Thursday, 20 August 2015

Review: One - Sarah Crossan

One by Sarah Crossan, published by Bloomsbury on 26th August 2015

Goodreads synopsis:

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…

I have read several of Sarah Crossan’s books now and it is clear to me that she has a very powerful way with words. Every sentence that she writes and every word that she uses is carefully crafted and thought out. This lends a lyrical quality to her stories which are often written in free verse. Her new book, ‘One’ is no exception, with a poetic form which captivates the reader.

The story itself centres around sixteen year old conjoined twins, Grace and Tippi, who are about to go to a real school for the first time. Now I will admit that I was slightly apprehensive when I first heard about the subject matter of Sarah’s new book. It’s not normally the sort of thing that I would pick up and read but I had confidence in her writing and I had heard nothing but good things about it from fellow readers. I’m glad that I didn’t let it put me off because I would have missed out on a great read.

Grace narrates the story and provides insight into the challenges that conjoined twins face. I like the way that the two come across as separate people with different personalities, but always with a special bond between them. They have each other to lean on through thick and thin. As money is tight at home, they decide to allow a film-maker to shoot them for a documentary which provides outsiders with the opportunity to learn more about them. I’m glad that we also got to see the impact that living with conjoined twins has on the rest of their family and how their mother, father and younger sister cope with this.   

The ending was not necessarily unexpected because I predicted quite early on what was going to happen but that didn’t mean that it was any less moving or emotional. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to find out more about this subject, as it presents several difficult ethical questions to the reader.

Another winner from the pen of Sarah Crossan.  

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