Book Review–What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

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This is the 32nd book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

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What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Published October 9th 2012 by 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.

 

 

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This book had me hooked almost from page one. It reminds me a lot of Speak, but at the same time is very different. I loved the main character, Sid. She was far from perfect but was really easy to connect to. I ached alongside her and felt my heart warm when good things happened to her. She’s also got a lot of Irish in her, which I can also relate to as my great-grandparents immigrated from Ireland and we still observe several of the traditions.

The topic is handled well throughout the book though I’m undecided on whether or not I like how the secret gets told. It seemed a bit rushed toward the end.

I also really enjoyed the side characters–Sid’s mom, little brother, friends, and lovable dog, Ronan. The love interest won my heart over, though in a lot of ways he’s kind of too perfect. Too understanding. Or maybe guys like this are just extremely rare?

Anyway, the romance melted my heart. The story was good enough without the romance, but very hard to put down once it was added to the story. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I’ve had trouble putting down.

Is the book perfect? No. But when I encounter books with great characters, emotion that grabs my heart, an interesting story, a swoon-worthy romance, and good writing, it’s hard to pick out the flaws. Definitely looking into seeing if Colleen Clayton has any other books. If not, she should. And I’d really, really love to hear more about Sid, Corey, and the rest of the characters. Definitely recommend!

 

 

 

5stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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