Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One, by Sarah Crossan

They've been together their whole life.
Is there a life for Grace and Tippi
apart from each other?
Grace and Tippi are as close as any twin sisters could be. Closer, in fact, seeing that they are, quite literally, joined at the hip.

Conjoined twins Grace and Tippi were not supposed to survive past their second year of life. But here they are, 16 years old and about to enter high school for the first time (before that, the girls were home schooled, but their parents can no longer continue teaching the girls). Naturally, there are the usual concerns about being forced to, daily, enter a place where there will likely be cliquish, shallow people who poke fun at anyone who look even a little bit different from the norm (Grace and Tippi look a lot different). But the sisters are soon making friends with people their own age for the first time. Grace even finds a bit of romance with a boy from her class. But just when all seems to be going well, the girls get sick. Really sick. The only way to save their lives is for them to undergo a very risky separation surgery. It's possible one or both of them won't survive, but if, by some miracle, they both make it, how will they survive without being constantly by each other's side? Will they be able to adjust to really having separate lives? The girls face a very important, life-altering decision. And they must make that decision NOW!

Typically I don't go for novels written in verse (the sole exception being Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars trilogy because, come on!, it's Star Wars!), because I find them hard to follow and the stories and characters don't seem as deep and detailed. Particularly those written in free verse. 

But One by Sarah Crossan caught my attention. One, because the premise it sounded really unique. And two, because I'd recently read and loved Nicky Singer's Under Shifting Glass, a Tween novel about a young lady who has conjoined twin brothers. I was delighted to find that once I got past my "This Is A Novel In Verse" mental block (and it didn't take long to do so), the story flowed easily and beautifully. I'm very happy I gave this book a chance, because I ended up loving it.

One is a fantastic choice for older teens who loved Wonder, but are now looking for something similar but geared toward a bit older crowd.

The Verdict: Highly recommended! --AJB

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