Mon, December 17, 2012

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton Review

What Happens Next book cover

What Happens Next book cover

What Happens Next
By Colleen Clayton
Publication date: Oct. 9, 2012
Poppy (Little Brown Books for Young Readers), 320 pages
Source: Borrowed from a friend

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.

— Goodreads.com description

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton is a gorgeous, powerful and absolutely heartbreaking novel. I devoured this book, feeling equal parts sick to my stomach and blissfully captivated about what I was reading.

As an grownup, I sometimes have a hard time with “issues” books because I just want to jump into the pages, grab ahold of these girls and never let them out of my sight until they have an honest conversation with a responsible adult. It was hard for me to read Sid’s story without wanting to just…SCREAM AT HER. But that’s why this is such an important book for teens. Readers can learn from Sid’s mistakes and applaud her triumphs. It’s the type of book you have no choice but to get invested in.

Beyond my struggles with Old Lady Syndrome (OLS), I absolutely adored it. Sid’s voice was a standout. The boy…oh, my friends, THE BOY. So good.

This is a book I’d highly recommend, especially for school librarians to have in their collection. My only real complaint? The ending was too rushed for me — I would have liked to hang out with these characters for much, much longer. I don’t quite feel resolved!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: abuse, colleen clayton, friendship, romance, violence
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9 Comments

  1. Lori said:

    I’ve been lusting after this book for quite awhile and your review didn’t help. 😉 It’s definitely going to be my next purchase.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  2. Rebecca said:

    I’ve been wanting to read this forever! I’ve heard mostly amazing things and am glad to hear you enjoyed it and that OLS didn’t occur! Also, Anna you are NOT an OL. You’re a spring chicken! Ashame the ending felt rushed… Ooh, the boy? Do tell 😀

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  3. Ginger @ GReads! said:

    I so agree with the ending. It was way too rushed for that huge of a build up. Also, I have to admit.. I almost put this book down because I was literally screaming at that girl. I know it had everything to do with the story, but I just wanted to her to SAY SOMETHING. Gahh.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  4. Jessica BS said:

    Old Lady Syndrome– I like that! That’s something that happens to me when reading these “issues” books as well. I’m like, noooooooo don’t do iiiiiit! This book is on my List to read before the year ends, especially after a review like this!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  5. Meaghan said:

    I’ve been back and forth on wanting to read this or not and now I feel like I MUST after that review.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  6. Kelly said:

    Ah yes, I often suffer from Old Lady Syndrome!! That can be a real frustration in a lot of YA novels.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  7. estelle said:

    So glad that you liked this one. I haven’t been able to top it since I read it last week.

    You know, I have to say. I didn’t want to strangle Sid. In fact, I really tried to think about what I would do if I had been in her position. It’s hard to say, of course. But I know it’s possible that even as my “grown up” self I could definitely act as she did.

    I just loved her voice so much, and I felt her actions post-big moment were all a result of past insecurities too.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  8. Magan @ Rather Be Reading said:

    Oh, Anna. I’m beyond thrilled that you’ve praised this book. I cannot wait for more from Clayton because her take on this situation was so unique and Sid’s character was such a favorite of mine. Though there were times I just desperately wanted to help Sid out, I really enjoyed watching how everything unraveled. E just went to a reading with Colleen and she is writing a companion novel, I believe. I’m not sure who it will be focused on, but I was over the moon excited. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

  9. Tabitha S. said:

    Oh.! I’ve added this to just about every wish list I have and given it too all of my relatives because I NEED a copy of this book. I’ve heard so many fantastic books and hearing now that Sid’s voice is a standout… YEAH. I need this book.

    Fantastic review.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, December 17, 2012

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