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Read It: February 2020

By Nicole McManus

Five Feet Apart

Written by Rachael Lippincott
Contributor(s): Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Cover of Five Feet Apart

Stella Grant has been coming to the same hospital several times a year, since she was six years old. She documents each visit in a YouTube video, in hopes of bringing awareness to Cystic Fibrosis. Now, a teenager, she is back in the hospital instead of going on the trip with her best friends. When she sees her CF bestie is in the hospital too, things are looking up. However, they are both caught off guard by a new floormate, Will. The normal rule of six feet apart is enforced by the staff, but they seem especially reinforced when Will is around, due to his b.cepacia. Will seems to be focused on breaking the rules, while Stella prefers to have as much control over her life as possible. How will these two be able to set aside their differences and build a friendship if they’re constantly being separated?

This is how much I loved this book: I wasn’t even finished listening to it when I immediately added it to my must-buy list. Yes, I have the audio version, but I cannot wait until the day I can hold the hardcover in my hands, because, first, I want to stare at the cover photo as it is mentioned several times throughout the book, and because I want to read the words. I have heard them and felt them, but now I want to see them. (Am I the only one this book-obsessed? I highly doubt it.) Anyhow, this book is definitely going to be one that I reread and relisten to on a yearly basis. I love books that bring up causes, especially medical ones, that don’t necessarily get a ton of mainstream attention. Having an undiagnosable autoimmune disease might be the reason, or it might just be because the world needs to see and hear from people with all illnesses. These two young characters might be fictional, but they portray real feelings in a way that I haven’t seen before in young adult books. (And if you are a fellow book-obsessed reader, you will want to do research on the real-life couple, and the young woman that inspired this incredible novel.) So do yourself a favor and walk to your nearest bookstore or library and pick up a copy today.

The Artist’s Special Touch

Written by River Wild

Cover of The Artist’s Special Touch

Jackson Henderson just gave his only daughter away, and, on her wedding day, her gift to him brings back decades of memories. Jackson remembers a lifetime ago, a time of innocence and discovering a love of painting. When he meets Hannah Walker on Christmas Eve, his whole world is turned upside down. They begin a romance that they promise will carry them through all of life’s turmoil.

River Wild sets this book in the beautiful town of Folly Beach, South Carolina. The scenery comes alive and transports readers into the story. The intense feelings of discovering your passion, your true love, your forever home, radiate from the pages. Fans of sweet romance stories will definitely want to add this book to their “To Be Read” lists.

This is a beautiful heartwarming story. River Wild does an incredible job bringing the Lowcountry to life, as well as making the characters feel incredibly real. I look forward to learning more about River Wild and seeing what’s next for this author.


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