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.
Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.
I’ve wanted to read What Happens Next ever since I discovered it on Goodreads. I am an emotional reader, that’s no secret, and it sounded like it would absolutely break me. What I got was a book that I, still, feel like I cannot put into words but I will try my best. It’s the exact definition of mixed feelings… but yet I gave it 4 stars? Let me explain…
I absolutely 100% loved the main character. Sid was such a wonderful character. I loved her voice, her emotions, her feelings, her sarcasm… I just loved her in general. She was such a well-developed, fleshed out character for a young adult novel. Her wit and dry humor was exactly what I like best in characters, and in life. She made me laugh so many times and on the other hand she also made me want to cry so many times. I actually really loved most of the characters in What Happens Next. Her mother, Katherine, was just such a great Mom. She was kind, strict and gave her all for her children. And Corey… I had a little crush on him from the moment he was introduced. He was presented as a stoner kid who screws around, has been to juvie and will amount to nothing but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. He was gentle, romantic and loved with his entire being.
Sid & Corey’s relationship was what made the book for me honestly. It was fascinating to experience this their romance. Sid held back so much but Corey was so gentle and soft with her. Ahhh.. I just loved their relationship so much.
Now… onto what I didn’t like. I didn’t feel like this was much of an issue book. I thought a lot of the tough topics were glazed over… the rape, her eating disorder(especially her eating disorder). The potential was there but I felt that this was a romance than a book about tough topics. Maybe I looked too deep, I don’t know, but I thought they would have been touched on a bit more. I think I disliked it so much because her eating disorder, which I thought, was spirally out of control all of a sudden came to a halt. I felt like it was made to seem easy to get over something like that, when in fact it’s a daily and sometimes lifelong battle for those who struggle.
That being said, the ending was phenomenal. My heart was in my throat in the final chapter… I was literally aching for Sid and for Corey. It was definitely an emotional read, but more so at the very end. I also have to say that Colleen Clayton’s writing is remarkable. I could hear Sid’s voice clearly. She perfected a teenage voice, without overdoing it.
I would definitely recommend What Happens Next. It’s a great read with great characters.