Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
February 16, 2019 Alexandra Adlawan

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 stay away from 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 and that story 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. The treatments, the pills, the surgeries, the constant reminder that there’s a death sentence in their chest. It’s made very clear that unless you have cystic fibrosis, you cannot begin to comprehend what CFers have to go through. I can’t even imagine what it must feel like.

 

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 other teen romance stories where the boy and girl pine for each other and how some other part of the story keeps them apart, Stella and Will have an actual reason why they can’t be together. People with cystic fibrosis have to stay at least six feet away from each other or risk spreading germs to the other. They literality cannot touch. Now that’s struggle is real.

 

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 book get movie deals? 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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtgCqMZofqM

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 weeks’ Weird but True Fact about Lungs

Your lungs change color as you age.

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