Book Reviews : First in Line Summer Picks 2017

July 25, 2017


Hello Everyone, 


I am in such a bubble for summery, lovey-dovey books! Today I am going to review not one book, but two books!  I bet your thinking WHOA Maddi, Slow down. Its all good. I promise you are going to enjoy. I needed a book to read and I picked up What to say next by Jule Buxbaum, author of Tell me three things - I adore the book a lot. My initial thoughts for the book was going to be a easy, light and fluffy novel perfect for the summer.  I did not realize that the books are part of Penguin Random house #Firstinline Summer Picks 2017.  I want to finished them together. 






What To Say Next 

Julie Buxbaum   

Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: July 11th 2017 by Delacorte Press
ISBN 0553535684 (ISBN13: 9780553535686)

5.5  Stars

Young Adult/ Romance/Fiction



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?


Personal Thoughts : 


What to Say Next is an exquisite, tangible, and honesty brutal novel. Readers who are looking for refreshing, raw and diverse characters should pick this book up. There are moments you will cherish by the heart, some moments that creates a smouldering angry rock in the pit of your stomach and some moments you will take a step back and reflect on how to handle situations. My eyes were glue to the pages! The book is mainly heavy on the death of Kits’ father who had passed away all sudden in a car accident that seem almost too impossible. Not being able to cope his death, Kit unprompted sits with “high school loner” David Drucker at lunch. The book takes place over bit of a week, the two become friends which kindle them to come closer as they sought out why and how of her dad’s tragic accident. It was such a comfort and well-invested read. Buxbaum really highlighted what the relationship with someone with ASD of friends and family, the aftermath of loss, the truth being told, the love-hate relationship between mother and daughter, violation of privacy, cyber bullying, and of course, love. Even the side-characters are phenomenal.  I love the book so much that (picture below) I ruined the book by knocking water all over it, ripping the front cover when I was reading and somehow bending the front into a hot dog.


[slowly clapping] nicely done, Maddi.


“I am a David, which also doesn’t work, because there are lots of David’s 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 assumes I’d be like lots of other people. Or, at the very least, relatively neurotypical, which is scientific, less offensive way of saying normal.” - What To Say Next. 


David Drucker. David Drucker. Saying his name recite makes me giddy (He probably wrinkling his nose now since he dislikes the name David- he brings to conversation multiple times in the book). He such an incredible character. He just adorable, sweet, super awkward and nerdy, and bright. David is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. To be more precise, The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) state that Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that is integrated with symptoms, skills and levels of disability that a person can have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviours, and delay of motor development.  The book does not label David which I believe was the upmost respectful way. I very appalled that I have not read one character that is on the spectrum who is like David. I think he just amazing. He likes his orders and routines. To assist when he is in sticky social situations – he has a difficult time communicating and interacting with others- he has a notebook where he writes efficient detail descriptions about his classmates and teachers to identify that person. I notice too as readers get to know David often echoes the same topic or talks about a certain subject without noticing the other person haven’t gave a response or opinion. My most favourite moments with David Drucker is when He communicates with Kit with cells. He just innocent and full of pride of the accomplishment.


David : 😊

David : That was my first emoticon. Or emoji. Must Google to learn the difference.

Me :  Finally something I know and you don’t.


Just adorable.


Honesty David  has many incredible and memorable moments  in the book.  David is the new YA book Boyfriend, so watch out Four and Jace Wayland. Welcome, David. 


Katherine "Kit" Lowell.  Her character is raw and modst. She is kind, outgoing and smart. I really enjoyed getting to know Kit. She is Indian -American (southeast Asian), and curvy. She is going through a tandem of emotions and guilt after her dad’s death, and not able to handle the pressure of pretending to be fine, she surprises herself sitting with David Drucker “the class loner” at his lunch table. Kit feels that since he quiet and doesn’t like attention, he’d simple ignore her. She feels a heavy dread and guilt about her father’s death that she is lashing out and trying to mould herself back into old reliable Kit. She feels everything is out of focus and too loud. With David, it’s like he can make the room silent and clear. She feels she can spew her anger and sadness onto him and understand the death of her father. I think her befriended David is what she needed to really have another perspective on her life. I love it when Kit is trying to decipher David or flirts with him.  The moments when she listens and is impassioned toward him.


“I don’t want to think about it.

After a while, quiet settles between David and me, and surprisingly, it’s not awkward at all. It’s actually kind of nice to sit up here, away from school and the shirtstorm that awaits at home, away from the terrifying concept of one whole month. Its nice to sit with someone and not have to think about what to say next.”


Favourite Quotes 


Any scene with Lauren (David older sister) and David is fun and relatable. 


" I was wrong.Maybe some things do change," she says, and ruffles my hair, like I'm a small boy. And though I don't quite understand the reason behind her gesture, I find myself leaning into her hands." 


The after the ride home scene - this was probaly my favourite scene with Kit and David together.


"  So you left your car here last night? You know they tow, right?" she asks. 

I nod. I know this. 

"My mom brought me back just after you dropped me off." I hear the words I have just said out loud and realize I am a ridiclous person. I will always be a ridiculous person. How could I have been worried yesterday that Kit would think I was a dork? Of course she already does.I am fooling no one.

What are we going to do with you. 

I decide  to stick with what I do best.The truth. 

" I just like talking to you.So though I didn't techically need a ride, I wanted one." 

" Okay," she says, and looks up, and for a quick second our eyes meet.I break contact first. " I kinda like talking to you too." 


The Are-you-following-me- Tampon aisle scene ( laughs).  


" Are you following me?" I ask in a joeky tone. I'm borderline fliriting with him in front of the maxi pads with wings. I drop my jumbo pack of super-absorent Tampax and kick it behind me so he doesn't see. 

"No, Of course not" , He says, and he sounds offended like I accused him of something. 

"I didn't mean...Nevermind. It justs funny to see you here."


And of course, 


I am kissing David Drucker, and yes, I've forgotten everything esle. 

Because his lips are back on mine. 

Because this, right here, is the best kiss of my life. 


Need I say more? 


About the Author 


Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, and the critically acclaimed novels The Opposite of Love and After You.  Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish. Visit Julie online at and follow @juliebux on Twitter.


Author Links 

Twitter: @juliebux

Facebook: JulieBuxbaumNovelist

Instagram: @JulieBuxbaum


Book Links 


Chapters / Indigo


Words In Deep Blue

Cath Crowley  

Hardcover, 288 pages

Published June 6th 2017 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published August 30th 2016)

ISBN 1101937645 (ISBN13: 9781101937648)

 4.6 Stars

Young Adult/ Romance/Fiction 



Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. 


Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.

Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.


As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.


Personal Thoughts 


Announcing ALL book lovers who love books and bookshops ! Lord and behold the book for you!

I went into Words in Deep Blue without having no information about the book. I found the book on my roommate shelf, attracted to the cover ( The cover is A-plus). There are a bit of a blurb from the Senior Editor of Knopf Books for Young Readers, and it even  pulled more in the book. That this story is about love letters,crushes, and secrets hidden between the pages of books. That this book is for those who lost someone they loved between the pages and that being close to the books they loved will make them feel connected and closer to them. I finished it quickly. I love it. I cannot fathom words together to how much I enjoy this book. It had all the ingredients for a well-done romance book. The book takes place in Australia where one of the MC breathes and lives in a book store that carries old editions books and a Letter library where you can place letters in books ! ISN'T THAT THE GREATEST THING YOU EVER HEARD? This book just makes me want to used my rent , buy a flight to Australia and find this incredible bookstore. I want to sit on the blue fiction couch. I want to write to my longing crush and place it in an page for them to  find. Fans of the classics, poets and young-adult will simply want to circle, bent and underlined  the pages over and over again. There just something comfy about the book. I am pretty sure that if this wasn't mine copy, I would have hightlighted the whole book in multiple colours and sticky-noted all the cute moments and key moments between Henry, George, Rachel and Martin. This book also included heavy topics such as death, divorice and break-ups. 



 Not surprisngly, I haven't taken my breakup well, and I have no plans to take it well in the future, My plan is to stay on the couch,getting up for toliet breaks and the occasioinal toasted sandwhich until Amy comes back to me. She always come back to me. It's just a matter of time. 


Henry, Oh Henry. He stinks at love. He will admit it. He will sit around in despair until his "true love" comes back to beg to take her back. Ugh. I have to admit I was not sure if Henry and I were going to get along. He prasies Amy likes she is his Forever Girl. If that was the case, I do not think he would be singing poetry in the girl washroom, getting in a fights and being tape to pole while being naked...people reminded him that there are other girls and that Amy is not for him. As he is on the quest to  get Amy back, another complication to add in his life is that the bookstore that his parents old is slipping as his family falls apart. The two most important things in his life. To add to his compliacted life, Rachel - His best friend who went silent for the pass three years return to the town and now is a new employee at the bookstore. I like that he cares for the bookstore (more than Amy) and his family. That he is willing to do anything for the cherish bookstore.  


I don't need to ask her which Rachel she's talking about.There only one Rachel. The Rachel. Rachel Sweetie. My best friend who moved away three years ago and got so busy she fogot about me. 




Rachel is lost. She does not feel anything, She did not finish her 12 Year, does not like going by the ocean. Her brother drown months ago and she needs a escape. To spend her time, she goes back to the city she left before and works besides Henry - who long time ago had a crush and left a love letter between the pages of Henry favourite poem for him to find- at the bookstore. She waited and he never response. Henry moved onto to Amy and Rachel move on to Jeff. After the lost of her brother from drowing in the ocean, she distance herself from everyhing and everyone. As she is trying to cope with the lost of her brother and working with Henry she begins to find herself surronded by the things that her brother love. Rachel slowlys begins find hope with working beside Henry, becoming best friends again, reading between the lines of the love letters left in the Letter Library and that even if the world is ending, second chances are promising. She really a raw and delightful character. I love how frank and brutally honest to Henry.  


Favourite Quotes 


Because I loved it. Because I love books in a way that's beyond logic and reason. That's just how it is. I love them the way those people in the Letter Library love them. It's not enough to read, I want to talk through the pages to get to the other side, to get  to the person who read them before me.I want to spend my life hunting them, reading them, selling them. I want to serve customers  and put the right books in their hands. I want to talk to talk to Frederick and Frieda. I want to listen to the book club.I want it all. And I want it to go on forever. And if it can't, then I want right up to the last second. And I want a girl who wants me the same way. Dust and All. 



When Henry wants to get Martin, George and Rachel out to build their relationships. 


"I have to work tonight, she says. I have to do the hugley insane job you dad has given me. ,she says. I think he having a midlife crisis. Not only does he want me to alphabetize all of the books,because people keep putting them out of order,and not only does he want a record of all of the books in the Library,he also wants a record of any loose inside the books, like letters, and a record of any notations in the margins. ." 

" That sounds to me like something you'd enjoy," I tell her. 


A mindlessly boring and pointlessly never-ending task?" 


"You love those kinds of tasks. You loved memorizing the periodic table when you were a kid."


"That wasn't mindlessly boring or pointless. The periodic table lists all the elements exisitng on earth. There's a point to the periodic table. There's no point to this Library. This Library is the definition of pointless, Henry." 


About the Author 

Author of A Little Wanting Song (Chasing Charlie Duskin), Graffiti Moon and the Gracie series. Am living in Melbourne and writing my next book. You can also find me at


Author links 


Twitter : @CathCrowley

Tumblr :


Books Links 


Chapters / Indigo


There is a third novel that I still have yet to read that is part of the First in Line Summer Picks 2017 ...if you have read, let me know  in the comments or tweet me @maddimclark ! 

Little Monsters

Kara Thomas

Hardcover, 336 pages

Expected publication: July 25th 2017 by Delacorte Press

ISBN13 9780553321498




Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister. 

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.


Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn't exactly feel like an accident.


But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.


Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.


Which one of the three would you read first ? 


Signing out, 

Maddi Clark 


For more Information : 




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