I jumped at the chance to buddy read Five feet apart by Rachael Lippincott, because it is not something that has ended up quite well for me historically and I would not pick it up on my own even though it was on my TBR. Go figure!
It has been a while since I read a young adult based in a hospital romance (or sick-lit, if I may). Yes it is supposedly a trope by itself, if you had not known earlier.
About Five feet apart
Book Name: Five feet apart
Author: Rachael Lippincott
Genre: Fiction – Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Stella and Abby Grant, Will Newman, Poe, Camila, Mya
Setting: The United States of America
Plot Summary of Five feet apart
Stella Grant is a high schooler who is at the final stages of Cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disorder that mainly affects the lung. She has been a regular at the hospital for most of her life. She loves lists and being in control is the only way she knows to cope up with her health.
While she has a great support system and friends circle in and around the hospital, she has to avoid putting herself at the risk of infections she would be eligible for lung transplant.
Will Newman is a new CF patient to the hospital and all he wants is to get away from it. He has spent most of his life between clinical trials and staying at various hospitals and is now waiting to turn eighteen so that he can get away from all these restrictions and enjoy life as it should be.
When they both stumble upon each other, they know they should stay away from each other. But what if they maintained a five feet distance between each other? Would that be so bad forms the rest of Five feet apart.
Book review of Five feet apart
Due to my earlier disappointments with the romances with sick teens, I was skeptical when I started reading Five feet apart and I was mildly surprised that I enjoyed it as much. Though I have a few misgivings about the plot, the easy writing and witty dialogues kept me going.
I wish books would stop portraying that kids who are suffering some physical ailments do not get to enjoy anything in life and they need to break free of their treatments / medical restrictions to get to be “normal”.
I liked reading about the CF which is a new thing for me, and the story was cutesy as YAs tend to be and am totally looking forward to watching the movie Five feet apart starring Cole Sprouse now.
Things that worked for me
- Five feet apart plays exactly into the trope of sick lit and does a good job with it.
- I enjoyed the easy writing style and the witty banter between the characters.
Things that didn’t work for me
- I didn’t feel related to the characters but it is just me. It did not hinder my reading.
- As I mentioned earlier, I personally had issues with the trope that encourages patients to break free of the treatment.
Five feet apart is a typical sick lit that does its job in opening up talks about the CF with a positive ending. I would recommend it for all John Green (of course) and Nicoola Yoon fans.
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Let us chat
Have you read Five feet apart by Rachael Lippincott? Do you enjoy reading books set in hospital and people with physical ailments? Let us talk.
You know I usually say I never read a book when everyone is talking about it, right? But I am here to show you that I have read some books at the right time. And of course, I forgot to review them right then, which is quite like me of course.
So in our new episode of review shots, let me tell you about books that were not on my TBR and I read them only because of the hype. Well, that never turns out quite well, does it?
Books that I read only for the hype
Book Name: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Fiction – Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Madeline “Maddy” Furukawa Whittier, Oliver “Olly” Bright, Pauline Furukawa Whittier, Carla Flores
Setting: Los Angeles, California, The USA
This YA took the Twitter world by a storm and I got the book almost immediately to read it.
Maddy led a very sheltered life all through her life due to her illness. She has never stepped out of her house in years and her mother and her nurse are the only one she interacts with. Them and her book blog. Until a new family moves to their next house.
I liked the book and would have loved it even until for the twist at the end, which I didn’t see coming at all. I normally would love to be thrown off, but this twist was kinda ‘trying too hard’. I also didn’t like the theme that ‘love conquers all, even illness’ that kept surfacing.
I loved reading the story, for the cutesy cheesy love story but it didn’t win my approval.
Book Name: Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green
Genre: Fiction – Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Aza Holmes, Davis Pickett, Daisy Ramirez, Mychal Turner, Noah Pickett
Setting: Indianapolis, Indiana, The USA
You all know my beef with John Green.
This book had everything that the book world is talking about and needs now. Turtles All the Way Down has #Ownvoice leads, one of whom suffers from mental illness and a mystery the leads had to solve in relation to their parents. Sounds all good to me.
Yet I could not relate to the characters at all, nor did I buy their ‘love story’. Did I mention this book had an absentee parent as well? I know lots of people loved this book but for me it ended as a so-so read because of these reasons and more.
I wanted to like it more than it deserved any way. And probably will stay away from John Green hereon.
Book Name: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Fiction – Drama
Characters: Elsa, Granny, Alf, Britt-Marie, Kent, Ulrika, Lissete, George
Oh I loved Backman’s other book A Man Called Ove and I started reading this one almost immediately. But it took me more than a month to finish this 350 and odd pages and I will tell you why.
The precocious ‘almost eight’ years old Elsa has just lost her grandmother to cancer. Her grandmother was also her best and only friend, who kept her safe at night with the tales of the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas.
Now she is set with the task of handing over apology notes to the wacky characters in their apartment for her grandmother’s past and getting to know more about them and her family as well.
I liked the concept of the book and how the little girl learnt to deal with all the changes and new people in her life. I loved many of these characters and their sub plots. But the book totally went over my head when it came to the imaginary land and its people.
Maybe there is a reason to why I don’t read fantasy much.
Bottom – line
Of course I don’t regret reading them at all. But I wish I hadn’t tried as hard to like them and gave up when I should have. Well, lesson learnt. Maybe.
Let us talk
Do you read books because everyone is reading them? Are there books that you have read only because of the hype and that didn’t turn out as expected? Let us talk.
Do you know what is the overused word that I have been dreading to hear or read about a book? Nerds. Thanks to John Green, Chetan Bhagat and the likes, I am pushed to cringe physically when someone describes themselves as nerds. So when every book blogger I adore went crazy reviewing about the new YA on the block with two Indian leads who are nerds, I was not sure I would like the end of that melodrama. Still, I had to try it, right? Read more to find out what I feel about When Dimple Met Rishi
Book Name: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Fiction – YA Romance
Characters: Dimple Shah, Rishi and Ashish Patel, Celia
Setting: San Francisco, California, The USA, India
Dimple Shah has ambitious plans for her life and has been accepted to Stanford. She wants to attend a coding camp that might give her a chance to work with her role model. But her parents have other plans for her. Rishi Patel, her parents’ choice of the groom for Dimple, arrives at the Insomnia Camp to spend time with her. Dimple ambushed by her parents hates Rishi even before she gets a chance to know him. Does her opinion about Rishi changes after she knows him better?
Rishi is the perfect first born son for his Indian parents, who follows his dad’s footsteps into computer engineering. He falls for the girl his parents chose for him and agrees to woo her at the summer program she has enlisted to. Does this arranged marriage situation end up well for his hopelessly romantic self? Does he realize what makes him happy, than just being the model son? You have to read the When Dimple Met Rishi to find out more.
Dimple and Rishi are so opposite in their beliefs and value systems, though their origin and culture are the same. While she is a rebel and wants to shine out in the world for herself before she could think of marriage, Rishi stays true to his roots and wants to fulfill his parents’ desires. They are both perfect for each other and fight hard to keep on their courses despite the fact that they were falling for each other. Oh, by the way, I totally adored the other duo (Ashish and Celia) in the story, and I am more than excited to know that there might be a follow up on their stories too.
When Dimple Met Rishi is a cute YA contemporary that would make you grin in all the right places. This short read is what one needs one a bored afternoon to lift you from your slump. Yes, there are some stereotyping towards Indians. And even as an Indian from a similar background, I could not believe these kids were just eighteen. I mean I was never that serious even then. I actually pegged Rishi to be in his late 20s or early 30s, before I had read further. You know I had already another Rishi with whom I had the same problem.
There are a few Hindi slangs but not too many to be turn-offish and the writing is so fluid and breezy that I read the book in less than three hours. Is When Dimple Met Rishi
worth all the commotion it has created by the Twittersphere and the great reviews found online? I would say a YES! If you are in the mood for a YA/romcom this season your choice is right here.
So there is this book. You hear rad reviews about the author. His quotes are everywhere. And you pick it with all high hopes. Just to be sorely disappointed. Still you read on hoping it would get better. You are bored. You start doubting if it was you. You continue reading as you don’t usually quit books halfway. You now hope it will end soon. Then it does. We are talking about An Abundance of Katherines!
About the book
Book: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young Adults
Main Characters: Colin Singleton, Lindsey, Hassan
Setting: Gutshot, The USA
The story starts with Colin, a prodigy being dumped by his 19th girlfriend named Katherine. Yes you heard it right. He dates only girls named Katherine, with that exact spelling.
He is heart broken and decides he is completely useless, ie, he doesn’t matter. His superpowers are he could anagram any word, can speak in several languages and socially awkward.
His only friend, Hassan takes him on a roadtrip to nowhere specific. And ends up seeing the place where Archduke Franz Ferdiand is buried (yes the guy from WW I) at Gutshot, Tennessee. Ok long story short, he makes friends with Lindsey and Hassan ends up kissing the hot girl Katrina.
After 100 pages, Colin finds a theorem that could predict the life span of any relationship and dates Lindsey. End of the story and sorry for the spoiler. Colin learns to narrate a story!
There you have my review about in just few sentences. I know I can’t live without talking more about it, because that is all was motivating me to finish the book.
Ok seriously, nothing ever happens in the book at all. I really tired liking it though. I particularly wasn’t liking any character at all – neither whiny, self obsessed, self absorbed so called child prodigy Colin nor the self absorbed and nothing to offer to the story female lead Lindsey. Not even the other insufferable smaller characters.
And hope you will forgive my generalizing of John Green’s books (I have read three now), but I still have to find any person, let alone teens, being so nerdy (again forgive me using the most over used word in the past few years). Seriously I am yet to meet even one single person who actually speaks like any of these characters
And if you knew where ever they were hiding, please please let me know – I really need to make friends with them. But these characters in all of his stories seem to have the best of friends – equally nerdy ones. Come on, it is killing me. Be it Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars, or Alaska and Sam from Looking for Alaska, or every one (Collin, Hassan and Lindsey) from AOK.
If I hate him creating too good to be true, ‘unique’ characters and making my normal life miserable, I wish him hell for making socially dysfunctional to be cool. We have had enough off the same churn. Dear Mr Green show us real life characters, I understand it is a book of fiction but I am not interested in old wine in new bottle, even if we had liked the old wine.
I tried really hard to like the book and went to the extent of bookmarking favorite quotes and stuff – but after a while I felt I was doing the same thing Colin / Green did – searching for something that would matter when there was absolutely no other sense at all.
I am actually frightened to say this aloud, is John Green the western version of Chetan Bhagat? His characters are smarter, I get it. But there are too many of clichés thar keep repeating and making me feel so.
Quotes that worked for me
Ok now for some of those over hyped quotes:
“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”
“If people could see me the way I see myself – if they could live in my memories – would anyone love me?”
“He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.”
“You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”
In conclusion, AOK was an ok read, but yet another book that let me down mainly because of the hype around.
Let us chat
Have you read this one? Did this review ended up being too much rant-y? Let us talk.