Audiobook Review: The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser


Release date: March 22, 2022

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


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.


Have you ever heard of an end of life doula? I hadn’t before this one and it instantly fascinated me. I can’t even imagine having such an emotionally draining job but I sure was interested in reading about it and that was just the tip of the iceberg as far as interest goes. Normally I wouldn’t describe a contemporary fiction novel as surprising or twisty but this one got me a few times which I was pleasantly surprised by. Surprised enough that I had to rewind actually to make sure I had heard what I thought I did. It was emotionally charged as well, I mean it deals with death but there’s so much more than death as far as emotional upheaval goes here. The audio narration was fantastic and engaging as well, if you enjoy unique character driven novels with plenty to discuss consider this one, it would also be a great book club read with tons to discuss.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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