One is a touching and heartwarming book, written by Sarah Crossan.
Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins. And their lives are about to change. When their parents can no longer afford homeschooling, they must venture to into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will the find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?
But what neither Grace nor Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives more than they could ever imagine.
This book was absolutely phenomenal. One of the things I’m most amazed at was how well this book was written. I haven’t read a verse novel in a little while, and never one by Sarah Crossan. I was a touch sceptical, but I really didn’t need to be. Honestly, this book made me really feel for the characters, even with it written in verse. Sometimes it’s a little hard to connect with characters when a book is written in verse because it might not give you enough information or backstory or emotion, but this book definitely did. One was so well-written that a lot of the time it didn’t feel like it was written in verse, except for it’s beautiful rhythm. Surprisingly, this is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Crossan. I’ve been meaning to read Apple and Rain for quite some time, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m definitely going to have to read more books by Sarah Crossan soon!
So let’s talk about conjoined twins. I feel like before reading this book, I didn’t know anything about conjoined twins, let alone what life would be like for them. There was definitely a lot of research that went into this book to do with not only the physical and mental implications, but also of the emotional and psychological aspect. When I was reading this book, I not only learnt things, I also considered things that I’d never thought about before. I felt truly grateful to be able to experience life with Grace and Tippi. This book covered so many things: the life of conjoined twins, their family’s struggle, the difficulty of fitting in and how hard it is to realise they would never be able to have a real relationship or get married. None of these things had even crossed my mind before I read this book – what it must be like to be two people, not just one – and I definitely think everyone should read this book. It’s not only enjoyable, it’s also very insightful.
Another thing I loved about this book was that Grace and Tippi being conjoined twins wasn’t their defining characteristic. They were complex and flawed and just real. I loved how their personalities weren’t overlooked because what people would see when they look at them and they were honestly so lovely to get to know. Grace is ‘the quiet one’ and Tippi is a bit stubborn, and so naturally they clash a little. It was interesting to see how they managed to live with each other all the time and love each other so much. I can hardly stand people I’m around even for a few hours at a time, so I can’t imagine what life for Tippi and Grace would be like. But I guess that comes back to the core theme of this book – love.
So love. We’ve all felt it. For our family, friends and significant others. For hobbies and foods and TV shows. But there’s nothing quite the same as the love a person has for someone that is literally a part of them, who has always been there for them, and who you could physically depend on. The type of love between Grace and Tippi was unlike anything I’ve ever read about before. I loved reading about their life together and how much they cared about one another. It would definitely be hard to be them at times, but they always got each other through the tough situations and leaned on each other when they needed support. It was a beautiful thing to witness.
All of the other character were really interesting to get to know as well. Yasmeen and Jon were so supportive and kind and they didn’t judge Grace and Tippi. I loved watching them all get to know one another and stick up for one another. Their friendship was beautiful to watch grow and it was interesting to see the complexities that came with it. I also enjoyed getting to be a part of Grace and Tippi’s family. Their home life is tough. I feel like I also got to know a lot about each family member and I cared about all of them. All of the characters in this novel were just so incredibly well-written and I’m so thankful for such an honest book. Sarah Crossan seems to not only understand conjoined twins, but also family dynamics and struggles and how to present life and love and heartbreak in a realistic way that makes us feel just as much as the characters do.
This book is definitely an emotional roller-coaster. I’m not ashamed to admit that I sobbed at the end. In a library full of people. Why do I always manage to cry when I’m reading a book around a lot of people? I’ve had these experiences on buses, in rooms full of people, at a dinner party, the list goes on. If you’ve had any experiences like this, please let me know! Maybe then I can feel better about being overly emotional in books. Anyway, back to One. I felt like this book was so beautifully written that it was inevitable I’d shed a tear. It was poetic and poignant and touching. It was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. This is One amazing book. Ha ha. See what I did there? I’m so clever with puns… *moment of regret*
I really think that everyone should read this book. It’s beautiful and insightful and shows us how powerful love can be. I’d give One by Sarah Crossan a score of 9.5 out of 10. If you enjoy Ellen Hopkins’ style of writing, such as in Rumble or Crank or Impulse, you should definitely give this book a go. So now it’s time for your opinions. Have you read this book, or any other books written in verse? Do you enjoy that writing style? Should I read any of Sarah Crossan’s other books? Let’s chat! 😀
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!