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What Happens Next

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,847 ratings  ·  668 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
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Poppy (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
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Colleen Clayton Aw, I just saw this, Abby. :( Sorry for the late response. I have written several other books since then (not sequels, but new stories altogether) but…moreAw, I just saw this, Abby. :( Sorry for the late response. I have written several other books since then (not sequels, but new stories altogether) but unfortunately they have not been published yet. But I'm working on it. It's a tough business, publishing, but I don't give up easily so stay hopeful that I will get another book out someday. Wish me luck! Xoxo and thanks for the nice comments. Colleen(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  5,847 ratings  ·  668 reviews

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Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own
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
Colleen Clayton
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was pretty terrific. Then again, I could be biased.
Tough Critic Book Reviews
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
It’s really difficult for me to write a proper review on a book I’ve loved so much. I found myself at a loss for the words, drowning among emotions and thoughts. Though I'm sure I can’t do this amazing book any justice, I’ll try to write my thoughts.

What Happens Next is one of those books that lingers long after you turned the last page. I’ve read several books about rape, but it’s the first one dealing with date rape drugs. Sid couldn’t remember what happened that night. She remembers school sk
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, galley-arc
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
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing

”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
Huntley Fitzpatrick
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
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 you know what?  It really, really did.

I've never been in Sid's situation; I'
Irina Elena
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
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
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
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
This book. I had all the feels.
Sid was so real, it hurt. Especially how she tried to tell herself a different story and the struggle she went through with her body and control. I totally got why she didn't tell anyone, she didn't want it to be real.

Corey was the sweetest boy I've read in a while. I want him to be real! You'll swoon over him too. Great family relationships and friendships. For a book about the aftermath of rape, it sure has a lot of good feels. Highly recommended.

This was a clean
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reread for the gazillionth time.
No matter how many YA novels I read I always come back to this one. It's just so real and the story is just so beautiful that I'm always emotional by the time I get to the ending no matter how many times I read this.
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

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.

Emily (Obsessed Reader)
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I felt so connected to the characters, and in sad now that I have to live without them. Video review coming on my channel soon!
YA Reads Book Reviews
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kiona
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
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
Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt)
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: over-5-stars

Oh, man. This is the first book I have read from Colleen and I know that it will NOT be my last. This woman completely caught me by surprise. I definite punch to my face. This book gripped my heart so hard, I felt myself suffocating as I read. It hit so close to home that I considered not finishing it. But, I powered through and I now have a favorite book because of it.
This book follows a 16 year old girl, Sid. Her pain was palpable through the pages and it rattled me to
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was ok

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
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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
Content warnings for this book : sexual assault

This book is beautiful and haunting. It shows the strength of the human spirit and the beauty of love, true love.

I admired Cassidy. She was strong-willed and spirited. She made mistakes, but this made her a realistic and relatable character. I felt for her the entire novel. Corey was so good to Cassidy and he was so sweet and kind.

I really liked What Happens Next. Four stars.
Miranda Kenneally
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just the kind of book I love to read.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jenni Arndt
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-own, favorites
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
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to *Layali* by: Giselle
I read this book in two days. It was that amazing.

I'm not sure if I can do this book justice from this review.

Giselle's Review really sums up most of how I feel. And if it weren't for her review I may not have ever picked this book up. So a big thank you to her.

Bottom line, this book was about what happens after something horrifying occurs. It goes over how Sid deals with it, and she is by far one of the most well developed characters I've read about. She was so real and easy to relate to. Even
Traci Purdum
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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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 latest novel is titled DOLL HEARTS and releases on April 24th, 2018.

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77 likes · 22 comments
“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.” 40 likes
“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.” 38 likes
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