Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton


What Happens Next

 What Happens Next
 Author: Colleen Clayton
 Publisher: Poppy
 Publication date: October 9th 2012
 My rating 4.5 stars 

 
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.

What Happens Next is a heartfelt and emotional story that felt real and honest.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous picking this up because of the subject matter, but I thought it was dealt with in tasteful and realistic way.  I can’t believe this was Colleen Clayton’s debut novel, because the writing felt like it came from a pro. She had me entranced from the first pages.

Cassidy “Sid”Murphy is excited to go on her first school ski-trip with little supervision, imagining a mountain of hot guys and fun times with her two best friends, Kristen and Paige.  When a dreamy older guy, Dax Windsor meets her in a ski lift line and glues himself to her for the rest of the day, she can hardly believe it.  She’s a cheerleader, but the one always at the bottom of the pyramid.  She’s curvier and stands out with curly red hair, not the typical girl guys dream about, in her opinion.  He charms Sid into meeting him at a party and she sneaks out and goes alone.  Unfortunately, for Sid, this is no party, it’s a nightmare she can’t remember the next day.  Sneaking out on a school trip gets Sid in trouble along with her friends; her for doing it, and her friends for knowing and not telling. Her friends are beyond angry and their friendship takes a nosedive. 


So Sid returns home with this awful thing hanging over her that she just wants to forget, and without her friends to confide in.  Soon she’s is hanging out with the school “stoner” Corey, who’s in her A/V elective, and shoving away her former life and everything in it. 

My heart went out to Sid.  She paid dearly for the simple mistake of trusting the wrong person, and she paid dearly with the blame/shame game.  She blames herself for being stupid and feels maybe she deserved what happened because of that.  I’m so angry that there are really guys out there like Dax, who take advantage of girls with low self-esteem, and use it to further destroy them.  Sid struggles with keeping this in, and what is does to her mentally and physically.   I really connected with Sid, and even though I was frustrated by her not telling anyone, I can understand where she was coming from.  I could easily put myself in her shoes. 

There is a wonderful cast of secondary characters and first and foremost in my book is Corey.  He is not what Sid expected at all.  I think this is why she was able to get close to him in the first place, because there were no expectations.  Corey was an all-around nice guy, no assumptions, no pushiness. He was not perfect, but he ended up perfect for her.  Her best friends, Kristen and Paige were far from perfect, and the way they treated Sid in the beginning bugged me, but like with any long-time friends, you don’t always make the right decisions in the way you handle each other.  Sid didn’t make things easy either. 

I thought this was an amazing debut novel!  I really enjoyed this heartfelt story, and would recommend it to fans of Hannah Harrington of Saving June and Speechless, and fans of Sarah Dessen.   It had a really similar feel.  


Favorite Scene/Quote:

“I have wanted to do that for so, so long” 
I cannot speak.  I can only nod yes and hope he knows what I mean.  He kisses me more….

    “…for months and months…”
        “…when you sprayed me with Dr. Pepper…”
            “…at the bakery when you were holding that corned beef…”
                “…and every single time I see you…”

I lean against the house and hold on to his wrists so I don’t dissolve into a puddle.  And I kiss him back.  Over and over, I kiss him back. 




 

27 comments:

  1. " a heartfelt and emotional story that felt real and honest." -- My kind of book. Thanks for the review :D

    -Dannielle

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  2. Ooh. Very mysterious. I might just pick this up to find out what really did happen! Sid and Corey sound adorable together. With so many paranormal ships out there, I'm always happy to see normal couples being "perfect" for each other.

    Great review, Rachel :D

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  3. If there's anyone who can convince me to read a contemporary YA, or a vanilla even, it's you. But I'm pretty sure I've said this before. I loved both Saving June and Speechless more than I ever thought I would. I think this is a pretty safe bet.
    Excellent review, Rachel!

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  4. Ahhhh! I need to read this Rachel! I've read nothing but glowing reviews for this book and that means I need it in my hands asap:) The thought that there are guys out there like Dax is a terrifying one, but I'm glad there are books out there like this one that might provide some comfort to any girl who's gone through what Sid goes through. Beautiful review!

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  5. Wow, amazing review Rachel!!!!!! This book sounds so wonderfully bittersweet and the perfect contemporary story. The plot sounds exciting and that quote, wow, sparkles true chemistry.

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  6. Japrit, that quote had melted my heart in a puddle of goo. That was so sweet and touching. Anyway, I've seen this book a couple of time and kinda brushed it off. Now that I know that this one is a really good read I will definitely be checking this out. Lovely review, hun! :)

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    1. Oh boy, I did it again. I called you Jasprit. Sorry Rachel. My mind is quite in a haywire lately (Barrons fault). Lol! :D

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    2. No worries, Eunice. Barrons will do that to a girl! ;)

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  7. This book has been on my to-read list since forever. It seems like everyone I know and trust has really enjoyed it. I need to check it out as soon as winter break gets here! I love Hannah Harrington and Sarah Dessen, so I have a feeling I will really enjoy the book!
    Thanks for the beautiful review, Rachel! And that quote! <3 <3

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  8. I have to admit, I'd usually avoid this sort of topic, but after your review and Giselle's, I'm starting to reconsider this book. You also had me at the mention of Saving June and Speechless. As you know, I was a huge fan of both of those.

    Amazing review as always!

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  9. I've the same feeling, I'm too scared to start this book because I'll end up being an emotional wreck. A good story deserves to be read, and I'll definitely check it out. Great review! And I loved that quote. Simply beautiful.

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  10. I keep popping over here and seeing you are listening to Shadowfever and I just want to cheer! Okay on track, I read a fabulous review of this just a few days ago over at The Starry Eyed Review and I have added it to my list. I can't believe that this one was kind of a sleeper but now it is starting to get the buzz. It sounds like an emotional journey and I would definitely like to check it out. THat is awesome that this is a debut, just means another talented voice added to the pool!

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    1. It's really good, Heidi. I hope you pick it up.

      And yes, Shadowfever, and BARRONS and his Rainbow Girl! Loving the series. :)

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  11. This looks like a really great book. I have not heard of it till now. Thanks so much for sharing and awesome review, like always, Rachel :)

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  12. This sounds great, but I don't know if I should pick it up. The topic makes me slightly nervous.

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    1. It made me nervous too, Sarah, but I think the author handled it well.

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  13. Incredible review, Rachel! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I was so impressed by it as a debut and the subject matter was truly dealt with so well. In addition, I just loved that the characters came alive for me. I don't usually pick up issue books, but I'm glad I read this one and I'm thrilled you loved it too! If I hadn't already read it, this review would have convinced me for sure! :D

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  14. I remember Keertana writing a review about this one, and I recall that she loved this one. So I'm so excited to hear that you loved this one as well Rachel! I've only read good reviews of this one so far- so I will have to pick it up, even though I'm slightly wary about the subject matter. But it's something so important in society today, unfortunately, so I do think it has to be talked about.

    This book sounds so... raw. And I love reading those books from time to time. I loved both Saving June and Speechless, so I think that I will fall in love with this book as well.

    Fantastic review Rachel! I will have to get my hands on a copy of this book.

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  15. Brilliant review, Rachel. I'm so happy you loved WHN!

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  16. wow.. this sounds like such a heart-touching story! I think I really like reading about topic like these, because they really open my eyes to the true world, and they always leave me in awe. I really loved Saving June, so I can't wait to get my hands on this. Lovely review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  17. This sounds like an incredible story! Thank you for the great review...

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  18. Oh man, this sounds intense. Sometimes, reading stories like this is so uncomfortable and I just want to scream at one or more of the characters--either to tell someone what happened or to stop treating a friend like crap because they have no idea what is going on in their life. (like that one Courtney Summers book.) But I can't stay away so I'm sure I'll read this eventually. I'm not sure I'd heard of it til your review, so thanks!

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  19. I keep seeing fabulous reviews for this book! I really need to pick it up soon. I have a feeling I'll want a thought-provoking contemporary! And you're comparing it to Hannah Harrington's books?! Even better incentive. :) I can't wait to read about Sid, I love characters that I am able to connect to. And Corey! He seems like the perfectly flawed guy. Lovely review! <3

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  20. For whatever reason, I thought I already commented on your review, but then realized I hadn't and I simply COULD NOT resist the urge to gush about how incredible it is, Rachel. I loveeee YA contemporary of the gritty kind and Sid sounds like a very well- realized heroine, so this looks like exactly the type of book I like to read. :) And fans of Hannah Harrington and Sarah Dessen? Yes!

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  21. Oh wow! It sounds awesome!! And if it's similar to Saving June I already know I will love it to death! <3 <3 Must read :) :) Beautiful review!

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  22. Great review Rachel! This sounds so good, it MUST go on my to-read list! :)

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