Title: What Happens Next
Author: Colleen Clayton
Publication date: October 9th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary, Debut
For a book to physically pain me, is nearly impossible. I don't know how Colleen Clayton managed to do that, but she did. While reading "What Happens Next", there were moments where I felt pain right in the middle of my heart, but there were also parts where I felt like my own body was feeling the pain. To read about such a sensitive topic as this, was hard. I've had a very close friend who experienced something like this, and I know it's also happened to so many girls out there. For me, I honestly enjoy reading realistic fiction, because it gets you to read about tough, life situations. Even though it was a bit painful to read about this book considering many girls went through the exact same thing, I'm still glad I did. What Happens Next made me learn things that I never actually knew, and it did open my eyes to a lot of things.
The main protagonist, Cassidy, also known as Sid, goes to a Ski trip with her school. Sid has always been a normal teenager. A straight A-student, a member of the cheerleading squad, and having her two best friends. Sid also always felt a bit unconfident about her looks. Thinking that just because she's got those extra curves, or those extra pounds, and that flashing red hair, that she's ugly and no boy would ever be interested in her. Therefore, in her Ski trip, she meets one handsome guy who actually seems to have an interest in her! The problem is that, Sid doesn't mind that he's a "few" years older, and when he invites her to a so-called party, she actually sneaks out and meets up with him. I was literally smacking my ipad screaming "NO NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU CRAY CRAY?" That's like the first rule our parents teach us. NEVER go ANYWHERE with strangers! I just kept thinking, is she stupid? or is she that naive to actually just go to an address some stranger wrote for you on a paper? Anyhow, the damage is done, and things just get nasty.
After the incident, Sid really just broke my heart. Her situation was crazy. She lots her friends, and her social life practically got flushed down the toilet. Except for some students who thought her sneak out was cool. When Sid decides to help in the A/V room, she meets Corey, who is also known as "The Living Stoner" at her school. One thing that was weird, was that he wasn't hot!! Not like one of those dreamy bad boys we always read about in YA novels. I'm not sure if the fangirl in me really enjoyed that, but it was a different taste! I also liked how Corey really helped Sid through the difficulties she was facing, and boy, were those some difficulties. Like I said, Sid BROKE MY HEART! She was going through so much pain, and to keep that all inside, I know it must have torn her apart. She did crazy things, and was mentally and physically affected by what happened. I just wanted to kill her (again) for not confiding in anyone about what happened! Anyhow, I really loved the ending, and was really glad that things were starting to get better and better for her. It really pains me to know that girls are suffering from what Sid also suffered, and I really just want all of them to never give up, and not let what happened eat up all of their future and their dreams. I truly recommend What Happens Next to every young adult reader, especially the girls out there.