Well that was awfully emotional and beautiful. LET ME SQUEAK IN APPRECIATION. Oh! Oh! And it was written in verse. In verse! I know as much about poetry as I know about the history of guavas (aka: I know nothing) BUT, I really love reading books that are just slightly different. It shakes things up and makes me pay attention. Although sometimes I think having it in verse limited the description — but One went for a style and it ROCKED IT.
It’s also the kind of book that’ll pull at your heart strings. If you have any.*
* I mostly don’t have any, but I could have sniffled, if I weren’t Vulcan.
It’s a story about twins…conjoined twins! And I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to live that way. The stares. Being called a freak. Being viewed as a monster. Having people flinch away from you. THAT WOULD BE SO HARD. The book faces the topic of disability and labels and really talks about it without shying away.
Soooo LET US TALK ABOUT GRACE AND TIPPI! Grace is the narrator and the quiet one. Tippi is stubborn and, gawsh, do they clash. Sisters don’t always get along, okay?! Especially when they’re attached. NO rest from each other. NO private conversations. Ever. They’re joined at the waist, so one set of legs, but two upper bodies.
But I do feel like the story was slightly predictable. I mean, conjoined twins? Going to school for the first time in 16 years? OBVIOUSLY one of them is going to fall in luuuurve. And obviously that’s not going to work out. And I felt it was pretty clear there’d be some sort of operation towards the end. I’m not trying to be cynical! I just knew where it was going and never felt surprised.
At least the super beautiful (and addictive!) writing totally made up for it. There’s not a ton of description about the rest of the family, but we do get little whiffs of details. I also loved how the twins weren’t the only ones with “problems”. The dad was an alcoholic, the older ballet-dancing-sister had an eating disorder, the mother was laid-off work, and the grandma sometimes said the wrong thing at the wrong time AND IT WAS HORRIBLE. It’s definitely about the entire dysfunctional family.
I definitely enjoyed this one!! When you read, like, 2 million books a year, things can start to all blur together — so this unique topic totally snatches my attention. And I am sad. I AM VERY SAD. IT IS NOT A HAPPY BOOK. I think this book is sad and beautiful simultaneously. And I love that it’s about sisters and family and heartbreak. ‘Course I love the heartbreak. I am a sad little bookworm with no respect for my feels, apparently.
Also I am a research nerd and went and watched youtube documentaries about conjoined twins after this. It’s super interesting and I have endless respect for what they go through.
THANK YOU TO BLOOMSBURY FOR THE ARC. One by Sarah Crossan is published August, 2015.
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.