Sunday, January 6, 2013

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton - Review

What Happens Next
by Colleen Clayton
October 9, 2012
Poppy (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)

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.

My Review:
From reading the blurb of this book, I really didn't realize what happened to Sid. Call me slow or whatever, but I simply didn't make the connection. During the first chapters of this book, I was enjoying it but wasn't really invested yet. Then suddenly, bam. I was hooked. For some readers, this is a controversial event that may make you not want to read this book, but Colleen Clayton handles it delicately and with no actual details of what happened. This is simply about Sid "before" and Sid "after."

What Happens Next portrays very powerful emotions, and Sid is a character who tugs at your heart and makes you empathize with her. This may be centered around an event that people don't like to read about and don't want to think about, but unfortunately, it does happen. This is the story of how someone goes on with their life when everything suddenly changes. What do you do when the people you thought were your friends aren't there for you but someone you didn't expect is? What do you do when your entire life changes in an instant? Don't be turned away by the controversial event that this book is based on because it would really be a shame if you didn't read this.

An advance copy of this book was provided by the author and the publisher for review.

About the author:
Colleen Clayton grew up in a small, suburban town just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Kent State University, she worked as a social worker in residential treatment centers for troubled teens and as Program Supervisor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley. She currently lives in Ohio with her family and recently received her MFA in fiction writing from the Northeast Ohio Consortium (NEOMFA). She teaches fiction writing and composition at Youngstown State University.

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