Jaclyn’s Review: The Next by Stephanie Gangi

The Next 
written by Stephanie Gangi
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
This one is tough. I love the plot of this book–I love the idea of it. The first 1/3 of this book was written SO WELL. This book frequently switches voices/perspectives, so you’ll see the same scene played out through the eyes of different characters. I love this approach to writing. This was especially great at the beginning of this book, since Joanna is dying of cancer and doesn’t speak–you get her inner monologue as well as the external view of the situation from her daughters.

 Unfortunately, the writing really dragged down the plot of the story for the rest of the book. Once Joanna dies, you get her perspective as a ghost (not a spoiler, since this book is described as a “ghost story”). The writer spends so much time describing mundane details and, essentially, whining through Joanna’s voice–the book just gets difficult to read. The plot is still good, and I think it was a good decision to keep part of it told through Joanna’s voice–it just wasn’t executed well.

 

All in all, this book was OK. I wanted to like it more than I did.

 

Would I recommend it: I struggled with this, but I would not recommend this book. I would return to this book night after night, but not to find out what happens next–only to get to the end.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: Is there a right way to die? If so, Joanna DeAngelis has it all wrong. She’s consumed by betrayal, spending her numbered days obsessing over Ned McGowan, her much younger ex, and watching him thrive in the spotlight with someone new, while she wastes away. She’s every woman scorned, fantasizing about revenge … except she’s out of time.

Joanna falls from her life, from the love of her daughters and devoted dog, into an otherworldly landscape, a bleak infinity she can’t escape until she rises up and returns and sets it right―makes Ned pay―so she can truly move on.

From the other side into right this minute, Jo embarks on a sexy, spiritual odyssey. As she travels beyond memory, beyond desire, she is transformed into a fierce female force of life, determined to know how to die, happily ever after.

 

Happy 2