My Rating ~ Four stars
RELEASED: 20 November 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Can you love someone you can never touch?
Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.
What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?
Well, I’ve just added one more book to the very small list of books that have made me CRY.
I know next to nothing about Cystic Fibrosis and it was so interesting to read about these two kids struggling but coping in different ways. Stella throws herself into organisation and forced optimism, with a determination to live – if not for her, for her parents who she can’t imagine would cope without her. Will takes a cavalier approach to his treatments and tries to keep up a devil may care attitude to the fact that he’s now terminal. As Stella convinces him to take his treatments seriously, to at least appease her need to feel in control, they start to realise their feelings are turning into something they can’t possibly allow them to. After all, they can’t come within six feet of each other.
Overall I really enjoyed this story. It was emotional, sweet and made me so thankful for the easy life I lead. There were a couple of things that bothered me though – one of them being that I just don’t like it when books about people with a disability / mental illness etc insinuate that they aren’t living a full life because they’re not travelling the world or experiencing a typical life. I don’t have personal experience with CF or other similar physical conditions, and I hate to assume I know how other people would feel, but I think it’s important, especially in a YA book, to show teens that you can still lead a full life, even if it doesn’t look the same as someone else’s.
Poe was by far my favourite character and I really liked Will too. Stella was a little too controlling for my tastes 😏 but I could still understand why and how she had developed that personality. The way she felt as though she had to prop up her family, while dealing with her day to day life with CF was heartbreaking. I thought the authors did a good job of showing the struggles experienced by different members of the story. from the kids with CF, to the nurses who cared for them, to Wills mum and Stella’s parents and friends. They all had different outlooks and seperate ways of coping, just as it is in real life.
I’m glad I read this book, although it was similar to other books of it’s type, I felt like I got an insight into the lives of the “CFers” and the illness itself.
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