I admit that I’m struggling with my review of “Five Feet11/25/2021, 7:19:15 PM
I admit that I’m struggling with my review of “Five Feet Apart” because this book made me realize I have very little understanding of cystic fibrosis (CF), and at the end of the day I’m not sure my opinion of how it was handled in the book is a good one because of that. So I’d love to hear your opinions if you think I’m wrong. Maybe we can get a good discussion going on these types of stories. So keep that in mind as I share a small handful of personal thoughts. And also mind that I am going to include mild spoilers as I flesh out some thoughts. . In a nutshell this is a star-crossed lovers tale about two teenagers with CF, who meet in the hospital while they live there for treatments. In terms of contemporary YA romance, there aren’t any surprises here— and I’m not going to knock the cliche or predictability either, because every now and then I pick up a book just like this because I’m in the mood for that story line. . I had basically zero idea about what people with CF suffer from, and was also shocked to learn that two people with CF can’t be really near each other (six feet apart as a general rule) because sharing germs between two “CF-ers” is fatal. And this is where this story made me uneasy. Because of course the two teens that come to fall for each other over the course of the book both have CF and the entire time they are toeing the line of seriously endangering each other’s lives because they want to be together. I didn’t see any of it as abnormal teen behavior, but it started feeling like their sickness was romanticized. . The whole time these kids maintain six feet apart because that’s the basic safety shield. But soon Stella figures that to take a stand and take control of her life, she’s taking a foot back for herself. I just can’t get on board with the trope of teens endangering their lives in the name of “being free” “living their lives to the fullest” “actually living for once” etc. . I guess I would like to see a book about teens with terminal illness that shows them able to live full lives as their bodies allow. Am I wrong? I’d love to hear differing opinions!