cover image Five Feet Apart

Five Feet Apart

Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5344-3733-3

High school senior Stella Grant has cystic fibrosis and is tired of living a life in which “CF gets the final say.” Stella is strong and goal-oriented—she manages her medications with an app she designed and uses YouTube Live to educate others about CF. Her to-do list is a mile long, but she’s truly thrown off course when she meets artist Will Newman, another CF patient in a new drug trial at the hospital where they are both staying. Eight months earlier, he was diagnosed with B. cepacia, which knocked him off the lung transplant list and also means that he must stay several feet away from Stella or risk her health, even when they start falling for each other. She chastises him for not following his care plan; he trivializes her vigilant focus (“So is your plan to die really, really smart so you can join the debate team of the dead?”). Adapted from a screenplay, the novel uses alternating points of view to capture the teens’ desires to explore and seek freedom. The characterizations are thinly fleshed out, but readers interested in The Fault in Our Stars–style tales may root for them and their budding romance. Ages 12–up. [em](Nov.) [/em]