Danielle reviews The 5 Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson

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.

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ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Review

Sometimes you need a good cry and The 5 Stages of Falling in Love did the trick!  I lost count the number of times this book had me tearing up.  From the prologue I was weeping like a baby!  I was sucked in from the beginning and my emotions were all over the place.  Unlike the title the book is more about grief and dealing with the aftermath of cancer.   

Elizabeth is a mother of four who is left on her own struggling with the grief that cripples her after losing the love of her life and husband of eight years.  As the days and months go by after losing her husband, her life is quickly falling apart.  Her children are acting out and she struggles with the day to day activities she once had a partner to help her out with.  Then one day a new neighbor, Ben moves in and he is helpful and annoys the crap out of Elizabeth.  Their relationship is a slow build and Ben is a saint.  I really enjoyed his character.  He doesn't tread Liz like she is fragile.  He pushes her and is patient.  Their relationship was well paced but I wish we would have seen more of it.  

During the second half of the book I really started to get annoyed by Liz. I understand the grief and was sympathetic towards Liz but at times I wanted to see her make more progress.  I felt like she was constantly saying the say thing about letting her children down and not being able to move one.   Which are understandable giving the circumstances but I want to she her grow more.   I wanted to see more of the progress she was making.  After I finished, I questioned whether she really started to live again.  Ben was fantastic but at times I wondered what the hell he was thinking staying around.  I wish we would have been giving more insight into the development of their relationship.  I think this would have completed the story for me.  

Overall, I really enjoyed this one.  The writing was great, I just felt that the second half didn't live up to the prologue and beginning.  I'm probably out of the norm for not rating this one 5 stars but it just wasn't amazing to me.  It was really good and worth reading I just felt like something was missing.  

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