Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Book Review by Melanie Ignacio

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

“How long will I live my life afraid of what-ifs” – Stella.

Do you think it’s possible to fall in love with someone you can’t touch? You might be thinking that it seems completely impossible to fall in love with someone you can never touch. Human-touch is vital to communication with others, especially in a relationship. Touch is crucial to having a stable emotional and physical health. However, Five Feet Apart will prove you wrong. This is the story of two teenagers with cystic fibrosis, who end up falling in love with each other. Although the thing is, they may never touch one another.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes damage to the lungs, as well as the digestive system. It reduces one’s lifespan. Cystic fibrosis is incurable, but getting a lung transplant can extend and improve the quality of life. One very important rule is that patients with cystic fibrosis must keep a distance of at least 6 feet between them at all times. 

Five Feet Apart is about these two teenagers, who both suffer from a sickness called cystic fibrosis. Seventeen-year-old Will, one of the main characters, is rebellious, very disorganized and never listens to the rules. Seventeen-year-old Stella, on the other hand, is very organized, she’s also very in control of her life. In simple words she’s a perfectionist, but all of that is put to the test when her world collides with Will’s. The two teenagers meet at the hospital they’re both staying at, since their rooms are a couple of doors away. At first Stella refused to open up to Will, thinking it’d just waste and hinder her precious time; but as time went on, as Will and Stella started spending more time together, they both started to develop deeper feelings for each other, and eventually fall in love. However, they are not allowed to touch each other at all, because of cross-infection. They face many obstacles along the way. One would be the death of Stella’s best friend, Poe, who also had cystic fibrosis. Stella and Will realize that they only have each other now, and that they shouldn’t waste a single moment. Stella receives the news that she is finally able to receive a lung transplant, but she realizes that nothing is more important to her than Will himself. Will receives the heartbreaking news that changes everything. His treatment was not working, and his B.cepacia was worsening, and he wouldn’t have much time left. The biggest heartbreak they both have to face is saying goodbye to each other. When Will turned 18, he decides to leave both the hospital and Stella behind to go out and explore the world, like he always dreamed of. He also decides that it’s best if he leaves, with Stella’s new lungs he can’t risk infecting her. What will happen to Stella and Will’s relationship? How will they deal with the heartbreak? What does the future hold for them next? That is for you to find out.