one by sarah crossan book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

I might have passed One by Sarah Crossan by if I had known beforehand that it was written in verse; I’m glad I somehow missed that fact because I wouldn’t have been able to experience this eye opening story.

Tippi and Grace are sisters, twins, and more than that–conjoined twins. At 17-years-old they have lived well past the life expectancy doctors gave them at birth. And now, they are getting ready to take on a challenge they never thought they would: high school.

The novel is told in verse through Grace’s voice. She is the more passive, quiet twin, while Tippi is quick to let people know exactly what she’s thinking. So while Grace is not quite ready to leave her cozy homeschooled life, Tippi is ready to get out in the world and make friends–and Tippi always gets her way.

This novel spoke to me because I have two younger sisters with whom I am very close. We may not be twins but a lot of the time we can tell what each other are thinking. Grace and Tippi share some parts of their body, but are each their own totally separate and different individuals. Having someone be such an integral part of you, but still be complete on her own, is a very interesting phenomenon that is very hard to put into words, but Grace does her best.

The book has a small bit of romance with Grace’s crush, but (thankfully) it’s mainly about the twins and their family. Their unique medical condition puts a strain on the other members of their household: their father drinks excessively and their sister may be falling victim to an eating disorder. I appreciated how the author made sure that even though the girls were the focus of the novel, their family was given great characterization as well.

It’s hard to share my thoughts about the ending without totally giving it away. I have to say, one question that ran through my mind as I got nearer to the end was, “If the girls hadn’t had these medical problems, would they still have wanted to undergo their separation procedure?” I am not sure. This is a beautiful, heartfelt book and I highly recommend it to anyone with a sister.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Greenwillow Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.