I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Next by Stephanie Gangi
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 18th 2016
Genres: Ghost Story
Source: Hardback obtained from Publisher, Libro.fm
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.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush Soda Saga or Trivia Crack.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
So I’m not sure this book can be easily summed up or categorized. It’s a ghost story, it’s a story about the bond between sisters and mothers and daughters, the promise lovers make and break to each other. It’s a story of revenge, and haunting, and how freaking great dogs are (not mine, right now, she’s far too busy barking at our cat Riley, because he’s taken a Gandalf stance in the hallway and refuses to let her pass). It’s about grief, and public humiliation, and cheating, and it has a soundtrack you kind of want to dance to. It’s a little about redemption, and a little about how social media is kind of ruining our lives.
Overall though, I was down for the ride. I liked the revenge fantasy part of it, even though I know better than to think revenge ever heals any wrong. I liked the sisters, and I liked watching Ned’s world implode to the point where I felt a tiny bit bad for him. I liked Bob, a lot, and Indy (or is it Indie? I listened to most of the book). I above all liked Gangi’s idea of ghosts, and the imagery of all the ghosts of Manhattan swirling about is one that is going to linger in my mind… hopefully forever.
The audiobook is narrated by Nicole Quinn, and it was my first time listening to her. I thought she had a good voice, although I wish she hadn’t made the younger daughter sound quite so young. But she handles Joanna’s pain and anger and anguish so well that it brought her to life (even as a ghost). I would definitely listen to her in the future!