Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

Title: What Happens Next
Author: Colleen Clayton
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: October 9th, 2012
Pages: 320 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

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.

One bad decision should not define who you are for the rest of your life. Sid learns this the hard way, when she betrays her friends' wishes and sneaks off one night to meet a boy she'd just met.  It just took one night to turn her world upside down.  She lost respect, her position as a cheerleader, and most importantly, the person she used to be.  With the help of an unlikely new friend, Sid learns how to take control of her life, once and for all.

When I first began reading, I knew that the story was going to leave me with a mixture of emotions, but what I got out of this book is what makes it one of my favorites of this year.  The author takes an innocent, fun-loving and entirely too trusting girl, puts her in a harmful situation that takes away the best of her, and leaves her to fend for herself.  I couldn't help but feel for Sid, as though I was experiencing everything with her, which made this reading experience a complete rollercoaster.

There are people who come into your life at a certain time for a reason, and Corey is one of those people.  Without him, who knows if Sid would have ever been able to conquer the demons that Dax Windsor left her with.  The bond that grows between them warmed my heart, and this character is there to remind you that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

What Happens Next was a perfect start for Colleen Clayton in her writing career.  The characters were completely realistic, as were their problems.  The writing is what made this story worthwhile, though.  I knew that just from reading the first few chapters.  Don't let the heavy issues stop you from discovering this truly beautiful story.


  1. This one looks SO fantastic, and I wish I'd have picked it up already. It's on my holiday wish list so I'm hoping to get it. And I definitely agree with you on one bad decision not defining the rest of your life. Fantastic review. :D

  2. I loved this book. It's definitely emotional, but the writing is so beautiful and the story such a realistic portrayal that it overshadowed the sadness for me. Great review!

    1. Agreed, I already know I'll be rereading this one in the future just because of Colleen's writing style. :)

  3. I haven't actually read much about this book. All I really knew was that it was a contemp YA read and that was good enough for me. I actually know kind of what it's about thanks to your review. Thanks!