Book Review: “Five Feet Apart” by Rachael Lippincott

Stella has been coming to the hospital for the past ten years, ever since she was six, for treatments related to cystic fibrosis. It’s practically her second home, and her need for order, organization, and sticking to plans makes her the model patient. Down the hall, Will is pretty much the opposite. He has CF too, but also a bacteria that makes his case especially difficult. Feelings develop, as they do, but in this case – getting more than a few feet close to Will could literally kill Stella. How do they cope? Can they even? How much is first love worth?

This story started as a screenplay (the movie released yesterday I think), and this is the novelization. It reads very quickly, and has all the dependable emotional elements you’d expect: highs and lows. You’d expect that anyway in a story about anyone with a terminal illness, I suppose. I have to wonder though, if this story had developed in the opposite order, would we have seen greater depth of character? Greater depth of everything? Don’t get me wrong, this is a good story and I think it will play out beautifully on screen and I look forward to seeing it at some point. But as a book… I hoped for a little more I guess.

No matter what, this cover is GORGEOUS.

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