Hardcover, 384 pages
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Illness
Rating: ★★★★ 4/5 stars
Thank you so much HarperTeen for sending me a finished copy for review!
I also know what it’s like to get that something.
That’s when Camden Armstrong steps onto the beach of Ari’s local swimming lake.
Let me start off by saying, if you haven’t read this book. I highly, highly recommend it. I definitely did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I connected so well with it, and I now hold this story dear to my heart.
I went into the book blind, so I was surprised to find it dealt with prevalent issues amongst teens today. Jennifer took depression which is common amongst teens and adults, and weaved it into an intricate story. Although it deals with depression and self harm, it’s definitely lighter than a lot of other stories in the YA genre that deal with similar topics. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact, I prefer this over the latter.
What Happens Now, is a YA contemporary romance novel, but also deals with family issues and a strong friendship. There’s also a lot of relationships such as mother-daughter, sister-half sister, stepdad-daughter, new friendships, and old friendships. I found the stepdad-daughter relationship to be a unique factor in the book because our protagonist is actually closer to her stepdad than her mom which is uncommon in novels as well as real life. Also, the building of the relationships is absolutely fantastic! You really feel the characters grow with each other. It’s a great experience.
Another unique factor was Camden and Ari’s relationship. It was a bit insta-lovey on Ari’s side, but I still enjoyed it. Most couples in the YA genres fight over misunderstandings, or ya know, sometimes just immature things. However, Camden and Ari’s dilemma is balance in their relationship. They know there should be equal amounts of giving and taking in the relationship and I really enjoyed that. I feel like for the most part, they were able to be themselves around each other and communicated really well.
This is my first time reading something by Jennifer Castle. I have to say that I really enjoyed Castle’s writing! It really made you feel what Ari feels, and it makes the story so raw and authentic. I’m truly impressed.
What Happens Now is a beautiful tale of hope, possibilities, first loves, finding yourself, and learning to live for yourself.
… and I’m going to stop right there before I write the entire book under “Favorite Quotes” let me just say etc.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Castle received her B.A. in Creative Writing at Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist’s assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that’s an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. Her debut, The Beginning of After, was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection as well as a Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best” book. You Look Different in Real Life and its companion digital novella, Playing Keira, were published by HarperTeen in June 2013. Her next novel, WHAT HAPPENS NOW, is forthcoming from Harper in June 2016. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and daughters.
Prize: Win (1) signed hardcopy of WHAT HAPPENS NOW by Jennifer Castle & some swag (INT)