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.
This was OH MY GOD not what I signed up for, and certainly not what I expected.
One deals with conjoined twins, Grace and Tippi, and their struggles and laughs and loves, as they tackle everyday problems in their extraordinary ways. It is emotional, and beautiful, and it’s written in verse form. Verse, you guys. Anything, even my shopping list, evokes emotion in me when it’s written in verse form. Especially when it contains peanut butter, then it really starts the waterworks because peanut butter.
The book is about conjoined twins, and that in itself was unique and brilliant. It’s a topic that we very rarely see and even rarely read about. The only other books about conjoined twins that I’ve heard of are The Girls by Lori Lansens and I do believe BZRK by Michael Grant has a set of conjoined characters. I’ve read neither books, only heard about them so reading One was a new, first-of-its-kind experience for me.
And I can say happily that I wasn’t disappointed one bit.
The book is in Grace’s POV, which itself was a little bit of a let down (and super spoilery), because in all honesty, I found Tippi to be my favourite twin in the book. Regardless, Grace gives a rundown of their rare type of disfiguration, is thankful that her sister and her have lived for 16 years at all, and marvels about how it would be to fall in love. And then the reader is introduced to various facets of Grace and Tippi’s life—how their parents struggle to pay their medical bills, how they’re going to be going to a real school rather than being homeschooled and the twins’ fear of being alienated while outside their house, how their sister is anorexic.
Obviously, the book is completely a reflection of Grace’s mental processes, so what we know for sure all only the thoughts that Grace has, For example, there is versed part where Grace muses that being connected to Tippis is all she has known her entire life so how can that be called a disability? Maybe to others their condition is a “condition,” but to Grace, that’s how it’s always been. I’d say the only thing that Grace really craved was a bit of privacy. And I’m not talking about the part where both twins have to shower together. I’m talking about privacy to be her own person, and do her own thing.
At certain points the book is sad, almost depressing, and it made me cry tears of helplessness—it’s kind of that situation where you want to do something, anything, but these are after all just pages on a book. And that is precisely what leaves you feeling like you’ve lost close friends once you’ve finished reading the book. The superb writing in this book is what makes all the pain of reading worth it and believe you me, the author is gifted with writing a verse like form, and yet staying true to the message of the book. Reading this book was a lovely, moving, touching process and the best way I’ve seen an author redefine “normal” on behalf of her characters.