Read advance reader review of The Next by Stephanie Gangi, page 2 of 3

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The Next

by Stephanie Gangi

The Next by Stephanie Gangi X
The Next by Stephanie Gangi
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  • Published Oct 2016
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 18 member reviews
for The Next
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  • Joan V. (Miller Place, NY)
    A Woman Scorned
    A blurb from the cover perfectly sums up this book. "The Next isn't just a ghost story – it's a love story…What freedom comes from being a ghost! I no longer am accountable." The story is told in alternating voices, from the perspective of Jo as she begins to use her ghostly powers and from her ex-boyfriend Ned and her daughters. When Jo turns into a ghost the revengeful acts she performs on Ned are almost deadly. She is determined to make him pay for his betrayal of her and she succeeds. Beware a woman scorned, indeed!

    There is a lot to discuss in "The Next" – love, marriage, parenthood, mistakes we make in our lives and the unsaid things we always regret. Who hasn't had revenge fantasies and how far would you pursue them? That question alone would make for a good book club discussion. It also discusses the power of social media, how the instant posts on twitter/facebook and their global reach impacts on people's lives.

    I really enjoyed the way Ms. Gangi uses language. She is a poet and this comes through very strongly throughout the book. As an example "She was hacking her way through a thicket of sympathy, a tangle of sincerity, the brambles of concern. She hates. It."

    I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading her next one.
  • Daniel A. (Naugatuck, CT)
    The Next
    This book was riveting and a page turner. I was hooked on the first page of the first chapter. The characters were alive and the story was one of the best I read in a while. A satisfying read.
  • Elizabeth K. (Dallas, TX)
    Excellent writer, quirky characters, worth reading
    I'm a very character-driven reader and at first I found Joanna, the main character, hard to like. She's not your stereotypical loving mother saying good-bye to her family as she's dying, that's for sure. But the quality of the writing kept me reading; it's a very sensual book, the descriptions are exotic and at times lovely, and revenge, well, sometimes we all long for it, even when we know forgiveness is what we should aim for. If you are willing to accept a very non-traditional character traveling through an eerie after-world, I think you'll finish it, maybe with a sign of relief. The author is definitely gifted and I would want to read her next book, with high hopes that her main character might be someone I could empathize with more.
  • Karen M. (Burnsville, NC)
    The Next: Love, Revenge and a Visit to the Hereafter
    If you had a chance to take revenge on the man who broke your heart, would you? Jo does when she finds herself in the nether world of the dead. Her rage is all consuming and all powerful. Self absorbed Ned has no idea of what awaits him. Yet, buried under Jo's anger is her love for her two daughters, each of whom has stalled in their own lives. The power of love is the force that drives The Next,
    the concept of afterlife is intriguing and thought provoking.
  • Marti G. (Texarkana, TX)
    The Next review
    I did like this book. It most certainly explained the "A woman scorned" saying but it took it too another level. It was sad she couldnt rest at the end and let things go but then I guess there would not have been a story. At one moment I cared for her, then I pitied her, then I rooted for her....she truly is every woman. Good writing and I loved the emotions. I would suggest this book to friends.
  • Barry E. (Margate City, NJ)
    Thought provoking but can you deal with it
    This novel was reviewed by some very high powered authors to great acclaim predicting that the author would be an "instant new favorite". With those expectations I anxiously read this book.

    The story evoked a great deal of feelings about a great number of issues for me. Death and dying, parental relationships, interpersonal relationships, revenge and figuring out what you really want to do with your life. The author using simple prose was able to convey a myriad of feelings that will stimulate the reader.

    The first part of of the book developed a somewhat somber theme of a person having to deal with their end of their life. This part seemed to take a long time to develop but once in place set the tone for the rest of the characters development.
    As stated, these characters had to deal with a slew of feelings they had been avoiding for most of their life.

    The read has many ebbs and flow as the characters deal with their many issues. All in all the novel makes for an interesting read, but at times very depressing.
  • Janet W. (Davis, CA)
    Generally well put together
    I had a difficult time relating to Joanne. Perhaps because I've never been besotted by a man - or anyone else. I can't imagine the need to waste so much time dwelling on the life of someone who has proven to be less than admirable.
    Joanne was not a stupid women but obviously very needy. However, she gained strength as a dead person. As a ghost, she was fearsome and poor Ned didn't stand a chance. Her revenge was magnificent and cruel. She was much more interesting dead than alive.

    The story was amusing in a kind of 'gotcha' way. She finally gained some wisdom and her daughters achieved degrees of maturity that were most needed.
    This is not a 'deep' book but it does offer insights into the grief experience for both human and animal. It has funny moments but not laugh-out-loud moments. For the most part, I enjoyed the read. Don't think it's a book I will highly recommend.
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