GIVEAWAY – Review of THE NEXT by Stephanie Gangi




“What the hell,” Joanna exclaims, upon entering the crowded, unpleasant realm of the spirits. “I pictured something out of a Nancy Meyers movie. I follow a light through a meadow, up a slate walk to a many-windowed house with white sofas, and…all the dogs I’ve had to put down greet me and frisk around me.”

BookSparks’ Fall Reading Challenge 2016 continues on with THE NEXT (St. Martin’s Press) – INDIE NEXT November pick and a perfect novel to read this Halloween. Divorced, Joanna DeAngelis dies young of recurrent cancer surrounded by her young daughters Laney and Anna, and her bestie 90-pound poodle, Tom. But instead of getting her life in order, she’s glued to Twitter, obsessing over her former lover, Ned, a Columbia professor who left her mid-disease for Trudi, a celeb dermatologist. Once she passes on, she takes her anger with her.

“She joins “the unresolved dead,” those unable to stop wanting what they cannot have, doomed to haunt their old neighborhoods, to orbit rather than rise. Her new mantra: “Make Ned pay.

Her fury is so extreme that it survives her death, and moves with her right into the Next world. As a ghost, she stays in touch by cellphone and the Internet. Sensed, though unseen by her daughters, her dog, and others, a truly “Mad” Joanna proceeds to use her powers to possess Ned’s body. She takes over his speech and actions in truly terrifying ways. Gangi has a blast with her undead character, who dive-bombs her own memorial service, trashes Dr. Trudi’s penthouse, and turns Ned completely social non-grata. As Ned comes to fully regret the huge mistake he can never undo, Joanna’s daughters struggle to find their ways in a motherless world. Or sort of motherless, anyway.

Eventually Joanna gets kind of bored torturing Ned and she reflects on the wisdom she’s left behind for her daughters and for us, her readers.”Rise and shine. Always make the bed. Look both ways. Don’t smoke after twenty-five. Three drinks maximum. Have fun but stay safe. Make your own money. Don’t have a boss–be a boss. Dance, in the car, in the supermarket, on graves. Barefoot whenever possible.” There’s not much funny about cancer, divorce and a broken heart, but in The Next, Gangi offers the next best thing.


Stephanie grew up in Brooklyn, attended the State University of New York at Buffalo and now lives in New York City. She got her standard poodle Enzo when she was leaving a relationship, and he helped her make the transition. Stephanie says she named Enzo, Enzo before learning of Enzo in THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. Enzo helps her write by getting her up early and taking her on long walks where she plots her stories. For ALL things Stephanie, check her out at twitter @gangi_land or on her website


Thanks to BookSparks and St. Martins Press for providing a copy of THE NEXT for an honest review. We have one copy of the novel to giveaway.Go up to the top of the review and in the comments area, tell us what the scariest book you ever read … not a thriller, more like a ghost story, to tie into our Halloween theme. We’ll announce our winner next Monday, October 31st, Halloween day.


@BookSparks  #FRC2016  #TheNext  #Reading     #Ghosts

19 thoughts on “GIVEAWAY – Review of THE NEXT by Stephanie Gangi

  1. I believe the scariest book I ever read was The Haunting of Hill House. I don’t remember the book, but the fact that I remember the title, the author, and that it scared me to death tells me I am correct. I think I intentionally blacked it out of my memory. I was young then, so it wasn’t my current short term memory problem. 🙂 Anyhow, this book sounds good and thank you for the chance!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm to be honest I’ve never dipped in to a really scary novel as I’ve always have loved women literature, romance, thriller, fantasy, and literary texts. So for I guess either Dracula or Frankenstein even though they weren’t that scary. Eek I’m not doing well at this. However I’ll surely give this a read if I do win and maybe it will convince me to read more books in this genre. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know why, and if I reread it now I’d probably feel differently, but when I was in middle school I read ‘The House of the Scorpion’ and thought it was terrifying. It’s more of a sci-fi novel, maybe I do need to reread it now that I am thinking about it!! Excited for this giveaway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scariest book I ever read was Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. Way scarier than the vampire books that have come out in the last 40 years. “IT” by King follows as a close second. 👍🏻🎃💀👻📚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The scariest book I’ve ever read was anything by Kevin O’Brien. He has a way of making you feel as if you’re the main character, being stalked by the serial killer. His books would make great movies!

    Liked by 1 person

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