cover image What Happens Next

What Happens Next

Colleen Clayton. Little, Brown/Poppy, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-19868-4

Sixteen-year-old Sid Murphy has always been self-conscious about her weight and figure, so when a handsome older guy flirts with her during a weekend school ski trip, a smitten Sid sneaks out to meet him at a party. But there is no party: the man drugs and rapes Sid, leaving her unable to remember the exact details of what happened or tell anyone about it. Sid tries to move on, but she develops insomnia and an eating disorder, and she loses her two closest friends as well as her spot on the cheerleading squad in the aftermath. Debut author Clayton doesn’t simplify Sid or her emotions, showing the deep scars left by the rape, her understandable yet self-destructive reactions, and her growing joy at her unexpected relationship with Corey, “the biggest stoner at Lakewood High,” who has secrets of his own. Clayton throws perhaps a few too many obstacles at Sid (on top of everything else, she’s being bullied by a popular cheerleader), but readers should still find this story painfully realistic yet hopeful. Ages 15–up. Agent: Alyssa Reuben, Paradigm. (Oct.)■