close that her elbow almost grazes mine--an “event.” My first instinct is to reach for my notebook and look up her entry. Under K for Kit, not under L for Lowell, because though I’m good with facts and scholarly pursuits, I’m terrible with names. Partly this is because names are random words completely devoid of context, and partly this is because I believe names rarely fit the people they belong to, which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. Parents name their child at a time when they have the absolute least amount of information they will ever have about the person they are naming. The whole practice is illogical.

Take Kit, for example, which is not actually her name, her name is Katherine, but I have never heard anyone call her Katherine, even in elementary school. Kit doesn’t in any way look like a Kit, which is a name for someone who is boxy and stiff and easily understandable with step-by-step instructions. Instead, the name of the girl sitting next to me should have a Z in it, because she’s confusing and zigzagged and pops up in surprising places--like at my lunch table--and maybe the number eight, because she’s hourglass-shaped, and the letter S too, because it’s my favorite. I like Kit because she’s never been mean to me, which is not something I can say about the vast majority of my classmates. It’s a shame her parents got her name all wrong.

I’m a David, which also doesn’t work, because there are lots of Davids in the world--at last check 3,786,417 of them in the United States alone--and so by virtue of my first name, one would assume I’d be like lots of other people. Or, at the very least, relatively neurotypical, which is a scientific, less offensive way of saying normal. That hasn’t been the case. At school, no one calls me anything, except the occasional homo or moron, neither of which is in any way accurate--my IQ is 168 and I’m attracted to girls, not boys. Also, homo is a pejorative term for a gay person, and even if my classmates are mistaken about my sexual orientation, they should know better than to use that word. At home my mom calls me son--which I have no problem with because it’s true--my dad calls me David, which feels like an itchy sweater with a too-tight neck, and my sister calls me Little D, which for some inexplicable reason fits just right, even though I’m not even a little bit little. I’m six foot two and 165 pounds. My sister is five foot three and 105 pounds. I should call her Little L, for Little Lauren, but I don’t. I call her Miney, which is what I’ve been calling her since I was a baby, because she’s always felt like the only thing in a confusing world that belongs to me.

Miney is away at college, and I miss her. She’s my best friend--technically speaking, my only friend--but I feel like even if I had friends, she’d still be my best one. So far she’s the only person I’ve ever known who has helped make being me a little less hard.

By now you’ve probably realized I’m different. It usually doesn’t take people very long to figure that out. One doctor thought I might have a “borderline case of Asperger’s,” which is stupid, because you can’t have a borderline case of Asperger’s. Actually, you can’t really have Asperger’s at all anymore, because it was written out of the DSM-5 (the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in 2013, and instead people with that group of characteristics are considered to have high-functioning autism (or HFA), which is also misleading. The autism spectrum is multidimensional, not linear. The doctor was obviously an idiot.

Out of curiosity, I’ve done my own reading in this area (I bought a used DSM-4 on eBay; the 5 was too pricey), and though I lack the necessary medical training required to make a full diagnostic assessment, I don’t believe the label applies to me.

Yes, I can get myself into trouble in social situations; I like order and routine; when I’m interested in something, I can be hyper focused to the exclusion of other activities; and, fine, I am clumsy. But when I have to, I can make eye contact. I don’t flinch if you touch me. I tend to recognize most idioms, though I keep a running list in my notebook just in case. I like to think I’m empathetic, but I don’t know if that’s true.

I’m not sure it really matters if I have Asperger’s, anyway, especially because it no longer exists. It’s just another label. Take the word jock. If enough psychiatrists wanted to, they could add that to the DSM and diagnose all the guys on the Mapleview football team. Characteristics would include at least two of the following: (1) athleticism, especially while wearing spandex, (2) unnatural ease with the concept of strapping a hard cup around your penis, (3) being an asshole. It doesn’t matter whether you call me an Aspie or a weirdo or even a moron. The fact remains that I very much wish I were more like everyone else. Not the jocks, necessarily. I don’t want to be the kind of guy who gives kids like me a hard time. But if I got the chance to make some sort of cosmic upgrade--switch David 1.0 to a 2.0 version who understood what to say in day-to-day conversation--I’d do it in an instant.

Maybe when parents name their children they do it from the perspective of wishful thinking. Like when you go to a restaurant and ask for a rare steak, and even though there is no universally agreed definition of the word rare, you hope you get exactly what you want.

My mom and dad ordered a David. They got me instead.



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