REVIEW: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

Life was pretty busy last week what with my parents’ sudden decision to book a trip to Singapore later this May. I spent most of my time planning for the trip without really noticing days passing by! I apologize for not updating you on SAAM week #4, but I’ll be publishing not one, but two blog posts tonight. I hope we’re equal now. *wink wink*

If you’re new here, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, or SAAM in short. During the first week, I blogged about the basics of SAAM and offered a list of books you may read to join the cause.

On the second week, I reviewed  Living Dead Girland Faking Normal for the third week. The plan was to review What Happens Next for the fourth week, but for reasons stated above, I failed to do so.



Publication Date: October 9th 2012 by Poppy (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Abuse
Number of Pages: 310 pages
My Rating: ★★★★✩

Amazon // Book Depository // iBooks


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 don’t want to go into details because I might spoil the beauty and wonder that is this book, so this will probably be a short review. I’m sure I can’t do this book any justice, but I’ll try anyway.

What I really like about What Happens Next is, although heartbreaking and triggering (I MEAN, REALLY!!!), is how much I learned from it and how the author handled two very serious issues: rape and eating disorders.

My peace, my virginity, my friends, cheerleading, and now my pride; he’s taken it all.

It’s an eye-opener, really, especially for people who still support rape culture and are adamant that depression and eating disorders are real and shouldn’t be made fun of.

“Why didn’t you tell us sooner?”

“What were you wearing?”

“Did you try to tell him ‘no'”?

“You shouldn’t have come with him in the first place.”

“You’re bulimic? But you don’t look like it.”

“Just eat.”

“Does throwing up help? I don’t think so. EAT. YOUR. FOOD.”

I thought this book was fantastic and effortlessly made its way into my heart. There were moments when I had to pause and hug the book (true story), then highlight some lines (hey, don’t judge) and take photos of them because they’re just too beautiful. Again, I don’t want to go into details, but you have no idea how happy this book made my heart feel. It was sad, of course, but it was also inspiring and uplifting. I think that’s what victims survivors really need.

Authors who make me want more are my favourite authors.

I also love ALL the characters! They were there to make the story happen and without them it just wouldn’t be the same. Sid’s got both the best family and friends, and unfortunately a bad history. I think it was really nice to read a book with characters so realistic such as this one, it was very refreshing.

I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I thought the beginning chapters were dragging; I believe the ending needed to be longer. I NEEDED MORE.

Also, Corey is swoon-worthy 24/7. Just putting it out there.

P.S. I enjoyed the constant Beatles references throughout the book, being born with a die-hard Beatle dad myself. ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was my favourite as well during my younger years, now I’m undecided. You simply cannot name a favourite Beatle song, can you?

The author has a really good taste in music, oh god. She mentioned Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, and more in this book. We could really get along.



2 thoughts on “REVIEW: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

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