The Next is the debut novel by Stephanie Gangi. The tagline is "A novel of love, revenge, and a ghost who can't let go", which sums up the book quite thoroughly. Joanna DeAngelis is on her deathbed. Literally. The book opens just before Joanna passes, and has her stalking her ex on social media. He has a new life now. A new girlfriend who is super famous, and also happens to be expecting his baby. Something Joanna couldn't do.
Joanna eventually passes, a few chapters into the book. She finds out that because she's got some unfinished business, she doesn't get to move on, but rather gets sent back to earth as a ghost. Which is where things start to get marginally better.
Joanna attends her own funeral, and watched how her daughters begin to grieve. She also visits her ex, who goes back to the apartment he shared with Joanna. And she has a few not so nice surprises in store for him.
The rest of the book chronicles Joanna's obsession with trying to ruin her ex's new life, and continue to check in on her daughters to see how they are coping.
I can't say that I enjoyed The Next, it jumped location and tone so frequently that it was tough to keep up with, and made me put the book down several times. Which then required re-reading the chapter before so I could figure out where the POV was. Nothing particularly stands out about the book that is positive, but nothing negative stands out either. It was just kinda "there". But, just because the book didn't appeal to me, doesn't mean that the next person won't enjoy it. There are great reviews for it, so I know there is a huge audience that it will really enjoy it. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those people.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 18, 2016)
In the interest of disclosure, I did receive an ARC of this book from the publisher.