Book Review: One (Sarah Crossan)
*I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Release Date: August 27th 2015
Summary (From Goodreads):
Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.
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…
From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?
Written in beautiful blank verse, One tells the story of conjoined twins Grace and Tippi as they struggle with going to school for the first time, experiencing love for the first time, and facing a decision that will change everything.
Crossan is a master of words, and the choice of blank verse is perfect for this story. I was a little put off at first as I’ve not read many books like this before, but as soon as I started reading I knew it was the right style.
The subject is handled very sensitively, and it is obvious that the right amount of research has been done. From a reader’s point of view, it’s easy to see Grace and Tippi as two separate people, as we only see the story from Grace’s point of view, but it’s also easy to imagine others treating them as one person. There’s conflicting views here, as they struggle to be accepted as they are, while also wanting to be seen as individuals too.
The twin’s homelife is particularly sad, as they struggle for money and their parent’s relationship begins to disintegrate. It’s interesting to see the story set in America, where health insurance and paying for the twin’s treatment is a real problem and worry for the family, one that the twins sacrifice their privacy to resolve.
The love story for Grace is a complicated one, for obvious reasons, but it is sweet and truthful and you just want her to be happy. I love the friendships they managed to form at school, and even with the reporter they let into their lives. I felt for them every time someone stared or whispered a mean comment: it’s so easy for people on the outside to say things without thinking, but seeing how it could hurt the twins reminded me to always think before I say something (not that I think I would behave badly towards anyone like that, but even the smallest, innocent comments can hurt).
The ending is a sad one as they must choose between staying as they are and attempting life apart. It honestly broke my heart to read and I know I can’t say too much without spoiling it, so I’ll just say brace yourself for tears.
This is a beautiful, heartbreaking story that stays with you long after you’ve read the last page. It’s sensitively written and tells a story from a point of view you don’t often come across, and is one I’ll be recommending to everyone.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon