Monday, July 16, 2012

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

Sid Murphy has the perfect Christmas vacation planned. She’s going on a ski trip with her school’s Ski Club where she and her two best friends will have several days to hang out, hit the slopes, and meet plenty of hot guys. Plans change, however, when she meets Dax Windsor, a charming college boy who only has eyes for her. On the last night of the trip, he invites Sid to a party at his place that’s sure to leave a lasting impression…just not a pleasant one.

Research says that people who face traumatic experiences usually resort to two coping mechanisms: fight or flight. Sid Murphy is a fighter all of the way. But, even she isn’t invincible. As a result, the author effectively portrays a girl struggling to come to terms with what happened to her while pretending as if everything’s “fine” on the outside. In a way, she reminds me of Melinda from L.H. Anderson’s Speak (1999), only Sid’s reaction shows the opposite end of the spectrum. The fears that both characters exude are very real, which is why most sexual victims never speak up: We are a society that likes to blame the victims because it’s easier that way. This was evident in the way that Sid blamed her large breasts and curvaceous butt for enticing Dax in the first place. As a result, she turns the punishment inward and suffers in silence.

This is a book that needs to be on every secondary shelf. According to statistics, a woman gets raped every 2 minutes in the US alone. Chances are, one of them could be sitting in our classrooms. There is no reason anyone should suffer in silence. 

ARC courtesy of ALA 2012
Publication Date: October 2012


  1. SO glad you loved this one, Courtney! I also love that you pointed out its similarities to SPEAK, and how powerful this book really is. We definitely need to talk about it. Hope your camping trip went well.
    -rachel from goodreads

    1. Hey Rachel,

      I sent an email to you this morning. Did you not get it? Maybe I typed the address incorrectly. I'll try again tomorrow.