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What Happens Next

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  4,069 ratings  ·  518 reviews
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—in
ebook, 300 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Poppy
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Rarely have I read a book about rape that was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking. What Happens Next will leave an impression in my heart for a long time. I feel like I went through this journey with Sid. Through her fears and worries from being a victim of an act that will forever leave a scar. I felt for her through every page. Every last one.

Even though the core of this book deals with rape and the mental as well as physical ramifications of it, the even bigger story here is getting through
Tough Critic Book Reviews
Do you trust me....

This book started out being one of thousands. A girl experiences a devastating life changing event. She suffers the effects by alienating her friends and becoming a shadow of her former self. A tragic story that portrays the harsh realities of high school. It was incredibly well written, but I kept thinking..."This has been done, what makes this book unique?"

Colleen Clayton answered my question by developing a story that invaded my thoughts, my emotions, and has me down on my
4.5 Stars

What Happens Next is a heartfelt and emotional story that felt real and honest. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous picking this up because of the subject matter, but I thought it was dealt with in tasteful and realistic way. I can’t believe this was Colleen Clayton’s debut novel, because the writing felt like it came from a pro. She had me entranced from the first pages.

Cassidy “Sid”Murphy is excited to go on her first school ski-trip with little supervision, imagining a moun
Sometimes... we all come across a book that speaks to us, maybe a bit too loudly. A book that strikes a forgotten (or well-ignored) nerve. What Happens Next has unnerved me. As a teenager, I had a lot in common with Sid Murphy. I know what it is like to be fourteen years old and have grown men hitting on you. To feel uncomfortable in your own body. And though I didn't experience what Sid goes through in this story, I have been almost assaulted (if mildly assaulted exists). And it sucks. So needl ...more
Colleen Clayton
Nov 07, 2014 Colleen Clayton added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was pretty terrific. Then again, I could be biased.
What Happens Next is one of those novels that, quite honestly, you feel guilty for saying anything bad about. It’s powerful, it’s moving, it’s thought-provoking…but it also has its flaws. While this wasn’t my favorite novel that tackled on the tough topic of rape – that honor is reserved for Kirsty Eagar’s Raw Blue, - it was a story which surprised me by its unique expression of this scarring event. If anything, I am left in gaping awe of Colleen Clayton’s talent for capturing the human soul wit ...more
Huntley Fitzpatrick
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT is an amazing story. You immediately connect with the narrator, Sid. What happens to her is heartbreaking, real and beautifully conveyed in slow pieces by the author. Sid has a heart of steel, a great family, and a terrible piece of history to get beyond. The way she does it, and her connection to her friends and her boyfriend, will leave you in tears. A great book.

”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.”

Body and soul go hand in hand. When we fall in love, our bodies glow and souls soar. When we hurt—when someone hurts us—our bodies and soul cry out in distress. As much as we would like to tuck the pain and anger away and ignore it--somehow, someway our bodies will not allow that. The truth always comes slamming back into full-color reality when you least expect it. Our hearts and minds re
What Happens Next is an interesting look into the side of life that I have not come across in any books that I have read. It follows the story of Cassidy 'Sid' Murphy and how she deals with an event that happens to her early on in the book. It was interesting to see how she dealt with the events of the ski trip and how she creates a fairytale story of what happened. At points I felt like shouting at her to tell but then I realised that she is doing what so many people do and that is keeping it q ...more
Zemira Warner
What Happens Next has been on my wishlist since January 2012. I knew I would enjoy the heck of it. And I knew I was right. I'm just not sure why I didn't read it the moment it was released.

I've mentioned this a couple of times- YA contemporary is my favorite genre. I never get tired of reading about real life situations and how different people deal with them. What Happens Next deals with two very hard to talk about topics-rape and bulimia.

A guy rapes Sid on her skiing trip she went with her f
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
What Happens Next is a poignant, raw, and intensely heartbreaking story. And sososo brutally honest, yet it still manages to bring the lulz and even coerced a smile out of me a time or two (or ten). I remember reading that synopsis for the first time and thinking to myself, This is going to be a sad book. But I am going to give it a chance because I just have this feeling that it's going to surprise me. And youknow what? It really, really did.

I've never been in Sid's situation; I've nev
I waited a lot to read this, since based on the first couple pages it seemed a quite happy and girly kind of read, despite the topic, and I'm not often in the mood for that. It has no logic, I know.
I should not have.

What makes this book a five star read for me: it is one of the best portrayals of the aftermath of rape I have ever read. It handles heavy topics, including but not exclusively rape, in a way that is serious, but not tragic or heavy-handed. These are hard things, but we get over them
It's been two days, and I'm still angry. For all the build up, why couldn't the entire book have been like the last five or so chapters? I felt like the resolution wasn't nearly enough for all the work Clayton put into building it. I have far, far too many questions.

Did Sid go get help for her eating disorder?
Did doucheface Dax/Tom Rapity-dude go to jail?
Did Corey get into the culinary institute?
Did they move to New York together?

Come on, Colleen, I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS! You can't give me
When I react to a character by speaking to her (yes, out loud and in my head), I know I've found a book with power and soul. Colleen Clayton brings to life Sid Murphy - a fighter you champion as she deals with this generation's timely issues - but takes you back to your own if you are of another. With a strength you admire (and a music playlist that truly rocks!), meet Sid Murphy. What Happens Next? That's a question I have for the author...when a debut novel packs this much authority, I can't w ...more
Rachele Alpine
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT as part of an interview I’ll do of Colleen and the book for The Lucky 13s Debut 2013 Author blog. I am so excited that I got to read this book now instead of waiting until October (but trust me, it’s worth the wait). It’s one of my favorite reads in a long time, and I read a lot as a high school English teacher. A real lot! I pretty much eat, sleep and breath YA literature. It takes a lot for a book not only to grab my attention but for me to ...more
YA Reads Book Reviews
Originally posted on, reviewed by Kiona.

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 i

It's not often that you come across a book that handles a subject like rape so well, but that is exactly what Colleen Clayton does with What Happens Next. She takes our main character, Sid, through this awful experience, and then she doesn't gloss it over, or make it easy. She makes Sid deal with it. As a result, we as readers get a beautiful novel about a girl who has suffered a tragedy and now has to figure out a simple question: what happens next?

Sid's journey felt very real to me. As someone

Read more of my reviews at Dazzling Reads

I love reading contemporary novels because they are a window to different realities. In this case, What Happens Next tells the story of Sid, a girl who is drugged and raped during the school's ski trip. Yet, she can barely remember a guy with caramel eyes and then... nothing, nothing but the knowledge that those caramel eyes took something from her on that horrible night.

What Happens Next is a novel about a very shocking subject, rape. But even though i
Rashika (is tired)
I’ve had this book since last year and I kept on putting it off because I kept on finding other books. I think I own an apology to this book.

Dear Book,
I am so sorry for putting you off, I will accept whatever punishment you have in store for me.
Lots of love,

Now that that’s done, I should probably talk about the book.

So I think you’ve figured out that I loved this book. The characters were great, the relationships were great, the plot was great. WHAT WASN’T GREAT?

This book is about a girl

No status nothing. I read this in one sitting and finished it at 4:25 am today. It was just that good. Heartfelt, emotional, beautifully written, fantastic character development and above all realistic. That is a killer combination for any book. I simply loved this.

Full review to come...
Miranda Kenneally
Just the kind of book I love to read.
Jenni Arndt
I loved this book. What Happens Next and I had an intense relationship for two days in which I couldn't stop reading it and when I was forced to put it down I would go about my day, think about the amazing characters and find myself with rogue tears falling from my eyes. Collen Clayton has weaved a story that is full of heart and unflinching in its brutal, uncomfortable honesty. I think it's safe to say that these characters are ones that I will be thinking about for a long time to come, and I w ...more
Read all my reviews at

4.5/5 Stars

Guys, I am not ashamed to admit that I like "issue" books. I know that many readers don't particularly care for them, I think many worry it will be just too much: too heavy, too depressing, too preachy. And I'm sure there are books out there fall under that category. What Happens Next does deal with some very dark, heavy issues. But it never felt once felt preachy, in fact, What Happens Next, really opened my eyes to the many differen

If the rest of the book had felt like the last four chapters did, this would have been a knock-out debut, rather than a book that didn't really stand above others tackling similar issues.

Sid is on a school-sponsored ski trip when she decides to go to a party by herself with a guy named Dax. He'd charmed her immediately, and she was taken with him because no guy at school had ever paid her any attention. She's insecure in who she is and what she looks like -- she has breasts and an ass and a
Traci Purdum
What Happens Next – sure it's the title, but it's also the mantra I found myself chanting throughout the book. I couldn't put this book down. Sid Murphy got into my head and I found myself back in the halls of high school, and I loved it. Colleen Clayton grabs the reader by the shirt collar and doesn't let go – she's quite possibly this generation's Judy Blume. Her young adult characters deal with heavy issues but come out swinging. A must read for teenagers and parents, it's a ride through pube ...more
Michelle Arrow
"It took losing something wonderful and amazing to see them. It took losing something that, once it's gone, you can never get it back. Peace. The irony of this stings me with a sorrow so painful that I have to bite into my fist to keep my heart from ripping in two."

After reading this book, I've come to realize that ratings aren't everything. Sure, I can give a book a 3 star rating, but really, it can also mean that it was powerful but it didn't live up to my expectations and hopes. That's the c
4.5 stars!

I have been wanting to read this book for months and I finally found a copy in my library after searching for so long! It was definitely worth the waiting.

This book literally made me feel every possible emotion in me, I was smiling at the jokes, crying at the emotional parts. This book really has found a place in my heart.

It was beautifully written. At first, I thought the beginning half of the book was quite slow, but then the second part picked up so much, and it was SO good. I reall

I've wanted to read What Happens Next for quite some time now. My yearning for the book amplified once I read the lovely reviews of Giselle at Xpresso Reads, Jenni at Alluring Reads and Rachel at The Reader's Den. These ladies had nothing but praise for this emotional book, so I knew I should read the book right away.

On a ski trip with her school, Sid meets Dax Windsor, a handsome and charming college student who seems to really like her. This is the first time anyone has expressed genuine inter
Andi (Andi's ABCs)
Confession time: When I read the description of What Happens Next my mind never connected the situation Sid got into on the ski trip with sexual assault. Honestly my mind went to some weird mystical thing because of the missing lock of hair. I have no idea why, but it did. And man was I wrong. There is nothing mystical about it. What Happens Next is real, very very real.

Like every girl at 16, Sid Murphy is anything but comfortable in her own skin. With an above average chest and curves she could
Zoe and the Edge
I haven't read a serious book for a while so this one sort of unnerved me. It's very well-written and I couldn't put it down. However, I'm not sure if the heavy subjects involved were resolved to satisfaction.

Cassidy has a heap of self-esteem issues. She's too curvy, her laugh is too loud, she's too tall, etc. She thinks she's guy repellant. I thought I knew where this story was going but then suddenly everything was happening and I was completely unprepared. I know that this book is labeled un
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  • Send Me a Sign
  • Live Through This
  • The Space Between Us
  • Burning Blue
  • Who I Kissed
  • Don't You Wish
  • Perfect Escape
  • Lovely, Dark and Deep
  • If I Lie
  • I Swear
  • Personal Effects
  • Breaking Beautiful
  • Torched
  • Counting Backwards
  • Out of Reach
  • Don't Breathe a Word
  • Speechless
  • Never Enough
Before she became a writer, Colleen was a social worker for teens in a residential treatment center. She holds an MFA from the NEOMFA and her Kirkus-starred young adult novel WHAT HAPPENS NEXT was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award. Her number one bucket list dream is to sip coffee on the Arctic tundra while enjoying the Northern Lights.
More about Colleen Clayton...

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“Then I look over at Corey, who is watching me with a tenderness that makes me want to crawl inside his heart, pitch a tent, and set up camp forever.” 37 likes
“You're beautiful, Sid,' he says, pushing my hair out of my face. 'And I never said it at first because it seemed so obvious to me, so easy. I didn't say it because I never wanted you to think the things I say to you are just things. Empty compliments to get in your pants. I wanted the things I say to you to be extraordinary, because that's what you are to me. Extraordinary. And I'm so sorry I didn't say it sooner, because I think you need to hear it. You were beautiful a year ago and you're beautiful now.” 36 likes
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