Published October 9th, 2012
How can you talk about something you can’t remember?A heart breaking, eye opening story about love, loss and growing up, What Happens Next was a book that had me biting my nails with worry and wonder. We have the pleasure of getting to know some great characters, and watching them grow and evolve throughout the course of the story. Everything takes place after one tragic night on a ski trip, on which a teen girl named Sid is drugged and sexually assaulted by a villainous older man who lures her into his cabin. Though she doesn't remember the filmy details of the events that occurred that night, her soul is still crushed with grief. This is the story of after, of everything that Sid must go through.
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.
Sid was your average, overly insecure teenage girl before the ski trip. After, she has been transformed into a depressive girl with many internal struggles. She has issues dealing with what happened to her, choosing not to tell anyone for fear of being a burden and causing difficulties. Before she was annoyed by her large voluptuous curves and her curly red hair, after she desperately tries to change herself. Bulimia ia a new-found coping mechanism for herself, no matter how hard she tries to deny a relationship with this monstrous eating disorder.
Sid had a serious lack of self confidence and awareness, thinking she was useless and good for nothing. At times I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense into her, yell at her that she was beautiful and wanted and loved by so many people. Her rapid weight loss and the techniques she used to get there worried me, though I understand why she did it. Older men had always eyed her womanly body, and she wanted to lose weight and become invisible to anyone that could hurt her, especially after her rapist had cut off a lock of her red curls as a token of his time with her.
Another character we had the pleasure of getting to know is Corey, a rumored stoner bad boy that Sid ends up sharing a school period with. At first she was very wary of him, as she was of everyone for a good deal of time after the ski trip. However bad his reputation may have been, this boy was a total sweetheart. He worked at a local bakery in secret, not something most teen guys would be willing to do to pull in some extra cash for their family. He had an uncanny ability to sense Sid's emotions, knowing much more about her than he let on. The romance the blossomed between them was slow and natural, and I actually found myself a bit jealous. Sid, give up the man candy, this is my kind of guy!
Watching Sid struggle so much had my heart aching something fierce, so I was so thankful for a sweet, slow-moving romance that was believable to help fill in the cracks. Though I bawled my eyes out, my heart was also warmed by the end of the book. What Happens Next is an intricately weaved story that shook me to my core.