Thursday, 24 January 2019

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Five Feet Apart
by Rachael Lippincott
Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis 

Summary: 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?

I don't normally read "sick kid" books. There are exceptions, but in general they tend to bother me, so I avoid them. But two things made me give this one a chance:

The movie trailer and Claire Wineland. The trailer was cute, and Claire... Well, Claire Wineland was a young woman with CF. She made Youtube videos, most about what it was like to be a sick kid and to grow up spending so much time in hospitals. Unfortunately, Claire died a few months back due to post-op complications from her lung transplant. But the story (or at least the character) was, in part, inspired by her and she was a consultant on the movie/book.

I know this is supposed to be a review of the book, but that context is important to explain my opinion of the book: what I'm trying to say is, I trusted this story because of Claire, and I'm glad I did because I really liked it. 

It wasn't perfect. There were definitely things about it I didn't like (it does romanticize the sick kid thing a bit, as Sick Kid books tend to) and glosses over some things, the love story was a little rushed, and it contains a certain LGBTQ+ trope that bothers me so much.

But... I loved the characters, and the story made my heart break in unexpected ways. The bits of the story that were inspired by Claire were clear, and it's like that breathed a realistic humanity into the book that it would've been otherwise lacking.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the movie measures up. I'd rate the book 3.5 stars out of 5, but if I had to round it then it'd get a 4.


Tuesday, 1 January 2019

My Favourite Books of 2018

Well hello there, it's been a while. I seem to be saying that a lot this year but life keeps happening and it happened a lot in the past little while so I've not been around much.

Anyway...I figured I'd stick with the routine of posting my favourite books of the year, even though this has been one of the most spectacularly bad reading years I've ever had. Still, there have been a few books definitely worth the mention, so...onto the list!

In no particular order:

Okay, that was a lie...the order of this one was intentional because it truly was my favourite. I loved this book so much. I'm not going to say anything more about it because it's better going into it knowing less (though I will mention it includes abuse, in case anyone needs that heads up).

This was one of the only classics I read this year, but it was a good one. I've always loved the story but had never read the novel. I don't like the representation of deformities/disfigurements, but the story is a product of its time. Overall, the book was fun and fast paced and it didn't drag the way I find some classics do.

This book wrecked me a bit. It haunted me for a good while after finishing it. It's not an easy read at all, but it was worth it (though again, for those that need the heads up: the book deals with sexual abuse).

An odd one for the list. Late last year my best friend had a baby, round about the same time this year my sister had another baby... I've been reading a lot of kids books, is what I'm getting at, and this one was a favourite. I enjoyed the illustrations and I like that there's kind of a punchline to the story that the adults get but it kind of goes over the kids head and they'll only understand it later. The little one I read it to seemed to enjoy it as well. 

I love Tijan's books. I always love her books. This one was so different to most of her other books, it was a more subtle favourite. 

I read this one way back at the start of the year and have been pining pathetically for the sequel ever since (only a few more weeks to wait!). I'd never read any Holly Black books before this one and I felt like an idiot for waiting so long, because I loved this one so much.

This one is a prequel to Code Name Verity and it's so underrated. It's basically a queer 1930's murder mystery set in the Scottish Highlands and the characters are a delight.

Novels in verse aren't normally my sort of thing, but this one just worked. It totally hooked me and I couldn't put it down once I got started.

The first book was one of my favourites from last year. It took me a lot longer to warm up to this one, but once I did, I loved it. It had a different sort of spark than the first book did, but no less wonderful.

And that's all. Hope you all enjoyed the holidays.



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