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What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Publication date: Oct. 9, 2012
Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Thank you Estelle for letting me borrow!
Summary: 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 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, 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…The good: Last month I went to a reading at Books of Wonder that featured Amy McNamara, Eugene Myers, Tiffany Schmidt and.. Colleen Clayton. When she talked about What Happens Next, she said what set it apart from other books about rape was that it was funny. This book was already on my to-read list but I have to admit, that comment piqued my interest even more. I mean, how could it be funny? But you know what, it was. It was funny and heartbreaking and so amazingly written. What Sid goes through is devastating and while we get a tiny glimpse into her life "before", the book is really about how she deals with the aftermath. Sid has never been the popular girl at school and she's definitely on the insecure side. But she's got two amazing best friends, a wonderful mother and little brother and is just an all-around good kid. Then it happens and suddenly, she feels so alone. She doesn't know how to talk to the people who love her most. For those of us who have never been in her position, it's easy to say - why didn't she tell anyone? But you never know what you'll do in a situation until you're in it. And through the author's wonderful writing, I was able to connect with Sid and feel everything she was feeling. All her moments of despair and as she attempts to put it behind her, the unexpected moments of joy with her loved ones and the super nice guy who comes into her life, Corey. When I look back on Sid, I keep thinking that she's so strong and feisty. Even though she does have a bit of a downward spiral and she feels so vulnerable, this doesn't break her. Which is pretty amazing. One of the other things I loved about Sid's character was how self-aware she was. She knew she should say something and she knew she should stop making certain bad decisions. And sometimes she would listen to her inner voice. But most of the time, she was a young, scared girl trying to make sense of what happened to her. She just felt so real.
(No) reservations: This one got five stars from me on Goodreads.
Do I recommend?: That would be a resounding yes. I kind of babbled incessantly in my review here and I hope it made sense. I didn't want to reveal too much about Sid's journey but it's one you should definitely check out for yourself.