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Is it just me or does it seem most people are unable to see twins as separate beings? They refer to them as a whole --- “the twins” --- or are incapable of invoking one name without the other. For example: Fred and George from The Harry Potterseries, Jude and Noah from I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, Sandy and Dennys from The Time Quintet.  

In ONE by Sarah Crossan, 16-year-old twins Tippi and Grace aren’t just Tippi and Grace. They’re TippiandGrace ---unable to ever be physically separate because they are conjoined. I can imagine that having an identity apart from your twin is difficult, but for TippiandGrace, it's near impossible. It is not until one twin's body starts to fail and the other has to overcompensate for them both that the idea of separation, once a high risk scenario, starts to become a reality. 

Tippi and Grace's story unravels in stunning verse --- varying between telegraphic sentence structure and long drawn-out edicts about their lives. I really enjoyed that Crossan does not choose to tell the story of ONE as a dual narrative, but rather through the point-of-view of Grace, the quieter, observant twin who, "[doesn't] make any ripples."

I can guarantee that this book will make it onto every "Best of 2015" list around.

I can guarantee that this book will make it onto every "Best of 2015" list around. Just you wait. And for that reason, I find myself unable to list any major flaws in the novel --- only that it ended rather suddenly and wasn't long enough. I could have read 900 pages of verse about Tippi and Grace and Dragon, their younger sister who teaches a ballet class in exchange for her own lessons, who is always the odd one out and the envy of her conjoined older sisters. I would actually love a sequel from Dragon's point of view. How about that, Ms. Crossan?

I also could have just read a story from the perspective of their spunky friend Yasmeen or the boy Grace falls in love with, Jon. You'll find no cookie cutter characters here; they are all so fascinating and real. 

I find it amazing that this book, coming in at 400 pages of various poems, gives such a complete view of these girls’ lives. Even though I wanted it to be longer, even though each poem left me breathless, I felt that this story was told well. Crossan had done these girls, fictional though they may be, justice. She did a copious amount of research and talked to as many experts on conjoined twins as possible, and it definitely showed.  In doing so, Crossan provides readers with a very diverse read that seems as genuine and well-written as the subject deserves. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone. It's beautiful and truthful. Just about everyone --- whether you have a sibling or twin --- can relate to Tippi and Grace's story, and I'm so glad that it was told. 

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on October 20, 2015

by Sarah Crossan

  • Publication Date: October 17, 2017
  • Genres: Family, Young Adult 13+
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • ISBN-10: 0062118765
  • ISBN-13: 9780062118769