One by Sarah Crossan
Published August 25, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Source: the publisher
Rating: 5 stars
From the blurb: Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.One follows the story of sixteen year old ischiopagus tripus conjoined twins, Grace and Tippi. Written in verse, something Crossan excels at, this was told in a beautiful and compelling way. Grace instantly let's us into her world and I immediately felt protective of her. She struggles to maintain a separate life from Tippi, and often feels guilt over the inconvenience and cost they cause to their family. After being home schooled, they are now venturing into the world of a conventional high school and this brings challenges for them, as well as their deteriorating health and the possibility of separation surgery in the future.
And their lives are about to change.
No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?
But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…
I don't think anyone who is not a conjoined twin could understand the sort of bond these girls share, but this book gives a good idea of what it might be like, and in doing so was utterly heartbreaking. I always enjoy Crossan's novels and this has been added to my list of favourites. It's sad, hopeful, and thought-provoking, and I loved it.
A note on the editing: knowing that Crossan is originally from Ireland, I read this as if it was a UKYA title not American, even though the story is set in Rhode Island and the mother is referred to as Mom. The fact that words typically used in the UK were included (Tipp-Ex, pushchair, jot) also increased the feeling that this a UK book, not American. I'm not sure if it was changed to suit an American audience or if it was always intended to be set in the USA, but it seemed odd to me.
Thank you to Bloomsbury for my review copy.
I love both covers for One (here's the UK version), but in particular I love this version.
I've also done nails to match another of Sarah's books, The Weight of Water.