Tuesday 21 July 2015

One by Sarah Crossan


We Are.

And we are living.

Isn't that amazing?

How we manage

to be

at all.

Published by Bloomsbury in August 2015

Pages - 428


Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.

And their lives are about to change.

No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?

But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…
Reviewed by Vivienne Dacosta

WARNING: This book causes severe heartbreak. Proceed with extreme caution. Do not, under any circumstances, read the last quarter of the book in a public place. The result will be disastrous!

Sorry for being bossy, but I think I needed to get that out there in the public domain, before I gush uncontrollably about the best book I've read this year.

Before I start my review, I want to share a couple of lessons I've learnt while reading this book.

Firstly, that I really love books written in verse.

 Secondly, that Emma Bradshaw speaks the truth, so I need to listen to her next time, when she says I will love a book. 

Moving on!

This book is beautifully written. Every single damn word blends perfectly with the next. Sarah Crossan makes me want to jack in my writing attempts, because I could never produce anything so exquisite as this. There is no need for any extra fluffy words, it all seamlessly flows together, creating a heartbreaking journey.

The story hit me more than I ever expected it to. I felt an instant connection to Tippi and Grace and I think that's because I have twins myself. While reading this book,  I found myself analysing every aspect of the journey the twins took. I discussed conjoined twins constantly with my girls. How would we have coped in the same situation? Would we have opted for surgery? The honest answer is, I don't know. I honestly haven't got a clue how we would have coped. I don't normally react to a story like this, but this is the type of novel that provokes discussion and lots of questions.

I'm not sure I've ever told this story on my blog, but I was originally carrying triplets; three months into my pregnancy, one stopped developing, which was heartbreaking enough. When I asked the doctor what would happen, they told me the foetus would dissolve and blend in with the other two. I had many a nightmare that one of my children would come out with two heads, or an extra arm. I was thankful that my daughters were born individually and without any extra limbs.

I hated the way Grace and Tippi were treated. The looks, the ill thought out comments and  stupid questions. I understand that people are ill informed, but surely they must realise how hurtful their words can be. 

This story sucked me in before ripping my heart out. I cried so much at the end of the book. I wanted to read it again, in case I had missed something. A small, hidden glimmer of hope that things could be different.  It left me wanting more. It left me desperate to read all of the books by this author. 

I'm in awe of Sarah Crossan's gift for writing. I have no doubt that she will win a heap of awards this year. It's like the Wonder of YA! Make sure you read the book everyone will be talking about this year. You really don't want to miss out. 

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