Author: Sarah Crossan
Publication Date: August 26th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
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…
From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?
One is my first book of Sarah Crossan's, and by that standard, it won't be my last, I'm going to go more into depth of why I liked it in a minute, in a way that I don't usually format my reviews, so I'll go into what I wasn't that keen on now. My issue with One isn't the format, that was great, and surprised me, but the problem was that I couldn't connect to the characters, at all. I mean, I felt for them, and I got into it, but there was just no attachment for me, and while I think the format is great and it works better than I thought it would, maybe that's why it felt like a lost connection.
My other issue is the parents. Personally, I don't have kids, and I guess I could say that I didn't like the way they were handling things and basically completely ignoring their other kid, but that would just be that, because I don't know how I would react in the same situation. In parts, the parents seemed great, they dealt, they were doing the best they could, or at least, the mother was, because then the father was going down in a spiral of alcohol and just felt selfish.
So, what I did like.
- The writing
One is written in a unique format that really lets you get inside the head of Grace, and considering it's free verse, I thought that it would have been harder to hear her voice, but that wasn't the case. It's fast, addictive, symbolic and honest in a raw way that only poetry feels and after reading it, I honestly couldn't see One written any other way.
- The characters and The Story.
I loved how real Tippy and Grace felt, I know they're fictional, but they felt real, and despite what people think, they are ordinary people, and how that was shown was great, because it's like, yeah, they may not be "normal", and they may be conjoined twins, but they are human. They are two teenage girls. They are people and they are normal. Their voices, the way they act, if there wasn't any of the pointing out, you could easily forget that they are conjoined, and even though it is free verse and we're being shown through Grace's voice, Sarah Crossan really told the story of both of them, and what it's like for the family, and the effect it has.
Dragon, their younger sister, is that effect, and things go unnoticed and because all of the attention and parenting is mostly on Tippy and Grace and their mother is constantly fretting over them and their father is wasted most of the time, they don't notice what's happening to her.
In short, written in free verse, One is a story that is easy to get into, it's a story that needs to be told, it's happy and it's sad and it's raw and it's a story that you won't forget.