What Happens Next, by Colleen Clayton (fiction) – getting past rape, finding redemption

book cover of What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton published by Poppy Books

Ski trip!
Fresh snow, new guys, curfew broken.
Now Sid is broken, too.

But she won’t let anyone help her past the attack, won’t even tell anyone what happened. The coping mechanisms that she’s chosen aren’t helping her cope too well either.

What can a slacker like Corey teach this former honor student about trust or friendship or caring what happens…

Post this info where people can find it: National Sexual Assault Hotline | 1.800.656.HOPE | Free. Confidential. 24/7. or search for a local crisis center at http://centers.rainn.org/

Grab this debut novel today at your local library or independent bookstore and cheer for Sid as she works past her outrage to a better future. The author gives us Sid’s playlist, too – you can tell a lot about someone by the music they choose.

Book info: What Happens Next / Colleen Clayton. Poppy/Little Brown, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site]

My Recommendation: Meeting cool college guy Dax was the best thing about the high school ski trip for Cassidy, until he convinced her to sneak out after curfew to a night she cannot remember.

Back home, Sid’s grades slide, her single-parent mom can’t figure out what’s wrong, her friends eventually give up trying to jolly her back to normal. Sid drops her advanced classes and drifts into “A/V Club” instead. Everyone knows that A/V Club is just Corey-the-Stoner hanging out in the DVD storage room until someone needs a video, so he won’t try to break through Sid’s new protective shell to help her get over things.
Except that he manages to say things that make her think, nudge her to try feeling good about herself again by exercising, make her wonder why she can’t remember anything about being with Dax – and he has no clue that he’s doing it. Nice that he always smells like the bakery where he works before school, that he brings new pastries for her to taste-test, that he’ll just listen if she ever wants to talk.
Why do they call him Stoner when she’s never seen him act druggie?
Could Sid ever be more than friends with Corey?
Will she ever find the key to the locked door of that blank ski trip night?
The author’s time spent working with teens in bad situations really shines through in this debut novel, as readers root for Sid to break through the barricades that her mind put up and uncover what happened with Dax so she can heal herself.

 (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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