Book Title & Alexandra's Review

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

High School


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?


I usually avoid medical stories (because they make me sad) and tragic love stories (because they’re unrealistic and make me gag), but the subject of cystic fibrosis caught my attention. The only other book I’ve read featuring cystic fibrosis was Ghost by Raina Telgemeier, which barely scraped the surface of the struggles people with CF have to go through.


Cystic fibrosis is genetic. There are treatments, but there’s no cure. CFers must deal with pills, surgeries, and the constant reminder that there’s a death sentence in their chest. It is made clear that unless you have cystic fibrosis, you cannot begin to comprehend what CFers have to endure. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like.


There is no over-the-top, unrealistic romantic mush in this book. Everything said and felt by these two characters feels real and genuine. Unlike so many teen romance stories where the boy and girl pine for each other and how something stupid is keeping them apart, Stella and Will have an actual reason why they can’t be together. People with cystic fibrosis must stay at least six feet away from each other or risk spreading germs to the other. They literality cannot touch. Now that’s a real conflict.


Some of you might have noticed the sticker on the book cover that says, “Soon to be a major motion picture.” Since when did newly published books get movie deals? It turns out this story was originally a screenplay.


The movie will be in theaters a couple of weeks from now, on March 22, 2019. I highly suggest reading the book before seeing the movie. Click on the YouTube link below to see the trailer:

The real surprise was finding out that not only is Cole Sprouse, known for his role in Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, starring in the film, but also Moises Arias, known for his role in Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana.


This week’s Weird but True Fact about Lungs

Your lungs change color as you age.

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