Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Release Day! The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser ~ My Thoughts #TheNextThingYouKnow

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Jessica
on the release today of
The Next Thing You Know!

The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser
Fiction, Drama, 352 pages
Published March 22, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

A musician facing the untimely end of his career. An end-of-life doula with everything, and nothing, to lose. A Star Is Born meets Me Before You in this powerful novel by the author of A Million Reasons Why.

As an end-of-life doula, Nova Huston’s job—her calling, her purpose, her life—is to help terminally ill people make peace with their impending death. Unlike her business partner, who swears by her system of checklists, free-spirited Nova doesn’t shy away from difficult clients: the ones who are heartbreakingly young, or prickly, or desperate for a caregiver or companion.

When Mason Shaylor shows up at her door, Nova doesn’t recognize him as the indie-favorite singer-songwriter who recently vanished from the public eye. She knows only what he’s told her: That life as he knows it is over. His deteriorating condition makes playing his guitar physically impossible—as far as Mason is concerned, he might as well be dead already.

Except he doesn’t know how to say goodbye.

Helping him is Nova’s biggest challenge yet. She knows she should keep clients at arm’s length. But she and Mason have more in common than anyone could guess… and meeting him might turn out to be the hardest, best thing that’s ever happened to them both.

The Next Thing You Know is an emotional, resonant story about the power of human connection, love when you least expect it, hope against the odds, and what it really takes to live life with no regrets.

My thoughts about The Next Thing You Know ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"Mason had already promised himself he wouldn't make any decisions today."

I have to admit this story started out slow for me. I didn't feel connected to the characters. I was confused by what was going on and what wasn't being said. I have read other books by this author so I knew it should have been a good read. 

Well, somewhere along the way I think maybe I figured out what the author was doing. I was feeling the way the characters were feeling and interacting with each other—confused and leaving out parts of their stories. (Jessica, if this wasn't intentional, don't tell me, let me believe I figured out your intent.) 😉

As feelings and facts were revealed, both in the book and in my mind, I became very attached to the characters and was emotional right along with everyone else involved. And then I devoured the story! 

And I felt all of the frustration that they did, as well as their love, compassion, hope, and forgiveness. This would be a great book to re-read, just to see the characters in a new light from the very beginning. 

The Next Thing You Know ended up being an amazing story that will truly stick with me for a long time. I loved everything about it. The characters grew on me and lessons were learned—to realize that you don't always know what someone is going through, so you just need to give them a chance. 

I received a copy of The Next Thing You Know from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Jessica Strawser is the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You (a B&N Best New Fiction pick), Not That I Could Tell (a bestselling Book of the Month selection), Forget You Know Me (now in paperback), and the 2021 SheReads, E! News & Goodreads "Most Anticipated" title A Million Reasons Why, releasing to a starred Booklist review in March 2021. Her fifth novel, The Next Thing You Know, is forthcoming in March 2022 (all from St. Martin's Press). 

She is Editor-at-Large for Writer’s Digest and a contributing editor for Career Authors, and her work has appeared in The New York Times' Modern Love, Publishers Weekly, and other fine venues. She lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was named the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

A popular speaker at writing conferences, book clubs, and book festivals nationwide, she is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers, Fiction Writers Co-op, and Women's Fiction Writers Association. Connect with her on Twitter @jessicastrawser and Facebook and Instagram @jessicastrawserauthor. Visit jessicastrawser.com to learn more, read some of her work and sign up for her email list to receive occasional updates and hellos. ~ Goodreads

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