Tobias Iaconis and Mikki Daughtry write a screenplay, and as soon as they are finished they look at each other and say to each other: wow this script could become a perfect novel! And they decide that it will become so, entrusting the plot to Rachael Lippincott, who divides his time between writing and managing a food truck.
Everything in this story is atypical, how many times do you decide to draw a book from a movie? How many times have you decided to have this book written not by focusing on a high-sounding name in literature?
It is precisely originality that makes the “case” worthy of note, in short, you really want to put your nose into it.
Stella and Will, two boys with Cystic Fibrosis, meet each other during a hospitalization in St. Grace, a hospital where Stella has undergone therapies for ten years.
She, so motivated, scrupulous in observing the rules, meets the rebel Will, hospitalized for contracting a beat that leaves no way out; he is undergoing experimental therapy, which he nevertheless refuses to follow. The boys end up falling in love and the roles are reversed: Will begins to follow the therapies, in the hope of being able to heal and “snatch” some time from death. Instead, she realizes that she has lived for others and not for herself and thus begins to “steal” something from the disease, even if she is only one meter closer to Will.
“I’m tired of living without really doing it. I’m tired of just wanting. We can’t have many things. But we can have this. “
Inevitably the boys find themselves forced to separate, promising eternal love.
I feel the need to make some considerations regarding the film then book issue, mainly I feel like saying that I finally found, I believe for the first time, an absolute adherence of the two plots, in the film nothing is missing that is not in the novel and this is already a great start.
My visceral love for the printed paper makes me, however, and always, feel more satisfied by the book in which I found all those thoughts that can only pass through the eyes on the film.
I read the book before attending the premiere, but I was not disappointed, on the contrary!
The book takes you with that typical desire to find out what’s next, leading you to want to read it until you consume it, the film instead is a succession of “punches in the stomach”, tears that rise to your eyes even if you, from fibrosis cystic, just remember it was an exam subject at university.
This story is complete, nothing is missing … except for a longing happy ending that … there cannot be.
Now let’s dive into history because as I anticipated there is really nothing missing, there is all the human misery and strong impulses, all those situations that, although lived in different contexts, anyone has found themselves living at least once in their lives.
Death, which is not the predominant theme, leads to ask yourself many questions: an “early death sentence” like the one that F. C. gives you leads you to ask yourself about the meaning you are giving now to your life; now that you are healthy and that you can afford everything, even to embrace the people you love. You wonder how much you are wasting the time you have available and also when you decide to make it a masterpiece of fully lived moments. You also feel compelled to denigrate yourself, but there comes a time when the wandering of your thoughts leads you to an incontrovertible objective fact:
“We all have to die, and none of us are told when.”
Will’s attitude, which refuses the very expensive experimental treatments, with the consequent and understandable desperation of his mother, contrasts with that of Stella, a devoted daughter, who scrupulously follows the treatments, keeps in shape waiting for a lung transplant; she “cannot die”, otherwise her parents would not survive the pain of her loss.
Here’s a taste of how painful and controversial the parent-child relationship can be.
There are many other “collateral” situations that stimulate a sort of balance of what you have and are not even taken into consideration: for example, do we want to talk about the very expensive American health system? You have insured care until you come of age if you live longer and don’t have a penny … well, it’s your problem! So you wonder if this Italy, which relentlessly sinks into shit, deserves to be so infamous. You wonder how a person with a chronic disease can survive the costs of the private health system, and you feel a little lucky, even a little asshole to be honest.
The doctor-patient relationship emerges in all its humanity, and here too there is a question to ask: how “heartless” are health workers and how much they must put on armor in order to survive everything they live and see every single day?
Another theme that deeply shakes is that of loss, what happens when someone we love dies? We all know it, and if we don’t know it now I will squeeze it sooner or later … and even just that “then” will lay you on the ground as if the force of gravity had multiplied and inside you know it, you know very well that from that moment on you will never have a light heart again. And when do you live it? Well, there are many ways, and a lot also depends on who you lose, a parent, a brother, a friend, a child … I think the loss is the thing that scares you the most, more than your own death.
There are many or can be reflections, but it is not absolutely certain that this can happen, in the infinite human variables there are also those who flee from all this, as happened at the end of the projection: many literally ran away with the lights off; we had to wait, take all the time I could until the mask started to turn between the armchairs. We went out on Piazza Duomo dazed and shipwrecked …
A deep breath, a hug, and a caress: gestures to which, who is not sick with F.C., does not pay attention, because he is not forced to steal them risking his life.
Do I recommend this novel? Yes, and I also urge you to view the film; but please do it with the desire to question yourself, otherwise, you will only have seen and read a story like many others.