Review: What Happens Next

What Happens NextSixteen-year old Sid Murphy pretty much has everything: great friends, good grades, a supportive family, and a spot on the cheerleading team. She doesn’t have a boyfriend, but on the ski trip, meets older and handsome Dax Windsor, who seems like the perfect guy.

But then something happens one night on the ski trip and she can’t remember any of it. Ashamed by it all, Sid returns home trying to erase all memories of Dax and that night from her mind, and tries to pretend it didn’t happen.

Instead her grades start slipping, and her friends are no longer there. Sid takes up running, and soon, the pounds start falling off, and she stops eating.

Heartbreaking at times, What Happens Next tells the story of what you’re supposed to do when the unthinkable happens.

This book came to me with high praise and I expected a lot from it. Unfortunately, it just did not deliver.

There are a lot of serious issues being addressed in this book, such as rape, eating disorders, drug use and abuse, self-esteem issues, and many more. With so much going on, I expected some depth from the story, yet I didn’t find any. At times, some of the issues are merely glossed over on the surface, and are not really discussed in great detail. With something so serious (rape) at the heart of the story, I really would have liked some more insight into it, but instead the remainder of the story was focused a lot on the budding romance between Corey and Sid.

I also found it difficult to believe that Sid’s friends and family did not notice that something was going on with her, especially when she changed so much in so short a time period. Granted, her friends were angry at her for blowing them off after the ski trip, but I would have expected her mom to have taken note.

Sid’s secret is not revealed until the very end of the book, which was something that also disappointed me. With so much buildup until this moment, it felt sort of anti-climactic for the secret to come out and then for the story to end so abruptly. I would have liked to see what sort of steps her mom took to contact the police or maybe get Sid some counselling, but instead the book just ends.

With that being said, I didn’t hate this book, I was just a bit let down with the way it handled the story and the issues. I suppose I thought it was going to be kind of like Sarah Dessen’s books, which also deal with some heavy issues sometimes, but are very insightful and provide depth, but instead I just felt shortchanged.

So for that: 2.5/5.

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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