Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: illness, cystic fibrosis, death, love, grief.
Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Five Feet Apart is young adult romance novel about a high school senior named Stella Grant, who has been dealing with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) her whole life. CF is an incurable disease that often results in respiratory failure, and Stella’s lungs are only at 35% functioning capacity. Though her parents are obviously aware of her disease and it’s dire situation, she has been downplaying her struggle and symptoms recently because she is concerned about how they would handle the news. Recently divorced, her parents struggle to communicate with each other, and are still grieving the loss of their once healthy, adventurous daughter, Abby.
Stella is determined to not worry her parents, and puts a lot of pressure on herself to maintain a strict regimen for her medications- even developing an app for treatment reminders. A lung transplant is the only thing they can keep her going. So for that sake she maintains a six foot distance between her and everyone she loves. However, when she meets a guy with cystic fibrosis, she can’t help but fall for his bad boy Ways .
In order to receive a lung transplant, main character Stella must remain six feet apart from those she loves, in order to not contract anything her poor immune system couldn’t handle. Even a cold could be deadly for her. However, this also means being unable to hug her best friends, family, or even the boy she falls in love with- Will Newman. So, she decides to reclaim one foot of that space that CF has taken from her, so that she can be five feet apart from Will, and finally feel free to think of herself beyond her CF.
Five Feet Apart has a lot of similarities to The Fault In Our Stars , but rather than the specific focus on the relationship that blossoms within the pages, it tends to focuses on the impact of the struggles associated with maintaining the relationships. Lippincott shows this through not only Stella and Will’s relationship with each other, but their relationships with their parents, their friends, and with Stella and Abby’s sisterhood. Though both novels are similar, I did not feel like one detracted from the other- they’re both equally beautiful stories.
Lippincott’s novel is lighthearted enough to be read by young adults, but far from a light read as there is heavy content relating to the health issues of the main characters, the personal family struggles, and experience of grief and death. Therefore, I think adults can appreciate and enjoy this sort of emotional read, despite it’s YA genre branding. I certainly will be recommending Five Feet Apart to all ages.
TL/DR: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott is a young adult novel about two teens with cystic fibrosis who fall in love despite their inability to get physically close without complicating their health.
Read it? Yes, this was a really sweet and quick paced read.
Recommend it? Yes, especially to those who loved The Fault In Our Stars .
Buy it? Yes! This cover is gorgeous and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed with this read.
If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads:
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon