What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Description: Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader, 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 alienated by her 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.
Humorous and thoughtful, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a moving exploration of one girl’s triumph over tragedy.
Review: i didn't know this was a 'book about rape.' i'm gonna be honest, if i'd have known it was about rape, i wouldn't have picked this up, despite the nice cover and the interesting synopsis. (i even read the description, and i just thought this dax character made sid more outgoing and brave.) i don't like speaking about rape because it's a really delicate topic, and i feel like since i am someone with no experience of rape, i have no right to talk about it. kinda like how white people can't write about racism. i just, i feel like it's out of my grasp, and i have no jurisdiction writing about this. but it was a really spectacular book, especially coming from a debut author.
what happens next tells the tale of sid murphy. the book opens with sid and her two best friends, paige and kirsten, at a ski resort. sid meets a guy who thinks she interesting and attractive, and this is completely opposite of how the boys at her high school find her. she winds up sneaking away from the group and staying with this man, dax. the next morning she wakes up, in a shitload of trouble, alone in dax's apartment, with a wetness between her legs that indicated she was raped.
this entire book was the most realistic thing i have ever read. like i said before, i don't know anyone who was raped, but this is how i picture the story would play out. the characters were so raw and real, and i felt like i was watching this played out before me, in form of a production or something. sid's family life, her friend's family life, her high school, the high school interactions; it was all so real. maybe i fell in love with these characters so much because the last book i read, i despised the m.cs.
let's take sid, for instance. sid is this big, obnoxious and loud junior who is cheerleads and takes a.p classes. she shits on her friends lives and hates the boys that go to her high school. she is extremely self-conscious, being that she's larger than most girls her age. not even her stomach, but her breasts and ass. it was infuriating how this girl couldn't embrace her body, and love herself for who she was at the beginning of the novel, but it just went along with sid's demeanor. the isolation, the fearfulness, everything she did was something i expected of a character who has gone through a recent trauma. i really liked how she started running. i have this weird bond with characters who run. i have no idea why, since i'm the human equivalent of a sloth, but i relate to characters who run for the sole purpose of running from something, from escaping their terrible past.
then there was corey. ugh corey, my brokenhearted little stoner. sid meets corey when she drops her computer science class and instead takes a.v. she bonds with corey, and visits him at work, and eventually falls in love with him. what is it with misunderstood boys who smoke weed and drive trucks? i fall in love with them. it's a true problem, and i'm seeking help, but i always adore them. corey was so nice and gentle with sid, i can't. he almost made me believe that a man could be that understanding and loving of a woman. almost. i'm not that naive. (i'm joking, boys are great, h a h a) and it was so wonderful how he treated her mother and brother, like he was the electrician and would help them around the house. the scene where he hangs up the pinata for sid's little brother is so adorable.
and, wait for it, this is the first young adult book where i don't hate the parents and the best friends?? (maybe it's not, i always forget about the books i review, hence why i have this website) sid's mother, katherine, was not a pushy, annoying single mother, which was a huge reliever. i thought she was going to try and push it out of sid, and badger her about it, but no. surprisingly, she acted like any mother would. she trusted her daughter when her daughter said that nothing happened, that she was fine, and there were no angsty, running-away-from-home, i-hate-you-mom, scenes with katherine and sid. and the kirsten and paige? they were perfect supporting characters. you know those characters that just exist to assist the main character, and pretty much have no life besides being the main character's best friend? not these two. they have their own lives, and likes, and interests, and they did not revolve around sid, which was lovely. they weren't annoying or harpers. they fought with sid for about 100 pages, but wouldn't you hate someone who ditched you on a winter trip and then got you suspended?
i'm 98.3% sure that i have never read a young adult fiction novel where the main character is sex positive, and enjoys her body, and is proud of herself, and doesn't seek to change her ways. it's weird, i feel like this should have been done plenty of times, but i don't think i've ever picked it up. maybe it had a crappy cover or something? i dunno, but please point me in the direction of something along these lines.
overall, what happens next is a realistic telling of rape, forgiveness, and moving past tragedy.
also, i will absolutely pick up anything else this author writes so long as i live.
"i don't know how it happens. it just does. i search and search for clues to tell me what happened, where he is, who else he has done this to. i find nothing but inner sickness. i get so torn up and panic-stricken that i have to slam my laptop shut and taise my window, stick my head out into the cold night, and try not to scream. i don't know what to do with it, this lack of peace, this need to know. i want it to go away, but it won't.every night it comes back.every night i am searching."what happens next//colleen clayton