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Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Surviving High School
by Colleen Clayton

Hardback: 320 Pages
Publication: October 9, 2012 by Poppy
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Indie Bound

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.

Sid is a cheerleader, but she isn’t exactly popular. So when Dax, a college guy, takes an interest in her during a school ski trip, Sid sneaks out to meet him alone. Unfortunately, the only thing she remembers is talking with him in his kitchen before waking up alone on the bed. It’s clear to Sid that she got drugged and raped. But she can’t tell anyone, so she signs up for A/V, where she spends an entire period with only Corey Livingston, who slowly becomes Sid’s only true friend.

Sid paid dearly for the mistake of trusting the wrong person. She blames herself for being stupid and feels she deserves what happened. It does not matter how hard she tries, she just can’t actually talk about it with anyone, including her mom. Sid doesn't really know how to handle it, so she withdraws from her surroundings. Nevertheless, Sid is a survivor, and she does not give up. I love her courage.

Corey is thoughtful and caring. He is always there to support Sid, even though he has his own family troubles and problems. He knows Sid is broken, and he is there for her when she cannot rely on anyone else. Corey gives Sid hope.

What Happens Next captivates me from the beginning to end. The whole book is about learning how to trust again. It is good to see how Sid is able to eventually become happy with herself again after going through something so horrible. The author does a fantastic job conveying the emotion of what a victim goes through.

A copy was provided by the publisher for review.

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