Title: Five Feet Apart
Author: Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtery and Tobias Iaconis
What's it about?
Five feet Apart bounces between two points of view, that of Stella and that of Will as they try to make the best of their latest hospital stay.
Stella is 17, a control freak and determined to help put her broken family back together. To do so, she needs to be healthy, something she has never really been. Stella has CF (Cystic Fibrosis), a disease that is not only fatal, it effects every single moment of her day. CF lives in the lungs, decreasing the function of them which makes it hard to breath, catch your breath or be very physically active (of course, this is a super simplified definition). Sadly, those with CF are required to stay at least 6 feet apart from each other and not because of Covid, becuase those with CF can actually infect each other and cause the other's case worse then it already is.
So when Stella enters the hospital that's been her second home since she was six for, what she calls, a tune up, she doesn't expect much more then a normal, month long stay. She's even lucky enough to be staying there at the same time as her best friend in the world, the only one who actually understands what it's like to have CF because he has it, too. Poe. Things get even more complicated when she finds her self desperate to ensure that the new boy, Will, actually takes his treatments instead of shoving them off every chance he gets. But, nothing is that simple and Stella soon finds her interest in Will's life far more personal then his medical care and she's determined to keep Will in her life, and her heart, even if it kills her.
Will is done. He's sick of hospitals and feels invisible behind his illnesses. Yes. Multiple becuase not only does Will have CF, he also has another disease called B. cepacia, an infection that only amplifies the struggles of CF and knocks him out of the running for a lung transplant. He's put on an experimental treatment and is counting down the days until he is 18 and can legally take control of his own medical care. He's sarcastic and flippant, while underneath there's a scared little boy facing his own mortality and now he's fallen in love with Stella, a girl with CF. A girl his very presence in her life could kill. He's torn between chasing his love and living his life to it's fullest while he can, and protecting the person who has become the most important person in his life.
Favorite Character: The simple answer is, I don't have one. Now, hear me out. It's not becuase there are none that are good enough, it's because they characters are imperfect. They are flawed (crazy, huh? Human characters flawed?!). There are points where I don't like one of them so much, and times when I adore them. This applies for about everyone in the book. They are complex and hurting. They feel the need to protect themselves and, in the process, they sometimes do stupid things. But then, there are those moments that just melt your heart. When I sat down and thought about who my favorite was I found that my favorite fluctuated from one to another depending on what part of the book I was on.
Favorite Character: See above...unless you count CF and B. Cepacia. Because if they count, they are my least favorite characters for sure!
Favorite Part: There are a few but I think the part that made me decide that I did, indeed, love the book and was the moment that Stella had to have special medical care (yes. I'm being vague for a reason. I'm dancing around spoilers). It was the first time you see Will with his guard down and both Stella and Will are so vulnerable that it's hard not to just fall in love with them both.
"You want a problem to fix? Fic how you look at me." (pg. 197) I loved this line! So much of the problems we have in life or with other people is more a reflection of how we see people, the lens we look at them or the problem more so then then the actual issue.
I have to start off by saying that, although there is a lot of "talk" about how this is a book with a story intended to help spread awareness of CF, though there were some parts I'm not sure is entirely accurate. Mainly, with these sick kids having little supervision, even though being within 6 feet of each other could literally kill the patients and one of them is particularly deadly, which means, while they are old enough to take responsibility, it would be really easy for the patients to accidently harm each other. I also have a really hard time believing that, even though Stella had been there many times in her life, she has the access cold to half the hospital or that the kitchen was so easily infringed upon.
With that being said, I really enjoyed this story! It was full of emotion, leaving me crying multiple times during my read through. It was a fun, sweet story that ended significantly differently then I anticipated (that's not necessarily a bad thing). I was engrossed the whole time!
One of my favorite parts of the story was not just that it was a total teen romance which somewhat reminded me of a rom-com, lite on the "comedy"), but that Poe, Will and Stella all had moments where they did things that reminded me of things I would totally do in their situation, which was really kind of fun!
All in all, I really, really enjoyed this read and I'm totally up to read it again! It was sweet, caring, fun and super emotional. It's the perfect book if you need a good cry, or want to feel any kind of way!
I give this book a
10 oxygen tanks
But that's just me! What did you think of this book? Was it all you hoped it would be, or did it fall flat? Who did you love? Did you bawl like a baby, like I did? Let us know in the comments.