Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

What Happens NextTitle:  What Happens Next 
Author: Colleen Clayton
Publishing Date:  October 9th 2012
Pages: 320
Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC 


How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect... or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

I wanted to read this book from the moment I heard about it. I don't remember how I discovered the book but I am glad I did. This was a very hard book for me to get through. Not because it wasn't good, but because it was so real to me, and very real to others. This is a very hard subject matter to read about, think about, talk about, and I am glad to see something put into fiction that was able to get to the core of it and so many other issues.

Sid is 16 years old. She goes on a ski trip with her friends. She meets a boy. The boy lies to her, drugs her, then rapes her. The book is about Sid and the after effects of the rape, how she deals with it, how she lives with it, and how she learns to over come it. The book is about family, friendship, and love. 

Wow... I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I really didn't. I understand how terrifying, how traumatizing, and how awful Sid's situation was. I felt for her, I cried for her, I yelled at her over and over. I wanted to see her heal, unfortunately before the healing, there was more terror, more trauma, and more awful. The book doesn't only deal with rape but with depression and eating disorders. The fear and the guilt over the rape tore Sid apart, left a hole in her that she doesn't know how to fill. She tries everything and it's through her friends and love that she is able to really start to heal.

I really liked Sid as a character. She was very frustrating at times. As an adult I wanted to knock her upside the head and tell her to stop blaming herself, stop hating herself, stop hiding, and get some serious help. Tell some darn it. As an adult I know that telling is something that needs to happen but I also know its not easy especially for a teenager. Sid was very strong for what she went through but she just couldn't grasp the situation fully and she couldn't find a way out of the downward spiral. I really liked the love interest, Corey, too. He was great. He was a strong individual, very loyal to family and friends, funny, sweet, and just everything that Sid needed. I even liked her friends that dumped her at the beginning. I could completely understand why they would do what they did not knowing the facts of what happened. The only character that truly made me anger was Sid's mother. By golly woman, look at your child and notice something is wrong! Easier said that done... I know I know, but jeez there were obvious signs. 

I did like the story, I loved the realism of the issues at hand, and the sweet, slow growing romance really did me in. The writing was great and the tone was just right. The book paced well just really hard to take in at one time for me. 

One of the very few books I would recommend to everyone who reads, especially teenagers. 


  1. I love, love, LOVED this book. It made me feel all the feels. :) Glad you enjoyed it, too, JennRenee!

  2. I've heard good things about this one. Glad you enjoyed it. Great review!


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