What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Summary: Sid’s life is going just fine until one terrible night. While at ski camp, she agrees to meet an older guy away from the chaperones and her friends. Sid is drugged, raped, and left without a memory of exactly what happened. Now she needs to figure out what happens next.
My thoughts: What Happens Next is most notable for the visceral reaction it evokes. Clayton is tackling a tough subject, and she does it such a way that leaves the reader feeling as if part of themself were experiencing the same thing Sid is. Readers will be heartbroken over Sid’s loss of self-confidence and struggle to recover from her rape. What Happens Next is definitely a tear-jerker, but in the best way possible.
Somehow—and I felt a little bit guilty about this, because the subject matter was so sensitive—I found myself enjoying the drama a little too much. But hey, technically that’s a good thing, right? Colleen Clayton’s writing style is compulsively readable, and the tension is so high in What Happens Next; it’s hard not to get caught up in the rollercoasterlike story.
My only quibble with What Happens Next was in the resolution of one of Sid’s major conflicts. I don’t want to get spoilery, so I won’t go into detail, however this is an issue that a boy can not cure you of with words. I was disappointed that Clayton took the easy way out with this singular issue. The other issues, however—like Sid’s inability to speak out, her loss of self-confidence, her tentativeness in a new relationship—were handled nicely.
If you’re fond of contemporary stories—especially ones that address issues in a tear-streaked, unfiltered way—then What Happens Next is a great choice. You won’t be able to stop turning the pages.
+ a mostly good depiction of “issues”
= What Happens Next, an unforgettable read.
For those who like: realistic fiction, issue books, romance
Find the author at colleenclayton.com.
Comment question: How do you feel about “heavier” books? Do you tend to avoid them, or do you like reading about “issues”?