Review: One by Sarah Crossan

oneSynopsis from Goodreads

Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.

But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives

I am so so so smitten with the fact that Sarah Crossan has gone back to writing verse novels again.

Breathe, which wasn’t for me at all, left me feeling a bit cold but The Weight of Water is one of my favourite verse novels ever. And One… Jo, thy name is smitten.

I seem to have been gallivanting in Oz when all the buzz about Apple & Rain came out and I promise that I’ll get to it soon. But I thought I’d jump ahead to One, an astonishing verse novel about two conjoined twins in America. We learn about Tippi and Grace (named after Hitchcock heroines, I feel I have to add, for all you other film geeks out there) and how they’ve lived and how they’re living and everything that comes with sharing a circulatory system with your system. But soon they have to make

Sounds interesting, right? Sounds different, right? Sounds like it has the potential to break your heart, right?

Right, right and right… your heart will be crushed.

I’ve never read a story quite like this. It’s unflinching and brilliant and completely different to pretty much anything that’s out there at the moment. And I don’t just mean the subject matter. But yeah, that’s pretty unique too. And I don’t just mean that it’s in verse. But yeah, again, that’s pretty different (although more and more verse novels are being published now which is wonderful). But it’s the way that Sarah deals with the subject matter and the way she tells the girls’ story that makes this book standout. This book could have either been saccharine or gratuitous, but it was neither. Even though it was sad and it did have some very sweet moments, it also had a gorgeous sense of humour and sense of personality running through it. I felt like I truly got to know these girls, especially Grace, our narrator, and not just because their illness.

One is a pretty eye-opening book and shows that gorgeous stories for teens are being written, in all forms and on all sorts of subjects. And you should be reading them.

An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher. 

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