What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton Book Review

January 7, 2013 4 stars, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Reviews 15

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

In What Happens Next, Cassidy (Sid) is hiding a secret that’s eating away at her quite literally. She suffers a traumatic event on a school ski trip and can’t bring herself to tell anyone about it. She becomes isolated from her friends and resorts to unhealthy methods of coping. A new friend (Corey) helps bring the light back into her life, though she still needs to face her demons eventually.

Sid’s story is hard to stomach at times, but I think that’s because it rings so true. She’s so vulnerable and it’s difficult to read about the sexual assault, even though the details are a mystery – the effect it leaves on Sid is shattering. Her already low self-esteem takes a beating, and she can’t deal with the event at all, choosing to punish herself instead. I wanted her to confide in the people in her life that obviously cared about her, but at the same time her behavior was understandable.

The voice of Sid is strong and complicated and heartbreaking. The things she goes through with her friends and the bullying and body image struggles are hard hitting but relatable and relevant. She puts on such a façade for the people around her that the whole book I was just waiting for her to finally crack.

The romance with Sid and Corey is very sweet, and Corey is a great guy for her, and came along at just the right time. I liked that both Sid and Corey have dealt with rumors and others incorrect perceptions of them and they can see past that with each other.

The difficult topics are addressed with sensitivity and realism. And I think a lot of girls reading this will be able to relate to Sid. I was happy with the book’s conclusion though I would have liked to follow the characters a little bit longer, maybe with an epilogue. So glad I read this one – Clayton is a great new voice in contemporary YA.

What Happens Next is Colleen Clayton’s debut novel and it came out in October 2012. I borrowed a copy from my local library, and I actually finished it before the due date! Read more about the book on Goodreads.

15 Responses to “What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton Book Review”

  1. veganyanerds

    Luce, you have me so looking forward to this! I was lucky enough to get a copy recently, and I can’t wait to read about Sid and I’m so glad this felt realistic. Fantastic review!

    • Lucy

      I hope you like it too, Mandee! I know you love contemporary too so I have a feeling this will be right up your alley.

    • Lucy

      Yay I’m happy you loved it too. I immediately went to GR to see what else Clayton has in the works and I don’t see anything yet. Hopefully soon!

    • Lucy

      I think there are certain aspects of SId’s character that are very relatable even if readers haven’t gone through the same trauma. Body image, bullying and friendship drama are something I think we can all relate to to some extent.

  2. Candice

    Definitely have been wanting to read this one, but it keeps slipping my mind! I should keep this on top of my TBR list!

  3. Steph (@poetrytoprose)

    I somehow missed hearing about this one, but I’m definitely interested now. It sounds like a powerful read and I like to hear that the emotion in it comes across as authentic. I’ll definitely look into picking it up!

  4. picturemereading

    I told my sister to follow your blog and she loves it..and has read quite a few great books because of your recommendations :) This is another title I think she would love!

    • Lucy

      Thanks Tracey! I hope this book gets more attention- it is pretty powerful. Let me know what you think of it if you get the chance to read it. I so appreciate your comment!

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