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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Laconis

Stella Grant and Will Newman, the two main characters in the book “Five Feet Apart”, are two teens who have Cystic Fibrosis and fall in love with each other during treatment. For people who don’t know, Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, and that’s why if you take a closer look at the book cover, you will see a lung made of flowers, indicating a beautiful meeting where the story begins.
Cystic Fibrosis can be life-threatening since it causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. Also, it is dangerous for two patients to stay together considering that the cross-infection may happen and it will worsen each other’s condition. Therefore distance is always required between Stella and Will whenever they are together.
Normally, Stella should be the one who likes to be in control and strictly follows the hospital’s instructions to stay away from anything that may threaten her life and body, and it should be Will who doesn’t care about treatment and wants to get out of the hospital to break the rules. But since they met each other, everything seems to be going in a different direction.
When they fell in love and were found being together, the nurse warned them not to see each other or either one of them could die and it would be the other’s fault. When it comes to the other, Will becomes the one who is more cautious. He starts to avoid Stella to keep everything safe for her. The distance between them becomes further than the first time they met. But he is not the only one who takes a different action.
In repsonse to the nurse’s warning, Stella found out that the safe distance between two people who both have CF is six feet and if she and Will keep six feet away at all times, they should be safe. In addition, Stella brings up the idea of stealing back one foot. By doing so, they are not five feet apart but one foot closer than other CF people.
The story is beautiful so far but the difficulty of them being together is more than what can be anticipated.
Beyond the love story, it is really surprising to see the small things that we are able to do which are so difficult for them – from taking a normal breath or living a normal life. The life of CF people may not be that sad in the real world, but living a healthy and normal life is truly a great asset to us. If we have the chance, don’t let go when we can use it to say, to do and to be with people we love.


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