What Next? - Shari Low

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

Val Murray and her best friend, Josie had been planning a ‘Thelma and Louise’ bucket list style holiday.
Now Josie is gone, and Val needs to make the trip before it’s too late.
But Val doesn’t want to do it alone, so she enlists the help of her nieces, Carly and Carole, and their best pal, Jess, who jump at the chance to join Val on a trip of a lifetime.
What Val doesn’t realise is that Carly, Carole and Jess are all at turning points in their own lives, nursing crushing secrets, lies and betrayals.
Somewhere between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York they all hit a crossroads and have to decide if they want to return to the lives they left behind or let Josie’s last wishes take them on a brand new adventure.

My Thoughts:

I was unsure about reading this third instalment in the series. I absolutely loved ‘What If?’ and it ended with the perfect happy ever after. So, when I read ‘What Now?’ and it blew that ending up into smithereens, I was left very disappointed and wished I’d just left it with the first book. However, going into this ‘What Next?’ instalment, I went in with the expectation that everything wouldn’t be perfect, rosy and shiny. The characters have their problems, making it easier to come to terms with everything that has changed over the last 20 or so years that these books have been set.
So we last left Jess living happily in LA and Carly having married Sam. The other characters were plodding on with their super lovely lives too. However, below the surface, everything wasn’t as it seemed, and they all had their own personal problems that they were dealing with.
I liked their adventures as part of Val and Josie’s bucket list. However, even though I have liked Val in the past, I found her to be a bit too much in this book. She was overbearing and wasn’t really considering anyone else’s situation. She had to do this, and it had to be now. I understood her reasoning, but it wasn’t right for Carly’s marriage, and it annoyed me that she just thought she could breeze in and take over.
I had no idea what was going on with Carol; I couldn’t quite place what medical reason she could have to make her feel that way. When it was revealed, I was blown away as I have been feeling some of those things like not wanting to do anything or see anyone, and I’m at the right age! It certainly made some things slot into place in my world. I’m grateful to the author for highlighting a different aspect and potential symptoms of something we all think we know about.
So, overall this had the usual laugh out loud moments you would expect from Low, but it also had some hard-hitting moments. The ending was slightly rushed, and there were a few loose ends I would have liked answering, such as what was Sam going to do about his job now?
After reading this instalment, I’m hoping this isn’t the end for this bunch of characters. I now feel invested in their lives, and I want more, please! A solid four-star read from me.

What Next?
by Shari Low
Date Started
5th March 2022
Date Finished
8th March 2022