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Five Feet Apart

Review

Five Feet Apart

written by Rachael Lippincott with contributions by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Adapted from the soon-to-be-movie starring Cole Sprouse, FIVE FEET APART by Rachael Lippincott tells the tragic love story of two teens, both living with cystic fibrosis. Fans of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING will fall in love with this new YA novel.

Stella Grant has had cystic fibrosis for most of her life, spending most of her time in the hospital, taking medicine, doing treatment, and waiting for the call that there is a new pair of lungs for her. Constantly confined to a hospital bed --- away from her friends and high school --- because of the smallest cold or infection, Stella struggles with what she can control. She methodically arranges her med cart each day, and even designs an app that helps patients know when to take what medicine. She sticks to her lists and routines, making vlogs about her journey with CF to encourage others struggling with the disease as well.

"An exploration of grief, friendship and love defying all odds, FIVE FEET APART is a tear-jerking romance perfect for teenagers who loved THE FAULT IN OUR STARS..."

But Stella’s meticulous way of life and careful planning may all go out the window when a new boy with CF, Will Newman, moves into her wing of the hospital. Stella knows that contact with Will could cost her a new set of lungs and maybe even her life, so she sticks to the six-foot apart rule, avoiding all contact with him and his dangerous bacteria. The six-foot apart rule becomes more and more difficult to follow the closer that Stella and Will become. They bond over their shared hospital experiences, loneliness and tragic pasts. Unable to touch each other, or even get within six feet of each other, Stella struggles to maintain her careful attention to getting healthy. The closer Stella and will get to each other, the harder it is to stay away.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Stella and Will, FIVE FEET APART explores what it means to love and the importance of human touch in relationships. Stella deals with overcoming grief and loss and maintaining her sense of self in spite of her disease. Both Will and Stella struggle with their relationships with their parents and missing out on the normal activities of kids their age.

Lippincott writes with honesty and about relationships with friends, parents and siblings. Though at times the actions of the characters seem unrealistic or drastic, Lippincott tries to portray the recklessness that can often be part of teen love. FIVE FEET APART is a quick read full of well-thought out characters. The diversity among characters brings a more realistic spin to the story, but this often leads to the characters falling into typical YA tropes. This book is not unique, and readers with experience in the YA genre will most likely be able to predict the plot with relative accuracy. But this novel is still worth the read as it looks into different very real aspects of lives of teenagers and disease.

An exploration of grief, friendship and love defying all odds, FIVE FEET APART is a tear-jerking romance perfect for teenagers who loved THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, MIDNIGHT SUN, or EXTRAORDINARY MEANS. Lovers of YA romance or readers looking forward to the movie adaptation of this book will want to read FIVE FEET APART.

Reviewed by Ellie T., Teen Board Member on December 18, 2018

Five Feet Apart
written by Rachael Lippincott with contributions by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis