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What Happens Now

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  922 ratings  ·  133 reviews
"I know what it is to want something so badly, you feel like your cells aren’t properly bonded together without it.
I also know what it’s like to get that something.
And honestly, I’m still not sure which is worse..."

Ari Logan is battling to win her war against depression and the dark night she hurt herself on purpose. It’s not easy: her best friend is drifting away, her mo
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  922 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“In the end, there were two Camden Armstrongs. One I watched for a whole summer of relentless craving. The other was the one I fell in love with.”

This was a YA contemporary romance about a girl who battled with depression.

Ari was an okay character, and she clearly put a lot of time and effort into looking after her family. Camden was a bit quieter, and a harder c
What initially drew me to this book was the main characters struggle with depression. Depression is a term that gets thrown around a lot but it's never really explored or showcased correctly, so I am always interested in how authors portray it.

Ari is still recovering from that one night where she inflicted self-harm upon her body. She's on medication and she's seeing a therapist. You see, Ari didn't want to kill herself. Ari just wanted to feel. When she sees Camden from afar at the lake, her m
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
What Happens Now is so much different than what I expected it to be. I thought that it was going to be a dark tale about depression and cutting, but turns out that it's not. It's much lighter than that, although that's not to say that it doesn't mention those things. But actually, I think that I prefer it this way.

What Happens Now is different from most YA contemporary romance because it delves into the serious stuff about relationships, where they fight about things that matter in relationship
Christine Alibutud
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
"All this was unconfirmed, of course. But I knew two things about Camden Armstrong for sure:

1) His eyes were the exact same forest green as the diving board.

2) I ached for him in places I never knew could ache, like earlobes and collarbones."


What Happens Now was not what I thought it would be. I expected something light, but it actually had a serious undertone. It also had a sense of innocence, but at the same time, we are introduced to heavy issues and how the characters dealt with it. I
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
This book was an amazing read. I have been reading a lot of summer books but this one dealt with a lot of issues that are prevalent in teens today. Depression is a big deal for teens today. Jennifer took it and spun a story that is amazing and a must read for teen girls.

Ari is your everyday girl who helps out her family by taking care of her sister. She is also depressed and to deal with that depression she hurts herself. Her mother is emotionally checked out and her best friends are growing fu
Ginger at GReadsBooks
This book was such a pleasant surprise for me. I found myself marking pages & rereading passages because it's story was so beautiful. I love contemporary YA that can sneak up on you & capture your heart when you least expect it. I definitely recommend this one! ...more
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
So...this book.

Big. Fat. Nope.

It does get an extra star because it pulled itself together a bit in the end, but otherwise:

Ari was unbearably self-righteous and annoying. Also, borderline stalkerish and creepy. And immature.
Camden was pathetic. He clearly had issues but heck if I could tell what they really were (becausue they were never really articulated).
The insta-love was...baffling. (See above for reasons why).
Stuff happened that was just wrong. Vague excuses were made for certain dysfunctio
Kate (The Bookaholic Blurbs)
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Original rating: 8 over 5 stars!

Full review over at The Bookaholic Blurbs!

Rainbow Rowell meets Robyn Schneider, What Happens Now is a story full of wonderfuls. A truly unforgettable story of two broken souls molded to piece their parts together. Its heart-warming romance is crunched by depression, toughened by distance but blossomed with time. What Happens Now is truly an outstanding novel I highly recommend!

What Happens Now that this story is over?

Thank you so much HarperCollins Intern
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an alright book. I felt that there was really nothing special about this. It mostly focused on her crush and cosplay. I did like how she was able to work on some of her relationships and make them better. If everything hadn't worked out in the end I would definitely have rated this lower. ...more
John Gilbert
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another very enjoyable book for me, more like 4.5 stars, but nudged up.

A very likeable heroine surviving a cutting incident, who learns to deal with her maybe depression over a year. A supportive best friend, a lovely little sister (who brought this one up to five stars for me), new friends and a new boyfriend added to a supportive stepfather and a mother who may not be there enough for her.

Very well written, even paced and quite believeable. Two great reads finished on the same day, lucky me, b
Jade Walker
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemp, ng-edelweiss
I've read another of Jennifer Castle's books, You Look Different in Real Life and I quite enjoyed it. What Happens Now intrigued me because I love it when authors manage to portray depression in a realistic sense. I loved the way Jennifer Castle tackled the issue in the book, and the way Ari tackles her issues. Overcoming an incident when she really hurt herself - she wasn't trying to end her life, just trying to tackle her issues, Ari falls in love with Camden from afar, then she meets the real ...more
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jennifer Castle has actually become one of my favorite contemporary YA writers. She does such a good job of portraying complicated relationships in all their messiness without rendering them as good or bad, they just are. I think in YA, which can skew a bit toward heavy-handedness, this is incredibly refreshing. I'm going to chew on this story a bit more because there's a lot of talk about with this. ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own-read
At the beginning I was loving this- it felt so reminiscent of Eliza and Her Monsters, a book I really enjoyed. However the second half was such a let down for me, I found it boring and the relationships were really toxic at times. Plus, I thought that at one point she would apologies to her ex, who she wasn't the best to, but that was left completely unresolved. I don't think I would recommend this because Camden and Ari's relationship was just so toxic.
Jessica *The Lovely Books*
Hmm...don't really know how I feel about this one yet. ...more
Libby Ames
Ari Logan is struggling to overcome the awful night when she tried to hurt herself. As she climbs out of depression, she spends time at the local lake watching her little sister. Ari also finds herself caught in a one-sided crush on a new boy at the lake. Filled with confidence and charm, Camden Armstrong seems like everything Ari would like to be. But she only watches.

The next summer, a more confident Ari starts up a conversation. That conversation leads to friendship, time with Camden’s friend
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
actual rating: 4.5
TW FOR BOOK: self harm and suicide ( take care of yourselves book lovers <3 )
i loved this book but i found myself rolling my eyes so much that my head started to hurt.
i thought that the whole plot was fantastic!
ill be honest, i'm not one to usually care about instalove, i usually just brush it off but the instalove in this book, oh my goodness i almost threw the book across the room.
it was a slow paced book but i really did love wha
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
What happens when a summer fantasy starts becoming reality? Do you jump in headfirst or start running in the other direction as fast as you can?

Ari Logan isn't used to getting what she wants, not with a younger half sister who clings onto her, an absent mother who works nights, and a stepfather who needs her help at the store. Not to mention that she's still struggling with her memories of the night she cut herself and the inner demons that led her to self harm.

So when she sees Camden Armstrong
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was really, really good and the perfect summer read. There were a couple plot points I would’ve liked to see play out, but other than that I have no complaints! A love story that includes some family difficulties made it all too relatable for me, and that always makes a book more enjoyable. I’m all heart eyes for Camden right now <3 Also Max is great, and this book was just great
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-contemporary
2.5/5 stars
Zarah Larsson
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it
this was okay. it wasnt as good as i thought it would be but that's okay. i did enjoy it. i dont really know what else to say, there wasn't really anything special about it. ...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

True story, I needed this book from the minute I saw the cover. But I am so glad that I read it, for much more than the outside! Ari's story was a lovely one of trying to pull herself out of depression, and regain her life, all while navigating family, friends, love, and life.

Things I Loved:

The depiction of Ari's depression and mental health. Ari had been having a really bad
Suze Lavender
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ari likes Camden a lot. The first summer he's at the lake in her hometown she just watches him from afar and all the information she has about him comes from other people. She's trying to get better after cutting herself when her depression got really bad and she isn't ready to make contact yet. A year later she's doing much better. She's now able to live with her illness and can deal with it most of the time. It isn't easy though. Her mother is distant, Ari has to take care of her little sister ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marie Clare
Apr 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
100% a book for summer.

Okay, so this was an amazing book in my opinion. I bought it literally at a dollar store with interest courtesy of the book’s cover. (Yes I judge books by their cover, sorry.) One of my new favorite books for a dollar. How lucky was that?!

Anyway, because of that, I expected a mediocre story I perhaps would maybe enjoy. It was, however, very much different than that.

Here are my opinions:
1. Camden and Ari were cute, but I was a little disappointed that the middle of the book
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
For more reviews, visit my blog at Bittersweet Reads.

Having read Castle's debut, The Beginning of After, a couple of years ago, I knew coming into this book that I would, at some point in the story, feel the need to cry. And I was right.

Ari's spent the past year crushing on a fantasy of Camden that she came up with, so getting to know the real thing was exciting and more that a little insightful. We've all been there: we've all taken a crush and crafted up a version of him (or her) in our heads.
Karen • The Book Return
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
'What Happens Now' is a great book for summer reading. It was a really quick read for me. The prose was easy to read but not too simple. The characters were very realistic and well developed. They acted as real teenagers would but not with so much teenage jargon that I, as a adult, wasn't able to understand it. I thought Ari was especially well developed. Her faults were human and believable. Camden, who at the beginning, seemed perfect, progressed through the novel, as regular quirky teenager. ...more
Bethany Miller
Jan 03, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: royal
Student Review by: Myliah WP. (11th Grade)
Grade Range: 8th grade and up
Genre: Young Adult
Literary Merit: Good
Characterization: Very Good
What Happens Now follows a girl named Ari Logan who is battling a war against depression and her family with the added goodness of falling in love, dealing with new friends, and losing best friends. The novel takes readers through the ups and downs of a summer that Ari will never forget.

Now to tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

ONE WORD: almost

This summer Ari hopes to get closer to Camden, the boy she crushed on at the lake. Between babysitting for her half-sister, working at her stepfather's store and continuing to recover from depression she tries to balance growing apart from her best friend and navigating new friendships.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW uses mental illness as a prop to tell Ari's story, occasionally mentioning Ari's history of self mutilation and her depression, but I never felt as if her issues were well
Princess Bookie
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: a-net-g, read2016
My Thoughts: I’ve read another one of Castle’s books and enjoyed it! So I was really excited to go into What Happens Now.

We are introduced to Ari whose had a crush on a boy named Camden. She hasn’t really said much to him but has admired him from afar. Well, one summer after Ari has went through a lot of her own troubles, she ends up bumping into Camden in an unexpected way and is thrown right into his life! They end up meeting in such a weiiird way! But, I loved it.

Ari falls in love with Camden
Sandie, Teen Lit Rocks
Still processing. I think Castle is a talented writer and enjoyed the main character's growth, as well as the inclusion of a BSG-meets-Firefly type of show that the characters are obsessed with, but there's so much going on here that it felt unfocused at times. I'm not sure how I feel about the depiction of self-harm, the (temporary lack of) treatment of depression, and the co-dependency of the central romance. The supporting characters with a couple of exceptions are all compelling, and you can ...more
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Jennifer Castle received her B.A. in Creative Writing at Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist’s assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that’s an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. Her debut, THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection as well as a Chicago Public Libra ...more

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