I have to admit, the book ended in a far different place than the initial blurb. The Next Thing I Knew is a YA book, but does involve many adults themes. Betrayal, Murder, Death... Everyone has suddenly died as the book begins, but the journey only starts there. Once Lucy and others find themselves as ghosts, they begin to search for missing family and friends, learn to "live" without their usual physical forms, and search for the reason everyone was dead. Lucy learns about herself, blossoming into a true leader while finding her way in this new "world." From there... it takes an entirely different direction than I anticipated.Aliens? Wow, I did not see that coming. And then the different kinds, fantastic! It was really well thought out, included complex alien language for names and to add flavor. The alien terms were not distracting or jarring, but rather flowed with the story.
It was well written, the characters were diverse and human. All were genuine in their feelings of jealously, love, retribution... it really showed the range of human behavior, including first love and fanaticism. Seemingly benign characters turn out far different than their initial impressions.
One of the few complaints I had about this book, was the feeling of "missing time". I would read a paragraph, and by the end of it need to re-read it because surely that much could not have happened in one single paragraph. But it had... it felt like many things were just barely scratched across the surface, but I wanted more details of all the events. I wished for more detail in several key events.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone interested in Ghost/Apocalypse (End of the World)/Science Fiction.