A dos metros de tiby Rachael Lippincott Published 21 Mar 2019
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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?
"A dos metros de ti" Reviews
There’s some disagreement within the CF community about whether or not this book is an accurate depiction of CF. And I think that will depend on who you ask. Each and every person with CF experiences this disease in our own way, from its severity to our symptoms, to how we feel about the disease and its impact on our lives. It would be impossible for one book to represent every one of us.
Stella, Will, and Poe are in what I would call end stage CF, meaning their lungs are at a point that transplant is the only option. So far my experience with CF looks different from theirs in some very specific ways: I don’t have a feeding tube, I’m not in need of a lung transplant, and I don’t spend a lot of time in the hospital (all of these things of which I am VERY grateful). For me, one of the hardest parts of living with CF is the fear -- knowing what’s possible, that my life will most likely be shortened, that one cold or bad bacteria could change everything -- makes me feel like I need to be hyper vigilant about my health.
I appreciated that the book discussed the importance of treatment compliance. Most everyone with CF goes through a period of not wanting to do their treatments but it’s not something I’ve seen talked about before outside of the CF community.
I also think the book did a great job showing how isolating it is to not be able to be around the very people who understand what living with this disease is like. I’ve never met someone else with CF -- never had a cup of coffee, grabbed dinner, or hugged someone who knows how brutal that disease can be. It’s one of the hardest parts of having CF.
As for representation, do I think Five Feet Apart did a good job of portraying life with CF? Yes… and no. A lot of the emotions, while heightened and at times dramatic (as YA tends to be), were relatable. Loneliness, fear, guilt (especially survivor’s guilt) -- those are feelings I experience. Was it medically accurate? In a lot of ways it was, although there were a couple scenes that didn’t feel quite plausible.
It’s important to remember who this book is written for; it was not intended for me, and because of that there were aspects of it that didn’t resonate. I’m hopeful that this book will at least get people to pay attention to a disease that has largely been unknown. (One other thing to note: this book was based off of the screenplay for the Five Feet Apart movie.)
Overall, the reader in me enjoyed the story and the characters (I’m a sucker for an ill-fated romance). The CF side of me is glad this book (and the upcoming movie) is out in the world. At the very least it’s starting some conversations.
Claire Wineland, who passed away from CF last year, had a huge hand in the creation of this story. Her contributions went a long way in giving a voice to those of us with CF. Please check out Claire’s Place Foundation to learn more about her life.
Heartfelt, touching & absorbing!
FIVE FEET APART by RACHAEL LIPPINCOTT was such an endearing, engaging and a sweet Teens & YA novel featuring two teenage main characters, Stella and Will who are both patients in the hospital with Cystic Fibrosis that fall in love. I was totally taken with this story and this tale of these two star-crossed lovers, Stella and Will as they totally consumed my thoughts and my heart.
This book immediately grabbed my attention with that gorgeous cover and I knew it was a book that I had to read. Although I was a little bit worried because it is marketed for the Teens & YA genre but I needn’t have worried though as I was immediately drawn into this touching and heartbreaking story and I couldn’t put it down. This story was so sad to read at times but yet at other times it was so hopeful. It had me smiling and feeling such warmth and love for these two characters.
RACHAEL LIPPINCOTT delivers an intriguing, emotional, well-plotted and well-written read here with relatable and likeable characters that I couldn’t help but to fall in love with. The story is told in alternating perspectives between Stella and Will and I thoroughly enjoyed both narratives equally. They complimented each other so well and I really felt for them. Both of their situations and feelings towards each other rang true and I loved how I learned so much more about Cystic Fibrosis.
The story might be considered to be a little bit corny or cliche for some but for me I totally fell for it and devoured it in two sittings. I am a total sucker for emotional and sweet romance novels.
Learning that this book is already being made into a movie I just had to watch the trailer and I know that it is a movie that I am definitely putting on my list of movies to watch.
Cover: Eye-catching, gorgeous, intriguing and a beautiful representation to storyline.
Title: Such a meaningful, emotive and fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, effortless, genuine, light and beautiful.
Plot: Engrossing, interesting, heartfelt, steady-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: An open-ended ending that left me feeling hopeful and totally satisfied.
Overall: The story is a tender, light and easy read that just simply pulls at the heartstrings. Would highly recommend!
Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada and Rachael Lippincott for providing me with an advanced readers copy of this wonderful book.
Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog:
Two things before I start my review:
1. I really, really, REALLY wanted to like this book. I believe it’s urgent to raise awareness about CF and many other chronic illnesses (many of them invisible) countless people live with.
2. I don’t have CF and I don’t have family members with CF (although I do have friends with CF). I won’t speak over CFers because this is not my narrative; this is theirs. I know Claire Wineland was a great help in the making of this story and I know many CFers are grateful for the representation in media. However, I’m also aware that an equally large number of CFers have raised concerns over the romantization of CF and the novel’s central topic. When talking about things that irked me the wrong way, I am in debt with Gunnar Esiason and Elsie Tellier for their analyses on the premise of Five Feet Apart, which have educated me a lot on the matter.
Phew! Let’s begin:
• The romantization of CF. Look, this was my biggest concern but I’m afraid Five feet apart falls into the same category as The Fault in Our Stars and other sick-lit books. Although they do get things right about CF (the treatments, especially), the ugly symptoms are conveniently brushed away. We don’t see any of the various digestive side affects of CF (apart from issues with a G tube) and we don’t see instances in which CF makes our characters look “ugly” or, well, sick. They don’t vomit, they don’t throw up mucus, their coughing always stops when it’s convenient, they’re not underweight... it’s like the author carefully picked which symptoms are more conventionally beautiful and forgot to write in the rest (and I’m aware every person with CF is different, but it’s just so convenient that a girl with a lung capacity in the thirties and a boy with B. Cepacia barely show any complications?). The illness is completely sanitized, and the hospital is portrayed as a playground where you can roam around freely and not, uh, a place to get better. Because these characters are sick to begin with yet they have enormous energy at all times.
• The insta-love. Let’s get past the fact that Stella and Will fulfill Hollywood tropes (her being the type A personality control freak and him being the CF ~rebel~ who doesn’t take his illness seriously). They know each other for a full... what? Couple of weeks? A month tops? And they fall in love. They actually say to each other that they are in love so much so that Stella is willing to give up her lung transplant for a brooding hero she’s known for some weeks. Okay, sure. This is a rare example in which both partners are manic pixie dream girls/boys to each other, changing their partner’s outlook and making them better people/enjoy life more EVEN THOUGH THEY’VE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR SOME WEEKS!
• The Bury Your Gays trope. Oh, boy, isn’t it a coincidence that the only openly gay character of color dies? And his death is used as a prop to make the main character have a sudden, deep realization about her life. (Also, you don’t defibrillate an asystole!!)
• Will and Stella are their CF. Will has one (1) hobby non-CF related, which is drawing (and he ends up using it to ponder on his illness), but his whole character arc and his whole personality all refer back to his illness. Stella is so much her CF even her whole YT channel revolves around it (which is a shame because I thought the YT element was such a good idea since there’s a strong CF awareness community on YT and elsewhere on social media, but the fact that EVERYTHING about Stella is defined by her CF kinda ruins it).
Just because you’re terminally ill doesn’t mean you’re gonna learn a bunch of valuable lessons about life or that you’re going to be deeper and more intelligent. It also doesn’t mean you’re gonna be thinking about your condition and death 24/7, which is something our characters do ALL. THE. TIME. You’d think living with a chronic terminal illness would make you fed up with your chronic terminal illness, but turns out these characters always have the time and energy to ponder on the afterlife and the progression of their condition.
• The characterization is very bad. All the characters except for Poe (and they kill him off) are: a) very archetypical, and b) completely bidimensional.
• The unnecessary melodrama. Surely Stella’s sister had to die in a freaky accident while she was out living her life to the fullest unlike her terminally ill sister. Surely Poe had to die on Will’s birthday and just after getting together with his boyfriend. Surely Stella had to fall on a frozen lake so that Will had to perform CPR on her while she was hallucinating with her dead sister’s ghost (who told her to live her life to the fullest). CF is bad enough on its own; you don’t need to try and manipulate readers into feeling bad for these characters.
• The prose is extremely flat. The characters also read like teens who have been written by an adult rather than actual teens.
• The capitalization of suffering. Look, this is what pisses me off the most. This novel romanticizes and sanitizes CF, turning people’s suffering into inspiration porn and a star-crossed lovers tale of sorts. And it’s so dangerous as well! CFers can pass their bacteria to each other and it is immensely risky for CFers to spend as much time together as Stella and Will do, even if they abide by the 6 foot away rule (the fact that Stella tries to make it 5 foot is even more stupid). These teens are essentially putting their lives at risk because... they’re horny? (And how attracted they’re to each other physically is like 70-80% of their whole relationship, so don’t @ me). The authors of this book could’ve written a love story between a CFer and a healthy person (a relationship that would have conflicts of its own), or simply a story that doesn’t revolve around CF but starring a character with CF! Because your life is so much more than treatments and hospitals and life expectancies no matter your chronic health condition.
So, yeah, it seems CF is finally getting the treatment as an illness to be exploited for feel-good media that cancer has been enduring since the 70s and Segal’s Love Story. When we were finally growing out TFiOS, here it comes Five feet apart to profit off the glorification of terminal illnesses 🙃
(If you’re still here and you wanna read a book that portrays illness and dying honestly and accurately: grab Me, and Earl, and the dying girl by Jesse Andrews).
I am always super keen to read books with disability rep! I think YA needs way more disability narratives, and this features two teens with cystic fibrosis. It also has a curious origin story because, from what I understand, it was written off the screen play...so the movie came first?! I would like to see the movie still and could totally imagine Will as Cole Sprouse (Jughead vibes lmao) the whole time.
➸The story: It's sad, but like of course it's going to be. And it's really easy to be invested in the story. Will self-destructive acts and Stella's obsessive controlling could easily make them unsympathetic characters...and like I did struggle with how Will has every opportunity given to help him and he scorns them because he can't "do whatever he wants". But the kid is depressed. I mean. He's living with a countdown to his death over his head and he deals with it by being difficult. Stella is the same, but with the added weight of trying to hold her parents' marriage together, and her forced perkiness was exhausting. I reeeally felt for her.
And like ok it follows a very formulaic route for sick-lit. It had total TFIOS vibes. The ultimate "forbidden romance" because CF patients can't touch. So of course they flirt around the edges of the rules until the weight of their fates is crushing them into making bad decisions.
➸ Let's talk about the themes though... I think this needs to be said: when you write books about illnesses/disabilities and infuse them with the message of "you're not living unless you're EXPERIENCING THE WORLD!" you automatically go into a red-danger-zone in my opinion. I had this problem with Everything, Everything. Please please don't leave kids and teens with this message. I can only see it as harmful. You can have a beautiful and full life even if you're not abled. And Will and Stella's quick slide into romance was believable (they're in a hospital together! They're bored! They want a distraction from their heavy fates!), but I'm old and jaded so I guess the whole "I don't care about living! I wanna kiss you!" thing is very difficult for me not to roll my eyes at. I kind of want to clap in their faces and get some sense into them. But I think the book is supposed to be a depressing love story so ok.
➸ Also full warning for a problematic trope that appears... [spoilers removed]
I liked it, but I'm cautious of it, if that makes sense. I think the characters were winning and it was great to learn more details about CF and analyse the ways Stella and Will chose to deal with it psychologically. But the problematic stuff is a worry.
4 🌟 for all the characters and tears involved!
I was definitely not expecting this story when I picked up this one.
I don't know as well as I do know why I kept comparing this one with The Fault in Our Stars movie (sorry to say that I haven't read the book by John Green yet, forgive me) and yes, somehow it reminded me of Turtles All The Way Down by John Green here and there.
Though the health issues involved are totally different, set in different surroundings I just couldn't help comparing this one with that movie and that book as I kept on reading.
But I am so glad I love this one much, much better than I already thought I would👍
The main themes tackled in the plot involves cystic fibrosis, lifelong treatment, deaths, divorce and young adult romance.
I so loved all the characters no matter how perfect and imperfect they were.
Stella is still a real sensation in my head. A youtuber who reaches out to the rest of the world sharing about the condition and keeping updates as she goes on struggling with the frequent hospital stay and vigorous treatment routine.
Will, the boy who has no desire to please his mom or anyone; the boy who is just so ready to break all the rules just to 'live more'.
Then there's Poe. My favorite character. I had a really hard time dealing with his sweetness & just being him!
How I wish he was there till the end.... He broke my heart.
Abby, Stella's sister. Though she wasn't physically present in the story, she is the character that you can really feel the presence in a way that shapes the main character.
Stella's parents. The characters are a bit detached as opposed to what they should have been. The most unconvincing characters in the story.
However, the character of Will's mother was far better represented.
But the character that really stood out were the nurses Berda and Julie. I loved them so damn much!!!
So basically I liked this book solely regarding the characters.
I didn't enjoy the writing style. The flow was haphazard. The only thing that made me continue reading till the end was my own curiosity as to what happens to Stella and Will in the end.
It ended well on a positive, hopeful note.
A really good one time read.
“If I’m going to die, I’d like to actually live first.”
Vaaaale, este libro no fue tan grave como Bajo La Misma... SÍ FUE MUY GRAVE, ay...
En A Dos Metros De Ti nos encontramos con la historia de Stella y Will, dos chicos que tienen fibrosis quística y que han vivido la mitad de sus vidas en hospitales y en medio de tratamientos para ganar un poco más de tiempo. Ambos son terminales, pero mientras Stella se apega fielmente a su tratamiento para subir en la lista de espera de trasplantes de pulmón, Will ha dejado de luchar. Poco a poco, Stella y Will irán entablando una peligrosa e inevitable amistad, pues a pesar de tener que estar separados siempre por dos metros, a veces hay que robarle momentos a una vida que, inevitablemente, se va haciendo cada vez más corta.
Vamos a ver... de verdad yo pensé que estaba preparada para otro golpe emocional del calibre de Bajo La Misma Estrella, pero me equivocaba. Pensé que el saber que una historia entre dos chicos, dos pacientes terminales, iba a acabar mal me iba a salvar de la avalancha de sentimientos del final... y no. Con cada página que leía de A Dos Metros De Ti me iba enamorando más de Will y de Stella. No podía evitar amar la rebeldía de Will y la determinación de Stella.
Estos dos son chicos tremendamente maduros para su edad, pues han tenido que encargarse de su enfermedad desde que tienen memoria. Cada día, cada respiro, es una lucha para ambos, pero aún así, en medio de un hospital, logran formar un vínculo tremendamente estrecho y especial. ¡Y lo que me dolía leerlos en los momentos en los que necesitaban un abrazo y no se podían acercar el uno al otro! Todo es muy fuerte. La lucha que tiene Will consigo mismo y con la bacteria que le impide ser candidato a un transplante me rompía el corazón. Y qué decir de Stella cuando por fin se da cuenta de que la vida es algo más que seguir un cronograma de medicinas y terapias y que, a pesar de todo, puede permitirse sentir, temer, llorar, amar...
Leer una historia de amor entre dos personas que, literalmente, no pueden tocarse porque sus vidas corren peligro es de lo más duro que he hecho últimamente. Es tan duro y frustrante que, por momentos, quería que mandaran todo al demonio y se lanzaran el uno en brazos del otro, que abrazaran como si el mundo se fuera a acabar, que tiraran a la basura sus mascarillas y se dieran ese beso con el que tanto soñaban... pero luego volvía esa eterna lucha entre el arriesgarse y tocarse o, sencillamente, seguir viviendo tiempo prestado.
Y, por supuesto, diga lo que diga, no estaba preparada para el final. Esas últimas páginas, esa montaña rusa de sensaciones y acontecimientos me dejó con muchísimas lágrimas en los ojos. Es absolutamente increíble todo lo que una persona puede hacer por otra que ama, los sacrificios que está dispuesto a hacer, los momentos a los que está dispuesto a renunciar. El final de A Dos Metros De Ti es un final que te destroza y que te hace tristemente feliz. Me da igual si eso no tiene sentido. Pero es un final que está a la altura de una historia llena de personajes valientes, momentos robados, lágrimas amargas y nuevos comienzos.