Carrie Ardoin's Reviews > What Happens Next

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
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's review
Oct 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: arc-tour, contemporary
Read from October 18 to 23, 2012

Sid Murphy is s high school cheerleader, but not THAT kind. She's the one that's a little curvier than the others, and holding up the bottom on the pyramid. She's connected at the hip to her two best friends, Kirsten and Paige, and when the girls go on a class ski trip they plan on having loads of fun.

But then Sid is dazzled by a handsome older guy named Dax, and against her better judgment she goes to his house...and the rest of the night is a blur. But Sid knows the awful truth of what happened to her; she just can't bear to share it with anyone else. When she has effectively shut herself off from everyone in her life, in comes Corey Livingston--alleged stoner and no one Sid would have been hanging around with. But with her life torn upside down, she doesn't have much choice in who she finds comfort in. Can Corey help Sid out of the downward spiral that has become her life?

I knew going in what kind of book this would be, and it's not anything I would usually read, but I did anyway. I'm not entirely pleased with the way everything turned out, but hey, this world's not perfect.

Sid, from the beginning, was self-deprecating and annoyed me a little. She always describes herself as having a "huge ass" and is ashamed of her DD's, and even uses the word "fat." Now, as a plus-sized girl myself, I was thinking, "Mmmmm she can't be too fat if she made it onto the cheer squad." In my head, I imagined Sid as a size 10 or 12--very far from being fat. As I had DD's myself when I was in high school, I always imagined them as my best feature. But of course, not everyone responds to situations in the same way. The point I'm trying to get across is that I always felt Sid was being very melodramatic about her body.

After the rape (the word "rape" was barely used in the book), Sid becomes an entirely different person. Among the self-destructive behaviors she adopts are excessive exercising, shutting out her friends and family, and an eating disorder. Now I'm not saying any of the things she did were nonsensical. Every girl deals with horrific trauma in her own way. But throughout the entire book I was just screaming, "God, Sid, PLEASE just tell SOMEBODY." I have dealt with these emotions and I'm here to say from experience that keeping them inside does no good to anyone.

One thing I loved about this book is the way Corey and Sid's relationship developed. First off, Corey is very different from the traditional sexy YA boys...he's tall but nowhere near lean, not muscular, not fat. He's not hot in any conventional sense. But the way he's there for Sid in just the way she needs him, and never ever presses her about her issues, makes him attractive. It's several months before the two really go out in public together, and the relationship develops sweetly from there.

I was a bit disappointed that the book only really let Sid's story unfold to others during the last pages. But then again, I don't think that the story was about the act itself. Watching Sid deal with the aftermath was so sad, and made me feel for every girl that has had to suffer in silence.

I hope any girl who reads this book learns that you need to reach out to someone, anyone you trust for help.
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10/18/2012 page 58

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