Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Book Birthday! Colleen Clayton's WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

Today, fellow NEOMFA alum, Colleen Clayton's amazing book, What Happens Next, hits the book shelves!  I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book, and I'm so excited that she gets to finally share it with all of you today.

Here's the Goodreads' summary:

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 it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old 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.

And the review I wrote for it on Goodreads:

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 want to flag it as a multiple order for my school and classroom library. This is one of those books. It’s a book that I’ll make a point of pushing it into the hands of as many of my students as I can. The book is powerful, the writing is beautiful and Sid is one of the best characters I’ve met in a long time. It is a story that is important for teenagers to read, and one that I think will speak to them.

One of my favorite things about this book is the character of Sid. Because the thing is, unlike a lot of characters facing tragic events in YA literature, Sid is broken by a rape she doesn’t remember, but she doesn’t let it break her. She’s such a strong character and you understand why she’s dealing with the rape the way she is (even though I wanted to shout at her many many times to tell someone, I understood why she didn’t…why she couldn’t). I also love love love that she comes from a family that loves her. Her mom is a part of her life, her little brother adores her and Sid feels the same way back toward the two of them. It’s good to see a book with a strong family relationship, because it shows readers that bad things can happen to anyone, and even if you come from a family who loves and supports you, it still isn’t always easy to tell the truth. The story also has a sweet love story, Colleen Clayton’s sense of place transports you right to this town, and the antagonists are real. Oh…the antagonists. I totally bought how Sid fell prey to her Dax and the cheerleaders in this book are so so awful. But again, it speaks so truthful to high school and I think it’s in that honesty that teens will relate and connect to Sid’s journey.

There are novels out there that as a teacher, I MUST get into the hands of students. This is one of those important books.

And if you still can't get enough...an interview I did of Colleen for The Lucky 13s on our blog!

What are you waiting for?????  Go buy What Happens Next...you'll love it!


Rachel said...

I also got an ARC and absolutely LOVED this book. I can't wait for everyone to as well. But hands off Corey he's mine ;) I bought a hardcover today bc this book really touched me.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

This sounds like a good book and your review intrigues me. I've read four stories recently that all had rape in them. I wonder if this is a trend.