Wednesday, February 4, 2015

ARC Review: The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson


Publisher: Self pub
Expected Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Adult
Source: E-ARC
Rating: 5 Stars
The Five Stages of Falling in Love is a Contemporary Romance.
Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady's prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn't just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she's capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there's more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there's more to life than death.

My heart still hurts after reading The Five Stages of Falling in Love! The prologue doesn't waste any time in making us weep like babies. It's true. It sucked me in and didn't let me go until the very end. As the blurb stated, this isn't a story about falling in love - even if the title might suggest that it is. This is a story about grief; it's about the aftermath of being left behind when the love of your life can no longer fight the horrible battle called cancer. I feel all weepy again just thinking about it.

Liz has been made into a single mother of four young children when her husbands dues of cancer. Life for Liz is no life without Grady by her side but she's been managing. Barely. She's need deep in five stages of grief, taking care of children - all while trying to just make it out of the bed everyday. It's hard. No one ever imagines losing their loved one to such a horrible disease and with Liz, well how in the world is she to continue caring for her children when she doesn't even care for herself.

She does it though. I think Liz is a strong character despite the fact that she feels everything in her life is falling apart. Her kids are always late to school, she had meetings with the counselor, and then a super cute man moves in next door to her house. She meets him when her daughter decides to go for a dip in his pool before school. While Liz is swimming around trying to get her daughter out, Ben walks up and offers a pop-tart to the little dear. It's the start of a very unlikely relationship. Hearts will be broken, love may or may not be in the air, and Liz will do whatever it takes to push Ben away.

Ben is wonderful. He's patient and kind; just the type of man any girl would be lucky to have. But Liz isn't having any of it. She'd rather he date her younger sister. The heart wants what the heart wants though. The more time Ben and Liz spend together, the more she pushes him away. She can't give him more because wouldn't that be cheating on Grady? It's been six months but how soon is too soon?

Liz struggles with finding a balance and the inner turmoil of feeling as if she's doing her dead husband a disgrace by having a male friend. Kid she has four children to think about as well. We are taken through such a heartbreaking yet incredible journey of love, loss, and acceptance. If there's one book you should read this year, this one is it.  

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About the Author:
I was born and raised in Nebraska, but spent my college years traveling the world. I fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. But I came back home to marry my high school sweetheart and now I spend my days raising our growing family. In those few spare moments I have, I am either reading or writing Young Adult Fiction, because I am obsessed with it.


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