2 out of 5 stars
*WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!*
I gave into the hype like everyone else and decided to give this book a try. I have never heard of the author and I, unlike everyone else, have no intention on seeing the movie but I figured why not give the book a shot.
This book is about Stella who has cystic fibrosis and has spent a majority of her life in the hospital getting “tune ups” done to her lungs, hopeful that she will receive a pair of new lungs someday. Her best friend Poe who also has cystic fibrosis is admitted around the same time and they begin going through their treatments together. With both of them having cystic fibrosis they know they have to stay 6 feet away from each other at all times for health reasons but that doesn’t stop them from still having fun. Then a new guy shows up on the wing named Will that instantly infuriates Stella because he doesn’t take his treatments serious and blows all of them off. Stella who has an alphabetized medial cart and is programming an app to remind people with chronic diseases the dosage of their medication and reminds them when they’re supposed to take them. Stella finally comes around to Will and finds herself starting to like him more and more everyday. Then she must make a major decision, her health or what she truly wants for the rest of what life she may have.
Okay, let me just say I did enjoy the beginning of this book. I liked how lighthearted everyone was even with having to face their terrible diseases. I thought it was even cute the way that Stella and Will would still have dates with each other and decided to move the 6 foot rule down to 5. But then I got to the very end of the book and I completely changed my attitude about the whole thing.
I like YA just as much as anyone else, even though I’m 27, and I normally really enjoy reading the genre. It reminds me of when I was a teen myself and would devour any YA book I could get my hands on. But this book, oh this book. The first thing that drove me insane was when Stella and Will were on their date and messing around on the ice. Not too smart to be out in the cold when you have CF but I understand their whole lives have revolved around their diseases and they were just looking for some fun, I get that. But then Stella’s phone starts blowing up and she finds out there is a pair of lungs on their way for her. She looks at Will and knows if she takes the lungs she’ll have to be even more isolated from him than before. So she chooses the boy. HUH????? She is 18 years old, could have more time added onto her life but instead chooses a boy that she can’t get within 5 feet of.
Thing number 2 that I hated within the same scene is when Stella fell into the water. My whole issue with that whole scene was the drama of it. Oh no, Stella fell into the water and then Will rescues her after she hallucinates about seeing her dead sister and then he uses his very last breath to save her life. So you think. Nope, he’s still alive and she ends up going into surgery to get a new pair of lungs.
And then it just gets worse. Stella gets out of surgery and can’t find Will anywhere. She looks out the window and sees that he and their friends set up a big huge ordeal so he could say goodbye. HUH AGAIN???? After all that they went through and everything he just leaves, just like that. I understand this is supposed to be a feel good YA romance book but c’mon now.
Lastly, the ending drove me insane to the point where I honestly threw the book. 8 months later Will and his friend Jason are traveling around not for his health but so he can see the world. He’s waiting in an airport when all of a sudden he sees Stella who is heading off with her friends for a trip she never could take before because of her lungs. At first they stay 6 feet apart and then Stella decides to step forward and make it their 5 feet, like always. I’m not kidding, that is how the book actually ended.
Maybe I’m just jaded because I am 27 years old now and maybe the teen me 14 years ago would have devoured this book and loved it. Or maybe it was the ridiculous romance or the fact that the whole time I was reading it I was comparing it to John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars”. Regardless, I really REALLY didn’t like this book.