Book Review: “Five Feet Apart” by Rachael Lippincott

Howdy!

One day after I finished writing Monday’s post, I finally finished this book. I knew I was close to being done with it, but I figured I would savor it a little bit!

I came across this book twice – the first was when the trailers of the film adaption were being played on almost every channel and the other was through a fellow blogger who literally tweeted she cried more than she though she would. I definitely had to wait to read this but I can say it was worth the wait! Now I can finally check out the movie and see it lines up with what I was seeing in my head or not.


27774596._SY475_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?

Description from Goodreads.

First Impressions:

There was only one thing I knew about the story, and it was the disability aspect of it. I think reading John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars helped me a lot when it came to understanding cystic fibrosis or CF as it is mostly called in the book. It kind of put things in perspective thinking back to my own lung function, especially before I had my back surgeries in 2002. The technical term is: spinal fusion surgery. If you’re not too queasy about blood, you should check it out online. I wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a video of it on YouTube! Growing up, I was never able to breathe right because my spine was so curved, it was slowly crushing my right lung. What I didn’t know until about a month or two ago, is that my lungs are still undeveloped because of the damage my spine caused.

I think another way I understood the character’s stories is because I spent three and half months at Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Once the author was explaining the layout of the hospital, I was basically using my memory of the buildings I was in for my stay to reconstruct what it could look like, but it wasn’t as fancy as the book though. I also felt like I was both Stella and Will in different ways, because I remember being likeable among the nurses there but also a rebel like Will. As Will had found his way out of the hospital, I escaped once but it wasn’t to go onto the roof, I was actually searching for my mom.

I loved this story for many reasons. Of course, I liked the fact that it brought me back to a time in my life that seemed so small but in reality it wasn’t. Three and half months is a long time, especially when you’re surrounded to new people, other kids with disabilities (and that alone was different!), but on top of that you have the surgeries and recovery time. I was fortunate enough to have all three surgeries be successful, whereas there were others who had the same surgeries but their bodies were rejecting the rods. They had to be there longer. They were away from their families and friends, just like Stella, Will and Poe.

I was pretty pleased on the fact that I could picture everything going on; to Stella in a full handmade hazmat suit to the black truffles! I felt like I was right there with them, which is why it probably made me more emotional because I was around the same environment. We definitely had more than two nurses watching over us. A lot of them were like Barb and Julie, but instead of using a favorite nurse I enjoyed being around and let me tell you, there were a lot! I exchanged them with someone else. I miss them and I think that was the main reason why I didn’t want to put their faces in those characters. I was already emotional by what was happening in the story, I didn’t need to add another layer to it.

Stella had the right idea of vlogging her time in the hospital, and talking about her struggles with CF. And just being a supporter to others with the condition! A part of me wishes I had discovered blogging or enjoyed writing in a journal while I was there. We took lots of pictures but I would love to read what was going on in my head at that time. We had lots of activities, involving arts and crafts, but nothing I did ever survived the past 18 years. Yes, that number is correct. It has been 18 years since I had my surgeries. A lot of family members and teachers I had in school are probably going to be shaking their heads after reading that sentence!

By the time this post goes live, I will hopefully watched the film. I will also write up a review on that in next couple of weeks. I cannot wait to do that next! Okay, I’m done now.

Have you read or watched Five Feet Apart yet? What were your thoughts on it?

snowflake

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

77b38214ed28aa9f0728a7999e16fa81It’s been MONTHS since I’ve actually done a book review! I haven’t been wanting to read lately and it sucks because I’ve had 2 books that I’ve had in my Kindle for several months now! My mom can read a whole book in one day–even though she’ does laundry, dishes, makes dinner, etc–I am the slowest at reading books and watching films and I don’t have a clue why! Anyways, I got this book when the movie and the hype was at its peak. My sister had gotten it on my Kindle to read and she had it for I think three days and then went to see the movie with some friends. She thought because she didn’t cry from either one that she was heartless! I’m happy to say the other day she came home and watched it again, but this time made our mom watch it too. They both cried!

I didn’t exactly know if I wanted to do just a book review and that’s it, but I think while I’ve got both still fresh in my mind (for now) that I would do a little of comparing the differences between the film and book. To make my life a little easier, I actually made myself a mini outline of different things that happened in the beginning of the book that I thought I could share in this post. Like for instance, in the book, the story takes place in Indiana, which made me feel at home because I thought it was hilarious to read the references of Pacers, Butler, and how bipolar Indiana weather can be. The last one is completely true by the way!

Another thing – well, actually two more things that go along with what I had included in my outline. In the beginning chapters, where she’s at the mall with Kaitlyn or her mom I don’t remember, a little girl by the name of Jackie comes up to her asking questions about her oxygen tank and why she has to wear it around everywhere she goes, Hazel even takes it off her nose and puts it up to the little girl’s nose to show her that oxygen comes out of the little tubes to help her breathe. I thought it was such a beautiful moment in the book, it even made me cry a bit! Of course, this wasn’t included in the film because it is such a small scene in the book, but for the next section I’m about to discuss I think it should have been. Hazel and Gus talk about “cancer perks” and Hazel voices her own opinions about it throughout the book. I’ll be honest reading this book was strange because in a way, I never expected to compare myself to a fictional character before! Hazel doesn’t like the perks of cancer whereas I don’t like the perks of being in a wheelchair or disabled period.

I finished watching the movie a day after finishing the book, so of course I took a day off in between because I had to think of things that I liked and what I didn’t about the both of them. I’ll be honest, when I finally started reading I knew who were playing Hazel and Augustus. I didn’t necessarily see Shailene Woodley for Hazel Grace. However, I thought Ansel Elgort playing Augustus Waters though was the best idea. I definitely saw him in that role so well! As for minor characters, only Laura Dern, who plays Hazel’s mom, Nate Wolff who plays Isaac, and Lotte Verbeek as Peter’s assistant Lidweij were the only ones who I thought fit the roles.  Everybody else wouldn’t be my first choice. I definitely had a different outlook on how Peter Van Houten’s character would like, and the dude who played him wasn’t doing him any justice. Beside this. I was fine with everything else. There were a couple of things that I felt were more forced than it was in the book. Like, the line that Gus says when they’re out to Oranjee when they taste the food. When Ansel said it, it made me cringe. It just sounded so (weirdly) natural when it’s said in the book.

“I want this dragon carrot risotto to become a person so I can take it to Las Vegas and marry it.”

My last complaint is how the ending went. I just didn’t like it. That goes for what actually happens to one of the characters and the endings of the book and movie. I understand that with films, you have to cut out some of the scenes in the book because they might be unimportant or too small to keep. As much as both made me cry my eyes out, I just didn’t like that change between them. See, this is the reason why I don’t read books that have films made after they’re published. It just makes me more critical. However, I did enjoy reading the book and everybody was right, you will enjoy it more than watching it unfold on screen. When I finally finished watching the movie the other night, I texted my sister like two minutes later and said, I cried more while reading the damn book and it’s true! I did! The last thought I had when I turned off my Kindle was “that was beautiful.” Not too many stories I read get that kind of love from me anymore.

Have you read the book or watched the film? Or both? What were your thoughts about it?