Title: Five Feet Apart
Author: Rachael Lippincott
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Story Perspective: Alternating First-Person
Themes: Friendship, Love, Death, Self-Control, Loss, Grief, Forgiveness
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Teenage Stella has been fighting cystic fibrosis since she was six. She is determined to do everything in her power to stay healthy, strong, and simply alive. However, when she meets Will, who has all but given up on his treatments due Burkholderia cepacia (b. cepacia) along with his cystic fibrosis, things change.
Not only do the two find a happy medium, where Will will continue his treatments and Stella poses for a drawing for him, feelings begin to stir between the two. Now, the rule of thumb (stay six feet away from each other) seems like torture. Maybe five feet apart will be okay.
For quite some time, I’ve been curious about this book. It’s one that I saw it was made into a movie, but have yet to give it a read. Now that I have finished, I’m not quite sure why I’ve waited so long! It was one that I truly enjoyed and am happy to have picked up.
Though I knew the two young protagonists were going to fall in love, like many contemporary young adult novels, there was enough of a plot to keep me entertained. I learned about cystic fibrosis, read about a friendship, related to a loss, and experienced a sweet romance.
As an adult who has fallen head over heels for my husband, the sweet and natural love that Stella and Will share was relatable (aside from the sickness part). Due to not being able to physically touch each other due to their cystic fibrosis, there weren’t any drawn-out scenes of the two making out/kissing each other or even for the chance of intercourse. This, to me, was wonderful. I don’t necessarily need to read about a couple having intercourse or make-out scenes, but I do enjoy sweet and innocent romances.
Both Stella and Will, I found to be entertaining and likable. Some could argue that maybe their characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, but I enjoyed them as individuals and as a couple. Even with the book’s brevity, they both grew in their own ways and their growth seemed natural. Most of the secondary characters weren’t given as much as role, but then again, the story was meant to focus on Stella and Will.
Overall, I really enjoyed this read, and I looked forward to reading it every time I picked it up.
I would highly recommend Five Feet Apart to those who enjoy sweet young adult romance novels.