Title: Five Feet Apart
Author: Rachael Lippincott
Happyasamother Rating: 7/10
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Teen Fiction
I downloaded this book after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation on social media a few weeks ago. I am a sucker for love stories– and movies featuring Cole Sprouse.
The story flip flops from the point of view of two main characters, Stella and Will.
Stella is a senior in high school, but she seems much older and more mature. Probably due to the responsibility that comes with managing her Cystic Fibrosis, which we learn that she was diagnosed with when she was 6 years old. Stella’s entire life revolves around managing her disease by taking her medications on time and following every rule to make sure she does not contract an infection. In her spare time, she develops apps and runs a YouTube channel that documents her battle with living with the chronic illness. She is determined to keep herself as healthy as possible while she waits for a lung transplant that may never come.
Will is the new kid on the block so to speak. He has also battled a long journey with the disease and after traveling to hospitals around the world looking for a new or alternative cure at the hands of his mom, he has landed at the same hospital as Stella. It seems like the only thing that Will and Stella have in common is their CF; Will does not take his treatments seriously and breaks rules that he loathes. We learn that he is counting every one of the 14 days until he turns 18 and so that he can start refusing the treatments that his mom desperately seeks and thrusts upon him, and he can leave the hospitals that he has come to despise. He wants to stop focusing on staying alive and actually go out and LIVE while he still has time.
Despite their differences, the two become friends and their friendship quickly turns in to something more. The kicker? CF patients have to stay six feet apart from each other at all times for their own safety. One cough, one sneeze, one TOUCH could kill them both. Caught in the whirlwind of shared pain, new romance, and young love, are they willing to risk their lungs to save their hearts? (Is that too cheesy to say… we all know that love causes us to make irrational decisions).
What I liked about this book is that it really makes you think about all of the challenges people with CF- and other chronic disease for that matter- face in their daily lives. It chronicles what it’s like to fight for every breath, to wonder every day if you will make it another year. It really shows you how people can take for granted the most simple of things, like breathing without difficulty or just being able to hold hands with a person that you love. These patients have to physically stay away from the only other people who can REALLY understand them, and the author does an amazing job at capturing all of the frustration and pain that comes with knowing that.
This book was extremely sad… I am NOT a crier and I took a break from it to go cry in my bathroom before returning the cough to finish it. I finished this book in one sitting because I was desperate to finish it and see how these two could possibly get their happy ending that they so deserve.
Cystic Fibrosis, Young Love, Chronic Illness, Friendship, First Love
This book teaches us to not take life for granted- and that any of our lives can change at any moment.
How long will I live my life afraid of what-ifs?
I’m tired of living without really living.
If I’m going to die, I’d like to actually live first.
It’s just life. It’ll be over before we know it.
Interested? Buy it here on Amazon Kindle.
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