Conjoined twins Grace and Tippi are growing up and as they do they need to face both new challenges and heartbreaking decisions.
Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, from the waist down. The book is narrated by Grace, who is the quieter, shier of the twins. At the beginning of the story, they are told by their parents that they must now go to school, instead of being home-schooled, due to money problems. Grace and Tippi are worried about this development but, even though most people stare and whisper, they also make friends, Yeesem and Jon. Grace instantly falls for Jon.
Grace and Tippi’s family is falling apart. Their father is drinking and can’t find a job; their mother is tired and working too many hours and their sister, who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, has to work at the studio to pay for her classes. The twins decide that, to help pay for all the things their family needs, they will sign up to do a television show.
However, things start to go downhill for Grace and Tippi as become ill and they can’t ignore it any more. Will they save their family from imploding? Will Grace and Jon have a chance? Will they survive?
What I Thought
I read this book in one day. One day. In fairness, the writing is stylised so it is right aligned, making the pages half the width. But still, I sat down on the day I bought this book and read all the way through. Needless to say, I was enchanted.
I mention above the structure of the book, which is another thing that Crossan uses to subtly pull the heart-strings of the reader. I won’t give too much away, but I will say this: as the person who is present changes, so does the structure and this, I thought, was incredibly clever and beautiful – like poetry almost.
I loved the simplicity of the premise, even though there were complex issues raised and discussed, the way that Grace’s narrative flowed made it so easy to read and follow. Crossan captures the inner workings of a teenage mind, without typical angst but with atypical problems.
And lastly, I liked that it wasn’t another dystopian YA. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dystopian YA (and I’m writing it myself) but everyone needs to shake it up and YA needs more books like One.
In a Sentence
A fast read for anyone who wants their heart to beat a little faster, a tear brought to their eye and a smile to their face.