Release Date: October 9th 2012
Summary: Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...) and a straight-A student, with two of the best friends a girl could ask for.
When Sid finds herself on a ski lift with hunky local college guy Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled. "Come to a party with me," he tells her, but Dax isn't what he seems. He takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.
After the ski trip, Sid is an insomniac and an obsessive late-night runner, unable to relate to anyone.
Caught in a downward spiral, 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 only she could shake the nightmares, everything would be perfect...
Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton's debut is a stunning story of moving on after the unthinkable happens.
Review: This is the story of what happens when the horror becomes the reality. How do you move on afterwards? What happens next? It's a heartbreaking story that weaves multiple obstacles smoothly, cleanly, and beautifully.
In the beginning, Sid is the super bubbly and enthusiastic character. She has everything going for her, but then she goes and does something that's, quite frankly, pretty stupid. When I read the part of her becoming a bit obsessed with meeting up with an almost total stranger, I was just like, "Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it." But then she went and did it. Just because he was attractive and interested in her. Or so it seemed. And then the worst thing possible happens... and she can't remember any of it.
Getting in trouble and getting her friends in trouble is the least of her problems. People begin to think the worst of her, and this story really shows that nothing is ever what it seems. Confused, lost, and broken, Sid ignores her friends and breaks ties with them. She knows that she can just tell them the truth, but she can't bring herself to do it. Because to say it out loud would make it real.
Besides the horror that has become Sid's reality, she develops other problems because of the incident. She can't sleep, but can't just not do anything. So suddenly, she's started running. She runs everything off, her emotions, her weight, and her sanity. The thing is, her runs aren't just short runs. They're long, sometimes five-straight-hours-runs. It gets intense, she gets obsessed with this newfound idea of control, and there's another hitch in her life. This one is her choice though, but she refuses to believe that she could ever be that girl, and yet, she also doesn't know how to stop. Then there's the question: Does she even want to stop?
Enter Corey, the delinquent of the school, supposed pothead, and... suddenly sort of sweet and sort of cute guy. The relationship between Corey and Sid was adorable and gradually created. There were just the right amounts of initial dislike between them, little arguments, and growing interest. He helps makes things better for Sid, and it goes both ways. The best scenes in my opinion were the ones that took place at the bakery. I absolutely loved those!
Colleen Clayton develops every character perfectly, and I loved each and every single one of them, even Starsha, resident mean girl. The ending really crushed me, in both a good and a bad way. I really felt for Sid, but truthfully, despite everything, I wouldn't have wanted the ending to be any different.
I definitely plan on reading What Happens Next again at some point. Besides my annoyance at Sid's stupidity and recklessness in the beginning, her personality—her pain, her joy—bled through the pages straight to my head and my heart. This is a must read of what happens when your worst nightmare comes to life. It's a captivating book of what happens next.