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Life Happens on the Stairs

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Life Happens on the Stairs
And there's no running when it's your turn...
Winner of the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards
3rd Place, Young Adult Romance - 2016 Linda Howard Award of Excellence

Elsie Richardson’s world crumbles when her dad drops from a seizure at the 4th of July festival. The reality that his brain tumor is back with a vengeance slams the 17-year-old
Kindle Edition, 298 pages
Published September 1st 2018 by Amy J. Markstahler
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Patty (IheartYA)
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-net-galley
This is a solid YA contemporary. The story is structured well and stirs up a lot of feelings. I loved it for the most part, and it was close to being 5 stars. The writing, character development, and world building were great. It was easy to sympathize with the characters. The pacing at the end didn't flow well with the rest of the story and I was a little disappointed with it.

I came across this book on netgalley by accident and I'm glad I did. I had never heard of it before. I think more people
Eeva Lancaster
It is no wonder that this debut novel has won awards even before it's released. Some people are just born to write, although it did take Amy J. Markstahler five years to finish this book. Life Happens on the Stairs is a well-written, coming of age novel that delves into family relationships and a young woman's tendency to run when life gets difficult. Best of all is the romantic angle. A forbidden love between a rich, handsome, wonderful man, and Elsie, our heroine, the daughter of the help.

Life Happens on the stairs is an amazing, substance filled novel that anyone would love to read. The exceptional writing drew me in quickly within the first few pages and had me hooked for the rest of it. I just couldn't put it down! It had enough action to keep me anticipating Elsie's every next move, but still made my heart swoon from the love story between Tyler and Elsie. I especially loved their wholesome relationship and the deep character development throughout the book. If you haven't ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful novel!

I totally enjoyed reading Amy’s first novel. It is a sweet and loving story about true love. I look forward to more of your novels.
Jess (the cozy reader)
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great contemporary novel. I loved getting both Elsie’s and Tyler’s perspectives. I hope to see more of them in the future.
Grant Leishman
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
This award-winning, debut novel, Life Happens on the Stairs by Amy J Markstahler is a wonderfully fresh and realistic look at life and love and the contrasts between the "haves" and the "have nots"; the "elite" and the rest of us ordinary folk. Markstahler has definitely touched a spot in her readers hearts with this beautiful and touching portrayal of young love.

Elsie Richardson, a seventeen-year-old budding artist should be preparing for college, but when a brain tumour strikes down her
AnneMarie Dapp
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amy J. Markstahler’s breakthrough novel, Life Happens on the Stairs, is a true masterpiece in young adult fiction. I was enchanted by the multi-dimensional protagonists, Elsie Richardson and Taylor Vaugn. Their entertaining backstories blended perfectly with the history of their town, a small Tennessee community, rich with expectations and deep-rooted traditions. Descriptive prose and fresh dialog bring the story to life. This novel offers a wonderfully balanced cast of characters, both young ...more
Cindy Smith
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elsie and her family are Illinois Yankee transplants in Tennessee. Elsie's way of facing problems is to run, literally. Her mother works cleaning houses while her father is trying to grow peppers. Elsie is an artist and is finally going to exhibit her work at the fair. Thanks to her best friend, she is starting to get some attention but her father's tumor sends him into a seizure. A young man, Tyler Vaughn, comes to the rescue and helps get medical attention. This chance encounter leads to ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amanda Denno

What a delightful story of young love, life struggles and family relationships. I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to more from Amy. You really sucked me in with your ability to capture the emotional side of loss and how each character eventualky found healing and hope. Nicely done. This book made me smile, make me cry and most of all made me think more about life in general. I will definately buy your next book. If you haven't read it, get it before the price goes
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Life Happens on the Stairs” is the story of a young woman as she overcomes life’s struggles leading to adulthood. That’s the simple description of a story that is MUCH more. It isn’t often that I find myself so immersed in a book that it makes me cry, but “Life Happens...” is one such book. Ms. Markstahler puts the reader “into” the story in such a natural way that you feel the life of the protagonist, Elsie Richardson -- her ups and downs. It’s funny, sweet, sad, and heartfelt. I absolutely ...more
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gosh, I just love, love this book. For a first time author, Amy Markstahler is pretty good.

Love, family life, second chances - they're all here. I cried at the scene when Tyler gave a eulogy on the death of Elsie's dad. That was so sweet.

Another book that I read in one day. It was that good.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
The premise of the book is great. I liked the idea of a young woman dealing with grief, a new love interest, and growing up through the adversity. I think the author did a great job of taking us through those moments. What I struggled with was the narrative which seemed a bit drawn out (a tighter and more succinct story with clearly defined beats would have helped me) and I would have liked a bit more depth in the characters. The end was great - and that’s where I saw the author shine as the ...more
Louise Emerson
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
17 year old Elsie Richardson decides to try and sell her art. She is a talented artist, hoping to go to an Arts College next year.
However at the fair where she was selling her art, her Dad collapses. A handsome young man helps her call her Mum and an ambulance.

Elsie dad has a brain tumour and it had taken a turn for the worse. With her Mum torn between her job (she couldn't afford not to work) and spending time with her husband. Claire her Mum asks Elsie for help to clean her properties.

Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Life Happens on the Stairs felt a little tricky to read. On one hand, I really liked its portrayal of grief, particularly as the situation Elsie finds herself in, is one very familiar to my family. On the other, I really didn't like the main characters, at all, so I found the book hard to enjoy because I just didn't want to be spending time with them.

I've never been to Tennessee, so I really enjoyed the snapshot of life there. The people, the setting, the relationships, it all felt very genuine
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: mild spoilers.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of Life Happens on the Stairs by Amy J. Markstahler.

When Elsie's dad collapses from a recurring brain tumor, her 17 year old life is turned upside down. Now her mom needs her to fill in for her at work, while she also babysits her older brother who has never made her life easier.

But Elsie's life is also turned upside down when she meets Tyler, a super smart, super sexy and super rich young man from a local high society family. They create a
Jayasri KS
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I just finished reading this book and I wanted to write here immediately about it. This book is one of the best YA I have read in recent times. It is simple yet beautiful with a deep meaning.
Life Happens on the Stairs is a journey of a 17-year-old Elsie in a bad phase of her life. Her father is dying and she is in a relationship with a guy she isn't supposed to be and life doesn't look good. But she overcomes everything to have a happy ending.
The thing I liked about the book is it's writing
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite me liking contemporary romance novels, I found that Life Happens on the Stairs ended up with me disliking the book for the most part. Reasons as to why are:
-Tyler and mostly Elsie were unlikable as hell. All they seem to do is kiss, acknowledge Elsie's constant crying and run. I'm not discrediting their relationship, it's obviously genuine but as the outsider, I found it so repetitive.

-Elsie was so bland and is honestly a really bad friend (her only friend doesn't even get mentioned
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Faith is taking the first steps even when you don't see the whole staircase." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Elsie and her father are setting up the pop-up tent in their rented vendor space for the 4th of July festival in Tennessee.
It was supposed to be a great day and turned into her father having to be rushed to the hospital. He had been fighting brain cancer and was having a seizure.
"We can't waste a second. We have to be with the ones we love, and when they're gone, even when it's temporary, it
DesiRae Jones
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't typically read romance or contemporary style stories, so this book was definitely outside my norm.

This book had a "Nicholas Sparks" vibe, and could easily be a hallmark movie.

With that said, there were often times the characters frustrated me. I'll leave the whys out of my review since they would give you many things away I think.

Despite my frustrations with Elsie and Tyler the book was good. It had a clean romance with a story line to back it up, and neither side overshadowed the
Soulla Christodoulou
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life Happens on the Stairs is written with the word love and raw authenticity etched loudly on every page. A story of conflict...emotions, lifestyles, expectations, demands, death, grief, pain, love and trust. Throughout the story all these are touched upon, some in greater depth than others, through the experiences of Elsie, and those around her. But in the end it's a love story where love threads its way through the book like an invisible thread which shines the brightest gold on the last page ...more
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This YA novel is nearly perfect.
The love story between Tyler and Elsie is one that's old as time: loving someone outside of your social class, outside of your social circle, but still not giving up.
Elsie has a lot to juggle. Her father is dying, her mother is stretched thin and her brother is of little to no help. A chance meeting with Tyler leads Elsie down a path she never imagined for herself.
Life Happens on the Stairs is a sweet and loving story about giving into love when the odds are
Jacqueline Allan
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I enjoyed this story very much and felt like I knew each character personally due to the description of them. I enjoyed the storyline. This is not my usual genre but in this instance I am extremely pleased and grateful for opening up my mind to something totally different. Thanks again.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

I loved this book! It was sad, beautiful, haunting, romantic, and all the other emotions in between. It was a little hard to read some times because I just lost my mom over a year ago but maybe that made it better. I can't wait to read something else by this author.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful story about loss and love. While the theme of loss dominates the entire story, it’s the love that comes out victorious. Love really can conquer all, even in the most unlikely circumstances. Amy is a brilliant writer who can spin a tale you never want to end, and her characters are fabulously created and realistic. Can’t wait to see what she has for us to devour in the future!
Sarah Reilley
While I enjoyed the premise of this story, I couldn't get beyond the stale writing. There's much less "show" than "tell" here, and the characters remain fairly flat throughout the story. There wasn't much to keep me excited to read the story, unfortunately.
Sarah Reilley
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed the premise of this story, I couldn't get beyond the stale writing. There's much less "show" than "tell" here, and the characters remain fairly flat throughout the story. There wasn't much to keep me excited to read this story, unfortunately.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! A great story of love, loss, heartbreak and putting it all back together for the ones that you love.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Benny-Lori Dow
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2019
Donna Ciriello
rated it it was ok
May 22, 2019
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