Skip to main content

What Happens Next

What Happens Next is a YA contemporary fiction debut by Colleen Clayton.

A gorgeously written and moving novel, a quick synopsis is thus:

Cassidy “Sid” Murphy, with her fiery red curly hair and rounded figure has always stood out in a crowd – meaning teasing and embarrassment. But with her cheerleading and good grades, she gets by – especially with two best friends that she loves hanging out with.

When she goes on ski trip with her friends, a hot college guy named Dax Windsor seems amazed by the hair that she often can’t stand and doesn’t seem to mind the figure that hasn’t attracted any other boy at school – and as much as she hates to admit it, she’s flattered. And when he asks her to ditch her curfew and come to a party - she does.

But Dax isn’t who he says he is. When she wakes up with her head throbbing and a numbness coursing through her body, she’s confused. As it wears off she notices the pain, the blood, the fact that her sweater is inside out, and that a lock of her hair is missing…

It’s horrifying, unsettling, and changes something deep inside her. She can’t seem to get the words out to tell anyone. The fact that she met him, that she fell for his ridiculous act… she can’t get over it. And when she returns home, Sid’s an insomniac – runs late into the night, brushes off her friends, and just can’t seem to function normally anymore.

When Sid drops her college prep classes and replaces it with A/V she finds herself in contact with Corey Livingston – a guy that she, and everyone else, has figured is a heavy stoner and nothing much else. But as she gets to know him she finds that there’s much more to him – and while she’s with him the nightmarish stupor she’s in vanishes to something closer to happiness.

If only her body would stop being her enemy, sleep stop being frightening, and her life stop crumbling around her…

What Happens Next was heartbreakingly beautiful. Right off the bat I’ll say that this is perfect for readers of Sarah Dessen, Sara Zarr, and the like.

Colleen Clayton so perfectly shows us how a horrific incident changes Sid and allows us to see the logic behind each damaging decision she makes – you can see how it would make sense to Sid, and that’s important as you watch a downward spiral. We witness the extraordinarily bleak, painful, but at times, inspiring results.

Broken friendships, hidden agony, slow but profound healing – my heart was being tugged along at every step in the superbly penned journey. What Happens Next is meaningful, touching, and gripping – I was behind Sid always.

And like life, even in the darkest moments there were times that What Happens Next was funny and charming – while still having that underlying tone of despondency and anxiety. I ached for Sid to tell someone, to stop carrying the burden alone.

What Happens Next is stunning, heartfelt, and extremely powerful. It built up to a strong end that stayed with me. You need to read this!

*I received a review copy of What Happens Next from Hachette Book Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.

Again.

When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Titanic: S.O.S.

S.O.S. is the third and final book in Gordon Korman's middle-grade Titanic trilogy.

This is the third book in a trilogy, book addicts! You must, I repeat, must read the first two books (Unsinkable and Collision Course) before you read this review. Otherwise you are just going to ruin all the twists! Sure, we know the Titanic sinks - but the surprises that are revealed about our characters, among other things, should not be spoiled!

But all of you that have read the first two books (which I hope are many of you, because this a great series), can rest assured that I won't spoil anything from S.O.S. itself - just a basic recap and my opinion.

Here goes:

The Titanic is sinking. No one wants to believe it, but the bow is almost imperceptibly starting to dip into the freezing Atlantic Ocean - and our four main characters are thrown into a race for survival.

Paddy is locked up below deck, having finally been caught as a stowaway. In one cell over are the very criminals that wish him dead…

Gardenia

Why hello there, loyal readers!

It's been a long, long time since I last wrote about a new novel - or wrote much of anything original. Life has definitely changed for me in many ways, changing how and where I devote my time.

But... whaddya know? I managed to finally finish a book!

Gardenia is a YA genre mash of murder mystery with a dash of sci-fi/fantasy, written by author Kelsey Sutton.

When Ivy's best friend died, it wasn't a surprise to her.

Because, ever since she was little, Ivy has seen the numbers over everyone's heads. Their countdown, if you will.

But she didn't know the cause of her best friend's death would be... murder.

Labled as a bit of an outcast, due to her odd behavior and reaction to Vanessa's death, Ivy finds herself more alone than ever as she is determined to find her friend's killer.

And she doesn't have much time, herself... as she's known her whole life.

Now, she realizes, it may be that she may give up her life to catch…