AUTHORS- Racheal Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
PUBLISHED IN- 2018
Why do I keep on picking up books that I know that I won’t like anyways? Especially when it comes to YA, I no longer enjoy the unfolding of events the way it does in YA novels. I must have said it a couple of times already but I hate that the characters don’t get enough justice as the reader doesn’t get access to the depths of the minds of the characters. It’s kind of an irony how YA books centre around teens and yet they don’t give a lot of thought on what’s going on in the minds of the teens. If anything, the minds of the teenagers are the most vibrant, filled with every possible emotion as they struggle to figure out what they want. How can people suppress such emotions to write something bland?
So anyway, I was watching the movie of the same name and the WiFi went down half an hour into the movie. Obviously I went for the book then (because I am that impatient). The two characters, Will and Stella suffer from cystic fibrosis which is a respiratory disease that clogs the lungs with mucus and makes it difficult to breathe. Two patients suffering from CF are not supposed to be around each other as they could potentially exchange bacteria, thereby putting each other’s lives in danger. To make matters worse, Will had additionally contracted B.cepacia, a deadly combination with CF. So the rule for them is to be six feet apart at all times, just so they don’t kill each other off. The name of the book being Five feet apart, meaning that despite being risky for the both of them, they take a step towards each other, one feet closer.
Yeah, obviously they are in blind love, ignoring the rights and wrongs in front of them. Stella was extremely careful with her regime so that she could get a pair of lungs from the transplant list; the new lungs would give her an additionally cough free life of five years. For someone who is living by the minute, five years is sure a lot. She breaks away from her schedule when she witnesses everything falling apart in front of her. Her best friend, Poe who was also a CFer, dies abruptly, minutes after they were laughing together. How could anyone be so sure of life? One minute you are living your fullest, the other minute, you are free falling from a building. So she decides to quit caring for her regime and instead focus on what is in front of her i.e. Will. On the other hand, Will knew that he had no chance of recovery with the double deal that he was hanging around with. He had lost all his hopes and just wanted to spend his last days far away from hospitals, under open skies with mindless pleasures. Being with Stella changes his mind as he wishes to live life a little bit more with her. In a way, both of them exchange their opinions on life and death. Will goes from being careless to staying away from Stella so that he could love her from afar while Stella goes from sticking firmly to her regime to wanting to be with Will so that she could love him from up close. The innocence of love or stupidity of teens? You be my guest.
I faintly remember studying about CF during Biology lessons. We never read about the struggle that the people suffering from it go through. It was always just ‘bacteria this, bacteria that’. We were confined in our own world where we learnt what we needed to. I can’t decide it just yet whether or not that’s a good thing.
Lastly, isn’t the poster gorgeous? I love it so much! The very idea of lungs in the shape of twigs and flowers is beautiful. That actually reminds me of the fictional disease, Hanahaki. I love the concept of Hanahaki disease where the person suffering from the disease coughs up flowers which had been growing in his lungs due to his unrequited love. Imagine just how many people would die if this were to be a real disease.