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The Next

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  221 reviews
Joanna DeAngelis may be gone from this life, but she has a score to settle before she can move on to the next.

Abandoned by Ned McGowan, her younger lover, and obsessed with his betrayal, Joanna falls into a dark afterlife, only to rise up as a restless, vengeful spirit. Anna and Elena, her loving daughters, grapple with grief. Her faithful dog, Tom, watches and waits. But
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  640 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I'm sorry, there are a lot of people that seemed to like this book, but I did not! I gave it two stars for the dog, Tom and for the idea of revenge and ghosts. And yes, I can do that, it's my review.

The thing that pulled me into wanting to read this book was the idea of a vengeful ghost. But it really wasn't what I was thinking.

Joanna is dying of cancer. She has her daughters taking turns taking care of her, this would be Anna and Laney. And of course, Tom, the dog.

What I had trouble with was
Elyse Walters
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
"I was 46 and he was 31. I was by far the oldest woman he's ever been with. "Is that weird for you? Do I feel old?"
"He said, Of a certain vintage, maybe, but not old".

"I fall into a moraphine dream. We are at the Met, our old haunt.
DREAM BEGINS: (Ned was on stage, television camera circles, hundreds of 19 & 20
year olds, ...Joanna DeAngelis tears at his clothes, forces Ned inside her).
"I wake up hot and aroused, just like the old days with a pulse between my legs".

Ellen Gail
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, arc
3.5 stars. Not as good as Ghostbusters but better than Ghostbusters II.

Joanna is a bit of a dick. She can't get over her ex Ned, stalks him and his new lady, and is frankly obsessed with him (and his apparently stellar dick.)

She also happens to be a ghost. A very horny ghost.

Joanna dies after a long and exhausting battle with breast cancer. Her daughters and her loyal poodle Tom, (who is the best character tbh), have struggled by her side all along. They are there with her to the very end when s
Neil Lester
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love love LOVE this book!! I'm not a "ghost story" kind of person but The Next defies labels. It's the best of both worlds: sex + rock 'n' roll meets gorgeous lyrical prose, fun fantasy meets *superb* literary fiction, fast-paced plot meets deep character development. Think Gone Girl meets Lovely Bones--although even that doesn't do it justice, because it's its own thing, unique and special. A must read for 2016. Recommending it to everyone I know!
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley. It was amazing. The story starts out really sad. Joanna is dying of cancer. She is obsessed with her ex lover and does some cyber stalking. And then she dies. And that's where the fun begins. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And neither, apparently, does pergatory. Joanna haunts. Seethes...With rage and fury.

This was extremely well written, smart and funny and heartbreakingly sad. Much of this book was read through tears. It's not a gho
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a different sort of book--I guess quirky is the best way to describe it. Not my usual type of book but there is a lot to like about the story, once you get past the semi-ridiculous premise: a 50-ish woman, mother of two daughters(and a beloved dog), literally dying of cancer, spends her last days and moments obsessing about her ex, her much younger lover who left her months ago to take up with a younger, more glamorous woman who is now expecting their child. Seriously, what person would ...more
Susan Wasson
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Joanne is dying and her two daughters are completely lost and afraid. There is Tom, a poodle who loves Joanne dearly and is always there for her. And then there is Ned. Ned is her younger boyfriend who loved her but left while she was dying. Joanne wants revenge. She is in limbo, a ghost like thing just floating over, under and above the city where she had lived. She will get her revenge and then she can die the right way. She haunts him, she physically destroys things in front of him, she is a ...more
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was a first-read winner. This has been the best book I've read so far this year. Not only, is it well written; I also connected to the characters on a personal level. Nevertheless, the best thing is; that this book doesn't leave you hanging on wondering what happened at the end.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Thank you.
Christine Moore
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Joanna is dying of cancer and her daughters are taking care of her. Joanna has the sweetest dog Tom he was my favorite character! Joanna is stalking her ex-boyfriend who dumped Joanna for a much younger new girlfriend when she gets sick so her ghost keeps on stalking him. There were some very funny parts when Joanna is haunting Ned and there are some terribly sad parts with Joanna's daughters. It was a really good book different from any I had read before. I received Advanced Reader Copy of this ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I won this book through Good Reads! I have to admit that this book jumped to the head of my queue and I read it during the Memorial Day weekend. Something about the storyline intrigued me even though I was unsure if I would like the book based on the blurb I had read on the cover. However, I quickly became immersed in the story and engaged with the characters. I think I identified with the main character in that I too, had been loved and abandoned when I was at a low point in my life. I could fe ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could NOT put this book down, I read it all in one marathon 10-hour session and wished I hadn't finished! First of all, don't let "breast cancer" or "ghost story" mislead you; there is nothing Hallmark or Lifetime or saccharine about the main character, Joanna, crossing peacefully over to the other side with a floral scarf tied around her chemotherapied head. She is a raging, vengeful (and yes, sexual!) ghost who refuses to leave the earthly world with a whisper. The Next is brilliant because ...more
S. B.
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've always loved a good ghost story, and the synopsis of this one promised a tale that was perfect. I was anxious to read it, and I'll have to say the book delivered in a much more complex and nuanced way than I imagined. There are few books that I think about, or even remember, s few days after I read them. This one has stayed with me for a few weeks, and I have waited to write about it because I want to communicate effectively just how unique and memorable it is.
Joanna is dying of a recurrenc
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
From the first scene of this book, I was hooked; long before I understood what the book was about I could not stop reading. I got a tiny peek into the book and then hoped I could somehow get an ARC, which I did, many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. So, what got my interest so completely? A woman is dying of cancer, she is at home with her two adult daughters, and she is rapidly approaching the end of her life. But she is consumed with her smart phone and the images she finds there, or sur ...more
Susan Wasley
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a book like this one. It was impossible to put down. Its singular shortcoming was that it ended. I read every chapter twice, in succession, just to savor the author's word choice and combination. Very lyrical and rhythmic and impressive. The writing was so rich I had to make myself slow down and enjoy every bite.

From the book's description, the story seemed implausible. I'm not a ghost-story kind of reader. I'm not a revenge-story kind of person, either. Yet, in the reading, ev
Janet Jones
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
I had a galley sent to me for an early read and fell in love with Stephanie's paranormal creation of Joanna. Stephanie Gangi is able to weave a moving, poignant narrative of regret, betrayal and mother love with wry, beautiful prose. At the same time she gives a wonderful and entertaining nod to our "Warholian" culture of instant fame, instant gratification, instant beauty - no matter what the costs. I don't wan to say much about the plot because that is the joy of this read, the journey.

A great
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
A very good book, one that I could not put down. Vivid characters and a good story.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Those memories are chum, ground bone and blood that pull me into the toxic undersea where, sharky, I trawl the waters to feed the need now. I’m rolling in the deep. I churn, coil, spring, recoil.”

The message I got from the protagonist’s quote is that if you are unhappy in life, you will be unhappy in death. Gosh, I sure hope that is not the way death works but that is the way it worked here. The main character, Joanna, lost both parents early in life within a month of each other. She later beca
Cynthia Shannon
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
What is this trend about unlikeable female narrators? I really couldn't sympathize with Joanna, who is selfish and obsessed and basically everything you think of when you think 'crazy ex'. I was not surprised to find out that the author is a poet, as there were some beautiful lines and the pacing was well done, too. But damn if you could only bitchslap a ghost! Fine, Joanna's reason for revenge is so much more justified than that crazy Gone Girl, because Ned is a douche. At least you get his POV ...more
Robbi Leah  Freeman
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy for an honest review.

Author has beautiful writing, good ideas, and the middle of the book really kept me interested. But the first part of the book I thought the book would be sad but the middle was lively! End summed up nicely and Tom the dog is your guide through the book.

First part of book is a mother dying from cancer but only concerned and obsessed with her ex boyfriend who happens to be younger then her and we meet her dog, Tom, who helps her through everything, even go
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
I expected this book to be a bit of a downer especially since it starts with the cancer death of its main character after having been abandoned by her younger lover. However, it turned out to be much more entertaining than I had thought it would be. The characters were all interesting and sympathetic. I even came to like Ned somewhat. The daughters, the dog and Joanna really dug into me. The story itself is fast moving and absorbing. It was a qui
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book this is!!! On the surface we meet Joanna who is dying. She has two daughters, Anna is in med school and Laney (Elena) who basically lives with her Mother as caregiver. Then there is Tom, Tom is her every faithful companion, her helper, protector and comfort, never leaves her side. Tom is her dog. This is her second round of cancer and the one that will take her life. She has become obsessed with the man Ned, who she had a relationship with; a college professor, a wanna be wr ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley

The Next is the most unusual book I have read in 2016. Joanna is one angry middle-aged woman. She is dying of cancer in her home and her two daughters are doing their best to care for her. She shows little gratitude or even interest in their efforts. No, she is consumed with hatred towards her ex-lover Ned, a man fifteen years her junior who promised to stay with her when her cancer returned. He didn’t. With her last bit of strength she cyberstalks his life with media star Toni and their soon to
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got this book as an advanced reader's copy with the understanding that I would review it once I was done.

Wow. I wound up liking this book a lot more than I expected. I originally picked it up because the theme of revenge matched a task on a reading challenge I participate in every year. But this book was so much more than I thought it would be.

The book is about revenge, true, but it's also about love and forgiveness and families. The story shifts between many characters: Joanna, who is dying
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has ever been in a relationship - whether it be with a significant other, a parent, child, friend, or pet - will relate to this book. It masterfully delves into the mindset/perspective of multiple characters all experiencing feelings and occurrences they can't quite explain or express to others. We've all been there and that's why you will instantly connect with this story - it gives you peace of mind that you are not alone.

THE NEXT will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire w
So good. Quite unique and quirky, hard to put into any particular category. Multiple points of view to tell the tale of a woman who dies but can't move on until she has extracted revenge on her ex-boyfriend. We hear from the woman, the ex-boyfriend, her daughters, and even a few of those who surround them. This is not really a ghost story, or a romance, or even a mother-daughter story, but rather, all of those. It's a story of relationships and being in the present through wild and complex descr ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a very quirky tale of a woman about to take the final exit from life. She is fixated on her ex-lover who has moved on in a very public way allowing her to cyber stalk him. And once Joanna DeAngelis departs this mortal coil, she sticks around with an agenda and a poltergeist-like need for vengeance. Ned McGowan, who is the recipient of all her vitriol, is living it up in the celebrity obsessed world with his famous girlfriend. He had achieved a bit of his own fame as a pundit that bumps u ...more
Meredith Schorr
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Thank you, Netgalley, for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I'm a bit torn about this one because I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. I'm giving it 4 stars because it was well written, definitely riveting, and I'm still thinking about it the next day. That being said, it was nothing like I expected and I didn't buy how everything wrapped up at the end. I would have liked to see more insight into the afterlife or purgatory from the author's perspective, but at least
Marcy Dermansky
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The clear, crisp gorgeous writing. The voice of Joanna DeAngelis is so honest, real, vivid, human. She is so filled with love for her daughters, Laney and Anna, and for her dog, Tom, a standard poodle, who is a real character unlike any other dog in fiction.

She is also so filled with anger for her ex, for Ned, who is a fool, an idiot, who pays dearly for the poor treatment of a woman he actually loves. Somehow, I liked him anyway. The strange sad romance almost effortlessly cre
Lory Sakay
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stephanie Gangi takes a different, ghostly approach and marries it with the relevance of modern social media. She also successfully tackles the complexity of relationships and the impact of disease on the human psyche. Her writing is splendid. I could close my eyes and imagine the scene, the emotion, etc.. I almost wished I'd listened to the audiobook (only way to read with my eyes closed). Mid-book got a little too silly for me, contradicting with the heavier, more serious themes throughout the ...more
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Reading Group Gold: Giveaway-- THE NEXT Stephanie Gangi 3 16 Dec 28, 2016 01:22PM  
Reading Group Gold: The Next by Stephanie Gangi Discussion Questions 12 16 Dec 28, 2016 01:21PM  
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“I was a late bloomer, but anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.”
-- Sharon Olds

Stephanie Gangi is a lifelong New Yorker. She lives, works and writes in Manhattan. She was born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, and raised her own kids in Tribeca, Rockland County and on the Upper West Side.

Gangi’s first publishing credit, many years a
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“Feel it all, feel it all, leave it all behind. Love it and let it go. Let the living live, maybe that’s the lesson, my lesson, and maybe within that awareness, ta-da, the path I need to the light of peace will be revealed.” 1 likes
“She was electric, magnetic, all-impulse, a pulsing harridan. She streamed and flowed hair and arms and legs that went on and on as she surged and curled around the crib and the clothes and Ned.” 0 likes
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