Thursday, November 01, 2012

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

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What Happens Next
Colleen Clayton
Publication date: October 9th 2012
by Poppy


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.

*A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group Canada for review purposes*

Rarely have I read a book about rape that was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking. What Happens Next will leave an impression in my heart for a long time. I feel like I went through this journey with Sid. Through her fears and worries from being a victim of an act that will forever leave a scar. I felt for her through every page. Every last one.

Even though the core of this book deals with rape and the mental as well as physical ramifications of it, the even bigger story here is getting through it. Not accepting it, as that never happens, nor forgetting it, which is impossible, but understanding that it does not define who you are, and as hard as it may sound, you will learn to move on. Sid gets thrown into this deep abyss, herself, and I genuinely admired her every step of the way; from the good choices to the bad, she really shows us how strong a person can be, even when they’re completely falling apart.

Family, friendship, and love are the main themes of this novel. Luckily, Sid has a fantastic support system that, even though they aren’t aware, are the reason she’s staying afloat. From the new guy she’s met, to her adorable little brother, to even the neighbor’s–freakishly large–dog, these are the types of supporting characters that make an already great book into an exceptional read filled with emotional depth. Corey, especially, is a character that I wish we would see more of in YA literature. Too often we have love interests with revolting personalities that we’re supposed to swoon over. Finally, we have an honest to goodness fantastic guy who is worth all of our times. Corey is caring, kind, loving, and I want every teenage girl to read this if only for them to know that THIS is what they should be pining for. He is the perfect love interest. And not because of him being perfect, as he’s not; he’s realistically flawed with his own secrets, his own family troubles, and plenty of insecurities. His personality is what makes him beautiful, inside and out. And with every shy moment, with every shared laugh, with every hesitant touch, we watch them fall in love. In the best way teenage love could be written, Colleen makes us fall in love with them!

What Happens Next is not an easy novel to read. It deals with very serious, very hard issues that can easily take over someone’s body, soul, and mind. But in the end, this is not about the negatives of such a trauma, but rather about learning to trust again; it’s about finding solace in your friends and family; it’s about finding love in the most unexpected of times. For anyone who has been a victim of assault, I hope that this book finds you. I hope that it gives you the strength to see that this broken road, it may just lead you to something worth fighting for.

5 Smokin’ Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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28 Responses to “Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton”

  1. Paranormal Book Fan

    Great review Giselle. While I don’t read many contemporary books, this is one that I hope to get to. I’ve read so many great reviews about it. And while it deals with such a horrific ordeal, it does seem to have a fairly positive tone.

  2. Sam

    Like Suzanne, I don’t read very many contemporary books, but I have been recently having good luck with them. Maybe this is another one I can slip in? I was convinced when I saw your 5 stars on Goodreads yesterday. 🙂 AMAZING review!

  3. Aylee

    Oh, absolutely beautiful review, Giselle! I completely agree. I really loved how the issues in the book were handled. Also, COREY! He was such a refreshing love interest compared to most, you’re right. I also really loved Sid. I was kind of surprised how much I loved this one as it is not my usual fare, but I really did! I must read more books like this.

  4. Kathy Ann Coleman

    I enjoy a good contemporary novel and this sounds like my kind of book. I’m not afraid to read about difficult issues if they are handled well, as it seems they are here. Also, any time I hear people praising up an LI rather then slamming him I tend to take notice. One for the wishlist. 🙂

  5. Amy

    This sounds like a fantastic book. I really have a thing for deep issue books that make you really feel the character. Corey sounds like a great character too. I have been seeing such amazing reviews for this book. Great review chick!!

  6. Rebecca

    I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I first heard about it and you make me want to read it even more. What Happens Next sounds like a heartbreaking novel but the kind of story that must be told and heard, especially for those who have gone through something similar to Sid. And oh my, Corey sounds lovely. I feel all happy just thinking about their blooming, sweet love.

    His personality is what makes him beautiful, inside and out. And with every shy moment, with every shared laugh, with every hesitant touch, we watch them fall in love. In the best way teenage love could be written, Colleen makes us fall in love with them! – Aww! I can’t wait to start swooning. It sounds like such a sweet, delicate and heartfelt romance.

    Giselle, you know how much I LOVE your reviews but this one especially. I think this might be my favourite of yours yet and that’s saying something because I love you and your reviews. Thanks for sharing! ♥

  7. Jenn Renee

    Awesome review. I can’t wait to read this book. I should be gettign it in the mail soon and I am ready. I have been wanting to read this book for a very long time and so glad to see such a great review for it. Tough issues but a good read is love for me.

  8. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    Corey sounds like the ultimate perfect boy. I’m so glad that they still exist in the book world! Since most of the swoonworthy boys now are only hot when they beat up their girlfriend.

    I’m glad that this book handles this serious issue in a very good way. That it also shows that you can survive, despite how hard it is.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful review. I’m definitely going to take a look at this book.

  9. Alexa

    I really want to read this book now. As always, I trust your opinion, and you make this sound FANTASTIC. Though it’s quite a sensitive topic, it sounds like it was handled well in this novel. I love how it sounds so hopeful.

  10. Ash @ Paranormal Indulgence

    I mean, everybody loves this book. And I love that people are loving it. Because, for once, the hype doesn’t scare me and is actually sucking me in. And after a review like this? Cheese and rice, Giselle, what do you expect me to do after THIS?

  11. Kara_Malinczak

    I need to read this book. I hear it is amazing and a lot of bloggers are raving about it. I don’t usually like to read books about the tough stuff, but this is one I think I might have to make an exception for. It sounds like it is worth it. Great review, G.

  12. Jesse Burgoyne

    Great review! I’m really looking forward to reading this one. It sounds like it could be sad or depressing, but will ultimately leave a positive impression on me. I’m usually pretty picky when it comes to contemporary books, but this one sounds fantastic!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

  13. Soma Rostam

    I didn’t know that this book was about the idea of rape.
    I have read a book or two about it and they always fascinate me. But what I have read about this subject, always deals with the trauma and the fact that the person can never move on and never be the same again.
    Just like you, I know that the person will never be the same, it’s not something that you can forget. And it is a specially interesting topic in my country. Since old-fashioned Iraqi people can even “kill” their own daughter from shame when they know that she has been raped.
    I would LOVE to read this book. And GREAT review, Giselle, as always.
    Your constant reader,

  14. Christina

    Okay, after Jenni’s review and now yours I want this SO HARD. I stopped reading after the first paragraph because I want to keep my mind clear, since I know I have to read it. Beautiful AND heartbreaking? COME TO ME MY PRETTY!

  15. Aman

    I love when books have a positive message in it, and I think I’m going to love this one. It’s so emotionally hard to read this kind of book, and it scares me, but of-course I’ll read it..someday. Nicely said, Giselle 🙂

  16. Jasprit

    This is such a beautiful review Giselle, despite the tough subject matter I really can’t wait to read this book. After reading several five star reviews of this book it sounds like the author did a fantastic job! 🙂

  17. Chel

    Awesome! I’ve been seeing this one around lately. So many mixed reviews but I’m glad you liked this, Giselle. Though I don’t normally read books that deal with rape, I’ve been really interested on this one for a long time now. Thanks for the review!

  18. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    Wow, beautiful review, Giselle! I think your review might have done it justice. Sid sounds like a fantastic character, and I’m glad that Colleen was able to create her as a raw, real character. And the love interest! I cannot wait to read about him, he may just stand out in the YA crowd! Awesome review, Giselle, I’m so glad you loved this one!

  19. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    Sounds extremely emotional. I was intrigued with the synopsis but actually unsure exactly what this was about until I started reading reviews. It is a very difficult subject to read about but I am happy to hear there is a lot of support and a love interest worth my time. So many in books these days are really not. Will probably give this a try sometime. Great review!

  20. Michelle

    Love your review!! I’ve been looking forward to reading this book if I can ever get to it…. my pile of books is overwhelming right now, but after your review I know I’ll like it!! 🙂