Review: What Happens Now by Jennifer Castle

What Happens Now
Ari Logan is battling to win her war against depression and the dark night she hurt herself on purpose. It’s not easy: her best friend is drifting away, her mom’s emotionally checked out, and she spends her days playing caregiver to her handful of a half-sister, Danielle. But it’s summer, and anything is possible...

That’s when Camden Armstrong steps onto the beach of Ari’s local swimming lake.

At first, Ari quietly longs for Camden from afar, seeing in him everything she wants to be. When the two discover a true connection the following summer, Ari lets herself fall not just for the quirky and self-assured Camden but also his friends, tumbling into their world of independence, adventure, and shared sci-fi fandom. As Ari’s romantic dreams come true, she must unlock the mysteries of the very real and troubled boy behind her infatuation, while also struggling with her own demons, obligations, and loyalties.

I've read another of Jennifer Castle's books, You Look Different in Real Life and I quite enjoyed it. What Happens Now intrigued me because I love it when authors manage to portray depression in a realistic sense. I loved the way Jennifer Castle tackled the issue in the book, and the way Ari tackles her issues. Overcoming an incident when she really hurt herself - she wasn't trying to end her life, just trying to tackle her issues, Ari falls in love with Camden from afar, then she meets the real deal and realises that sometimes fantasies differ from reality but it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with that.

Alongside the main love story, there are some great intertwining stories - Ari's relationship with her mother, Ari's best friend Kendall and her search for the right man and of course, Ari dealing with her demons. This book does such a great job at making Ari real and her depression a real thing and this was amazingly done. I can't say that enough.

I also real enjoyed the Silver Arrow part of the book. Fandom is a big part of my life so I love any book which puts fandom in. Ari finding fandom and the way she was thrown in with Eliza and Max and the way these two influenced her life as well was well done. The way Silver Arrow made her strong was amazingly well done. I also love the meta-aspect, brilliant.

If I had one problem with his book it's that at times Ari and Camden's relationship got a bit monotonous - I wish there was a little bit more waiting for things to work out. I also wanted more of a focus on Eliza's because this was an aspect that was really intriguing for me.

Overall, What Happens Now was a really well done book with a painfully real portrayal of depression balanced out by a sweet summer romance. Jennifer Castle hasn't let me down!

Book released Juen 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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