Five Feet Apart follows two star-crossed characters, Stella and Will and their fight to love each other. The kicker is falling in love despite never being able to touch each other due to their disease. Rachel Lippincott (with authors Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis) brings to light the risks of cystic fibrosis. Like leukemia in John Green’s A Fault in Our Stars, CF is just as fatal.
The main characters find themselves fighting their own demons, while also fighting their feelings for each other. Stella is grieving the loss of a close family member while trying to stay alive to keep her now-divorced parents from losing all hope in life itself. Will seems to be fighting his mother on living his own life, while his mother just wants him to fight to be able to live that life.
As their stories intertwine, Will and Stella seem to switch personalities. Stella, always having to be on schedule and does everything by the book, becomes rebellious toward the end. Will comes into the story as the reluctant test subject to appease his mother to following Stella’s regime and wanting to fight for a reason to live.
The one flaw of this book is that the ending is very rushed. After the death of an important character, everything happens quickly before the reader has a chance to really process what has happened until the very end. All in all, it’s a very entertaining read and following the book-to-movie trope, makes a great narrative for today’s culture.