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Five Feet Apart

Title: Five Feet Apart

Authors: Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Published: 20th of November 2018 – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Paperback – 276 pages

“If this is all we get, then let’s take it. I want to be fearless and free,” she says, giving me a look, daring me. “It’s just life, Will. It’ll be over before we know it.”

Hello Hello! How are you?

I’m finally posting a review for this book I read a few months ago! It has taken me a long time, but here we are! This is a book I read for my thesis, and I have quite a few thoughts, so keep on reading to read what they were!

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

In this moving story two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within five feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

MY REVIEW

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis is a standalone YA contemporary romance novel in which we meet Stella and Will, our two narrators, as they arrive in the hospital once again for treatment to help them live with cystic fibrosis and keep infection at bay.

I chose this book for my thesis as I’m studying disability and illness in English Literature, and I had this on my shelf ever since it came out, so I’m really glad that I got to it. I’m actually only going to do mini-reviews for books I read for my thesis because there are going to be tonnes. I’ll do a longer review of them if I love them or have a lot to say though.

I picked this book to read first because I personally feel like cystic fibrosis is a bit of a misunderstood illness, I knew it had something to do with lungs not functioning properly, but before I delved into this world and did some research on the side, I didn’t really know how serious it is, and that makes me angry because we should know more about illnesses such as this one.

Checking a dictionary, I actually realised what the name of this disease was in French and during my high-school years, I actually ran to raise money for this illness. My school had a cross-country run every year and everyone had to participate because people with this illness can’t, and again, back then I didn’t realise how important it was, but I understand now, and I think we should all do better to understand disabilities and illness. Anyway, rant and waffle over, onto my thoughts!

I’m afraid this wasn’t the best book I have ever read, but I was engaged and I sped through it in a few short sittings. I was expecting to cry, I got a bit teared up at the end, but it didn’t pull on my heartstrings as much as I expected it would, which is kind of strange considering the theme, but I suppose The Fault in Our Stars by John Green completely broke my heart and I still haven’t recovered from it.

Stella and Will were such interesting characters and I felt for them, this story was really sad and I think that if you’re looking to understand illness better, this would be a good choice. It was interesting to read about how the illness affected Stella, Will and Poe, how they each dealt with it, their thoughts about it and even though I don’t have cystic fibrosis, some of the things they said really hit home. Stella is a bit of a control freak when it comes to her life and managing her illness, I completely understand that though as I’m much the same. I also understood Will, however. He is fed up and has been dragged around his whole life and he just wants to live.

I did enjoy this book, not the most enjoyable one I’ve read, but I’m putting that down to the fact that it’s YA contemporary and it’s just not a genre I read that much of anymore. I can’t fault the theme and the representation though, I don’t know what it’s like to live with this illness, but I think the authors did a good job of portraying their characters.

There are a few things that really annoyed me in this book, like Stella thinking that she needs to fight and stay alive so her parents don’t go off the rails, I found this really vivid and I’m sure a lot of people have thought this, but it might be triggering, so just bear that in mind. And the way that these characters’ parents acted seemed a bit weird to me, the nurses and doctors that look after them are more like family in a way.

Trigger Warnings: death, mention of death, grief, loss, illness, hospitals, vivid depictions of the consequences and struggles of CF.

MY THOUGHTS AND RATING

This was meant to be a mini-review but it was a bit longer than I was expecting aha! Overall, this was a good book, there were some issues for sure, but the theme of this book was so strong and I felt that it was done well.

I gave this book 3.5 stars, again, not the best-written book ever and it didn’t hit me in the feels as I was expecting (that makes me sound and feel cold-hearted but it just didn’t, unfortunately). I learned a lot of things about this illness and I think that it was really worth reading! The writing style was nice and kept me reading and I have so many sticky tabs in this book for quotes that could be useful for my thesis!

I would recommend this book to people who like YA contemporary romances, stories of disability and illness, teenagers in love and who aren’t too sensitive to themes of death, dying, illness and grief.

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

ASPECTS RATING

Atmosphere – 4

Start – 5

Pacing – 6

Ending – 6

Characters – 7

Theme – 8

Style – 6

Total = 42

3.5-star rating

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If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here:  Amazon UK  – Amazon FR – Amazon US – AbeBooksThe Book DepositoryAudible FRWaterstonesBarnes and NobleAudible UK Scrib’dKobo

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