Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

What Happens Next 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.

My Review:

What Happens Next is a great story of friendship, family, and love.  It touches on many important issues, including rape and eating disorders.  The characters in this book are well-developed and fun to read about.  I completely loved this book.


Sid Murphy is a great character.  She's fun and has a great personality, but she also has some issues.  She clearly isn't completely comfortable with her body.  After she is raped at the beginning of the book, she decides she needs to lose some weight.  She becomes bulimic by running excessively, not eating too much, and throwing up after she does eat too much.  At first, she thinks this isn't a problem.  She thinks that losing a bit of weight is healthy, but as the book progresses she learns she is wrong.  She also hasn't told anyone about the rape, and she sometimes has trouble holding that secret.  By the end of the book, she realizes she needs to tell people.

Corey Livingston is a great character.  At the beginning of the book, Sid only knows him as Corey "the living stoner."  She has many misconceptions about him, since he isn't even actually a stoner.  She meets him when she drops her computer class to work in the A/V room.  He is the only other student there, so she gets to know him.  As she gets him, she discovers that he is a really sweet guy who bakes.  Corey and Sid become friends first, but it is clear that there could be something more.  Their relationship develops slowly and realistically.  He is very sweet on their first date.  He even asks if he can kiss her before he does.  It is clear that he really cares about Sid.  Once he tells her that she needs to gain more weight because he is scared of how much she is losing.

Sid's family and friends are also great characters.  Her mom is mad at the beginning of the book when Sid ran off with a guy on her school ski trip, but she forgives her quickly.  She is very caring.  Sid could have told her mom her secret, and her mom would have helped her through it.  Sid's little brother, Liam, is a sweet six-year-old boy.  He is funny in the scene before Sid's first date with Corey.  Her friends, Kirsten and Paige, are not really there for her after the ski trip incident, but they make up with her before the end.  They end up being the first people that she tells her secret to.  The scene where she tells the secret is very emotional.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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