We all enjoy a good tale about young love — but add in the drama of something or someone getting in the way of that relationship and you have a story you’re going to remember for a long time. This is why many readers are eagerly searching for books like Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott.
Five Feet Apart is a book based on a real couple who both suffer from late-stage cystic fibrosis. Stella is awaiting a lung transplant and Will is signed up for a trial treatment. They have to keep a distance between them as the chance of contamination is high and could jeopardise their chances of getting the help they need.
Will can’t wait to be free of the whole treatment thing and Stella, after spending most of her life in and out of hospitals, wants more of a life but is aware of her limitations.
This heart-wrenching story will have you reaching for the tissues and appreciating how lucky you are.
If you are looking for books like Five Feet Apart, then grab your handkerchief and check out the list below.
8 Books like Five Feet Apart
Five Steps to Happy, by Ella Dove
If you are searching for books like Five Feet Apart, then Five Steps to Happy sounds like a natural follow on for your reading list – and it is.
Written in the first person, Heidi tells her emotional story about the struggle and changes she has to go through when her world collapses after she is in an accident and becomes an amputee.
Heidi’s new friend in the next bed, Maud, becomes her confidant and when Maud’s grandson visits, things start looking up for Heidi. Maybe her life isn’t over after all?
The story is based on the author’s own experience but it’s not a biography. This is not a mawkish journey into self-pity but an uplifting and enlightening story about how Heidi and her family deal with the emotional ups and downs of her new life.
Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon
I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t think I could give you a recommendation for books similar to Five Feet Apart without mentioning Everything, Everything.
Maddy Whittier is a teenager with an oppressive mother and a curiosity for the world around her. This could be the life of any normal teenager but Maddy has a severe immunodeficiency disease which means she can’t go outside – ever.
She has made peace with her life until she meets Olly, her new neighbour. He’s handsome, confident and a little bit wild. They have to communicate through the confines of her bubble but she wants more: more contact; more experiences; more than her tiny world can provide.
This delightful and troubling story about first love, trust and difficult circumstances, is one you’ll remember long after you’ve read the last page.
Already read this novel? Have a look at our list of books like Everything, Everything!
A Love Like This, by Maria Duffy
Is fate a real thing? Are the choices we make day to day guided by some unforeseen force or is destiny just another word for coincidence?
A Love Like This begins in a Dublin hospital in 1985 and follows the erratic story of Will and Donna who are destined to be together – whether they know it or not.
Will and Donna are born on the same day to very different families. Over the years, circumstances put them into each other’s path time and time again but events, including an earthquake, keep them from actually meeting.
Then one day, thousands of miles from Dublin, they finally meet. This generates a hoorah moment with a release of the breath you’ve been holding throughout the book until another catastrophe separates them! Will this couple ever be together?
This touching romance like Five Feet Apart is one for those you who believe that if we were meant to be with someone, the universe will find a way.
Cold Summer, by Gwen Cole
If you liked Five Feet Apart and enjoy a little time travel with your romance, give Cold Summer room on your bookshelf.
Kale Jackson is living with PTSD from being a soldier in WWII. He is also living a life in the present – without control over either one. The effects of his time travelling on his mental health and his relationship with his father are taking their toll until an old friend comes back into his life.
Harper has moved in with her Uncle Jasper and she helps Kale regain the person he was when they used to be neighbours. He is hopeful he can eventually stay in the present but unfortunately, Harper finds a historical record of his death.
The romance in this novel like Five Feet Apart contains the initial awkwardness of first love but over time, progresses naturally into something solid.
Invisible Ghosts, by Robyn Schneider
Robyn Schneider, like me, has an eclectic collection of favourite books ranging from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami to the Harry Potter series. Her book, Invisible Ghosts, is her third novel; her first being the very popular, The Beginning of Everything.
Rose Asher’s best friend is her fifteen-year-old brother, Logan – her dead brother to be exact. But when the confident and popular, Jamie Aldridge, comes back to town she begins to realise what she has been missing by spending all her time with her brother’s ghost.
Logan is by no means supportive as she shifts from socially awkward to social butterfly. Rose begins to fall for Jamie over time but is convinced he’s hiding something.
This is a story about dealing with grief and not knowing quite where you fit in. In this book like Five Feet Apart, our main character gets a second chance at a life with friends and romance – if she can let Logan go.
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
When love blooms under impossible circumstances, it’s all the more exceptional. In The Fault in Our Stars, a teenage girl, Hazel, has been fighting cancer for most of her life and is all out of hope; until she meets Augustus Waters.
They meet at a support group; Gus is a cancer survivor. After a rocky start, they form a unique bond. She asks him to read her favourite book, which leads them on a journey to see the author in Amsterdam.
This is a tale that has no happy ending but Green has included plenty of humour to break up the emotionally moving scenes.
So if you liked Rachel Lippencott’s novel and are looking for more books like Five Feet Apart, this heart-thumping novel should be on your list.
Already read this novel? Have a look at our list of books like The Fault in our Stars
Reason to Breathe, by Rebecca Donovan
This novel similar to Five Feet Apart is the first in the Breathing series. Reason to Breathe is a gripping tale about abuse; first love; and the significance of your best friend during your teenage years.
Emma Thomas is living with the devil and, in an affluent town where appearance matters, she is struggling to survive.
After her father’s death when she was young, her mother was unable to cope and Emma was sent to live with her aunt and uncle. Her home life is torture; only made bearable by her best friend, Sara.
When Evan Mathews moves into town her life changes for the better and she begins to realise that she is worthy of love and happiness.
If you can stand to read about abuse without wanting to rip the pages apart, then this book like Five Feet Apart will have you breathless until the end.
We Come Apart, by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Both Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan have won awards separately for previous novels. In this book like Five Feet Apart, they join forces. We Come Apart is written in a style that looks like an anthology of poems, with alternating viewpoints.
Nicu is a Romanian immigrant brought to England by his domineering father who now wants to take him back to Romania to get married.
Jess’s home life is a picture of abuse and misery.
Nicu is eager and a little awkward.
Jess is rebellious.
Nicu wants nothing more than to be with Jess.
Jess wants nothing to do with Nicu.
But when they are both arrested for shoplifting and have to attend community service, the relationship between them slowly grows into something they both need. This book like Five Feet Apart is not a story of love at first sight but together, through their shared experiences, they form a bond of safety.
The authors on this list have taken on abuse, loneliness, bullying and terminal illness; all emotive themes but told with love at the heart of it. I hope you enjoy this collection of powerful books like Five Feet Apart.
Are you looking for more books like Five Feet Apart? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!