Lippincott does an incredible job of shining light on Cystic Fibrosis in this sweet story about two teens who fall in love but can never touch. Did I read this up because my best friend and I love Cole Sprouse? And because I’m the kind of person that likes to read the book before seeing the movie? Maybe. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I read it, and I liked it. Let me tell you why.
Stella, semi control freak but also very sweet, has CF and has made a point to share her medical journey with the world. She takes her meds, exercises, and even made an app to help her to keep to her regimen. Her motivation is a little complicated; her kind, free spirited sister died and it tore her parents marriage apart. They were prepared that Stella might die, not their other daughter. And now she’s the only thing holding them together. So extreme control over something she can’t really control is how she copes.
Which is why Will is such a pain in the butt. He’s got CF but he’s also got a virus that means he’s never going to get better. So who cares if he takes his meds or does his breathing treatments? His mom does, shuttling him from one experimental test to another, but he doesn’t. All he wants to do is draw and live his life to the fullest.
That is unacceptable to Stella and she makes a deal with him. If he follows his regimen to a T, she’ll let him draw her. Lippincott kinda makes me feel like I’m on the Titanic for a sec?
I should mention some of the periphery characters. Stella’s parent’s, Will’s Mom, Stella’s two friends from school, Will’s two friends from school. Poe, Stella’s BFF and fellow CF’er. The nurses that take care of them all. And when I say periphery, I mean it. Poe and the nurses get some actual interactions but that’s about it. Otherwise it’s Stella and Will thinking about the people in their lives. Now granted, I’ve never spent any serious time in a hospital. But it seems like such a missed opportunity to enrich the story and really give us insight on Stella and Will. But mostly, Lippincott keeps it to them and their love.
Which isn’t terrible. There is some drama toward the end, of the health variety, and then a very OMG ending. I’ll let you read it and decide how you feel. (Lippincott I want answers!)
So that’s the plot. And like I mentioned, I liked it. I like the way it showed people living with an incurable disease and gave them personalities, and a sense of humor, and hopes and dreams. From a literary stand point, it left some things to be desired. The lack of 3D characters like I mentioned, the romance was a bit cliched, the way Stella handles the last like, third of the book. But it was also sweet and cute and whatnot. I heard it was written the same time as/was an addition to the screenplay which honestly might explain some of the lack of literary elements.
I’ve also seen it compared to The Fault in Our Stars which I don’t think is fair. Lippincott does a muchhhh better job with their story. John Green sux. Also, I can’t tell how much of it was Lippincott because it says ‘with’ two other people on the front? Was there some co-author things happening?
But regardless of who wrote it, it was cute. You should read it. And while the movie wasn’t an instant all time fav, it was very sweet and stuck mostly to the book. So you should also see that.