Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott was a quick read for me, seeing as I’ve been taking weeks just to finish one book lately. I’m glad that this was a fast read, because if it was any longer, I would have had to DNF.
Like the infamous The Fault in Our Stars, both of our main characters have a fatal disease. Will and Stella have cystic fibrosis. And because of that, they must stay at least six feet apart at all times, or they will make each other sicker. They couldn’t be any more different from one another, each at one end of a spectrum. Will is the care-free soul who doesn’t let CF rule his life. He’d rather quit his treatments and travel the world before it’s too late. Stella, on the other hand, lives for her illness. She does everything by the book, crossing every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’ so she’ll have the optimal chance to live. When they first meet, it is not pleasant. Stella hates Will. But then, Rachael Lippincott does one of the things I hate in a book. She makes them fall in love instantly.
Now I didn’t hate the book, but it’s not my favorite YA contemporary story. The plot was predictable. You know that Will and Stella will fall in love after getting over their “I hate you but can’t stay away from you” phase. After eight days, they can’t get enough of each other. And I just don’t get it. It was rushed and I didn’t buy into it. I honestly believe that this book didn’t need the romance. I think it could’ve done well without it. After Will and Stella fall madly for each other, enough to risk their lives, quite literally, I was ready for the book to end.
I will say that the character development is ok. I liked that Will started to take his treatments more seriously. And Stella ends up living her life more fully, even going as far as to steal a foot back from CF and stay five feet away from Will. However, Rachel introduces a catalyst that drives Stella to live a little too incautiously. I don’t know how I felt about this. Without getting into spoiler territory, I’ll just say that it was unneeded and a bit cliché.
Five Feet Apart is not a bad book. It is predictable, but at times very sweet. I usually don’t pick up books like this. The real reason I decided to read this was for the movie. I love to make comparisons between books and their adaptations, so I couldn’t pass it up.
I know nothing about cystic fibrosis, but I think Five Feet Apart does a pretty good job shedding some light on. I can say I know more about now than I did a few days ago. Would I recommend this book to anyone? Well, if you enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars or Everything, Everything, this may be your cup of tea. As for those who hate insta-love and cutesy stories fueled by sweetness, I think you’d be better off skipping it.
Rating: 3/5 stars