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

What’s The Point In Acting?

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Hi 🙂

I have been wanting to write about this topic for a while.. I think it is a very controversial subject to discuss among the disabled community considering they are the ones who inspired me to even bring it up on my blog today.

I have been a lover of films since I was a little girl. I don’t think I’d ever become an actress because I’m not good at accents. However, if you were to ask any of my family members they would tell you I’m very animated and have a great sense of humor, but this isn’t about me per se.

My love of movies goes back a ways, like to when I was seven years old watching Michael Bay’s Bad Boys with my mother. I just saw the humor and all of the action sequences that I wasn’t really interested in anything else. It wasn’t until probably the early 2000’s that I actually remember watching a film and wanting to know basically everything about the story, characters, and the actors that were making these people come to life.

Growing up, I didn’t have too many disabled role models, at that time, I didn’t even know that many people or kids with other disabilities! I do remember the first time I was introduced to a disabled character though, it was 2003’s Daredevil the character Matt Murdock was played by Ben Affleck and as much as I loved him for that role, I was completely unfazed by the fact there was an able-bodied actor playing a blind man.

Prior to watching Daredevil, the whole superhero phase was in its infancy for me. It either happened while we were home for a week while I was recovering from my second surgery or after I was officially released from the hospital that my dad bought the X2 and I discovered Wolverine and I figured out that if he had metal in his body, that maybe I was a wolverine too! This was the start of why I love superheros so much! As other disabled and able-bodied people alike think that they promote ablism I have to disagree, I look at them and their stories as motivation for my own!

Let’s move on to recent films, because there have been a couple of films have been released almost back-to-back from each other. We have the adaption of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars in 2014 and JoJo Moyes’s Me Before You in 2016. I remember seeing the trailers for both of the movies just before they were to be released in theaters and I was more curious about the story itself than I was about the disability theme that both had discussed; you have in TFIOS where both characters have dealt with cancer and then Gus losing his leg through his battle with it. Whereas in MBY you have the lone character who is paralyzed from the neck down and is very suicidal and you have people who are trying everything they can to change his mind about ending his life again.

I had decided to read the The Fault In Our Stars after my sister bought it on my Kindle. If she hadn’t done that, I probably would have watched the movie without even considering it.  After I watched the movie I was still in love with the characters and their friendship with one another. I wasn’t following a lot of the online disability community as much as I do now, so I don’t really remember what they thought of both Shailene Woodley and especially Ansel Elgort, who plays the character with an amputee but I know they probably wouldn’t have given him any mercy. The reason why I say that is because when Me Before You came out earlier this year, the whole community erupted!

It seemed they were more upset with Emilia Clarke who plays “Lou” who takes care of Will (as played by Sam Claflin) who is paralyzed and in a wheelchair. I do remember trying to keep my mouth shut throughout both times this movie came out and I agree with some of the reasons.

I am over the fact that everytime we have a disability related film out, it’s over the lines of pity and sympathic to the people who are dealing with these conditions. People are stereotyping who we are and that isn’t fair to us, however I’m not exactly for the whole thing of bashing the actors who are playing these people. We don’t know how we got these roles. I often wonder if they were sought out by the casting directors and if that’s the case, that’s who everybody should have directed their anger towards when the film came out.

The last film I want to discuss is the 2014’s The Theory Of Everything the story about Stephan Hawking and this was the movie that made me think about what I preferred to seeing for these movies. I’ll explain more about that in a minute. I watched this knowing all about Dr. Hawking, but nothing about how he was before he was diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1963. I thought Eddie Redmayne was a brilliant choice to bring this person to life for younger generations to understand, because I know of Stephan Hawking as the physics dude from many talks about relativity and quantum theory thanks to my papaw! This movie was the reason why I wanted to read Me Before You before watching the movie because I wanted to see how Will is potrayed in the beginning of the book. Eddie is only a good choice because they show Stephan as a normal, “abled” person that Stephan was before he had the condition.

So what is the point to acting? I don’t even know if I really answered that question above. Just so everyone realizes, I do have strong feelings about actors that play disabled characters, whether they’re fictional or real people. However, I try to keep an open mind and sometimes it doesn’t bother me which was the real reason for this post, but there some shows that aren’t so lucky. I believe I have tried to explain my reasons for seeing the positive in the superhero or disability themed films despite the fact that there isn’t a single handicapped actor for these roles but as I thought about it I think we would have harder time accepting if they used CGI on a disabled actor if that role required them to be this normal person, so we have nothing to really complain about because it wouldn’t work out well anyway!

So what do you think of my theory? I want your honest opinions, but please respect that these are my feelings too!

snowflake

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