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One by Sarah Crossan

Writing.ie | Young Adult

By Margaret Madden, BleachHouseLibrary.ie

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Conjoined twins, Grace and Tippie, have led a fairly sheltered life. Surrounded by family and friends, home-schooled, with local people used to seeing them all the time and therefore not being the object of people’s stares. All this changes when finances become an issue, and they have to move into a new public school. While they continue their normal routine, like any regular child, they are subject to gawps, stares and barely concealed curiosities. They struggle to process their new situation but find two friends to share their burden. All is going (relatively) well, until one twin becomes ill. A decision needs to be made, and only the girls can make it…

Written in verse, this novel brings Grace and Tippi’s world to life with beauty, grace and warmth. The girls are more than sisters, they are as one. They share a body, for sure, but so much more than that, they share a soul. Best friends, with different tastes in food and boys, with two very different personalities. They may be conjoined, but are two intelligent, beautiful girls who need to be seen separately. Falling in love, visiting the doctor, choosing what to eat, all these things require consideration on each others part, yet rarely cause tension. The bond that they have is something that could never be understood by any single person.

Sarah Crossan has crafted a novel that draws the reader into the lives of two girls, united from birth, as if she had injected their stories directly into the bloodstream. As you turn the pages, you feel their feelings, see what they see and think their thoughts. Each character is shaped in their own individual style and their story becomes a part of your life. I began to slow down as I approached the end of the book, as I was dreading turning the last page. I did not want to say goodbye to these girls. I wanted to read more, and more about them. It only took a few minutes to settle into reading a novel that is written in verse, as it is so beautifully composed. The words are clever, well thought-out and very lyrical. Each verse has a title, rather like a chapter, but they come fast and are fluid, blending together seamlessly. Aimed at the YA market, but suitable for any confident reader, this should be added to everyone’s wishlist, immediately. Since closing the back cover, I have missed Grace and Tippi, their sister, their parents and their friends. I was a part of their world for a very short time, but what a world it was…

Highly recommended.

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