Tuesday, January 12, 2016

One by Sarah Crossan

2015, HarperCollins

Tippi and Grace are nervous.  Most of their lives, they've been safely tucked away in their home, out of the prying and hurtful eyes of the public.  But homeschool is no longer an option.  Their dad hasn't found another job and their mother is working as hard as she can.  Dragon, their sister, is glad they don't have to go to a public high school like her, but is just as worried about them as the rest of the family.  Today is the first day at Hornbeacon High...

Being conjoined twins is their normal.  While most people look at them and react to their conjointedness, they see it so much differently.  When they hear people whisper about how they wouldn't want to live like that, Tippi and Grace can think of so many other ways to live which could be worse.  They've always had each other.  Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's frustrating, but the love is always there, even if the two girls personalities are so different.

But now, they have to walk through the halls of a new high school.  Dread churns until they meet an unlikely girl named Yasmeen.  Loud, colorful, and not intimidated by anyone, Yasmeen makes their circle a threesome and the girls become fast friends because of their uniqueness.  Then along comes Jon. Another outcast at Hornbeacon High, he rounds out the circle of friendship and slowly slips into Grace's heart.

But one day, Grace faints.  She lies to her parents, saying it was nothing, but Tippi knows better.  She knows something isn't right.  And the accidents go from mild to more severe.  The sisters now have to make a decision that will forever change their lives.  Although both of them have dreamed about it, being separated, in reality, is the scariest thought they've ever faced.  And it's their choice, a matter of life or death...

Sarah Crossan's novel in verse is a beautiful story about life, love, and happiness; struggle, hardship, and choices.  She combines all of these feelings into a story which ultimately makes readers' understand someone else's normal, although not your own, is what makes them who they are - unique, different, valuable.  The twins' family weave in and out of their lives, and while at first being most important to them, now become second-most important as they step out of their bounds and create new lives based on friendships, breaking some rules to show independence, and living like they never thought would happen - a normal life.  Excellent addition to junior high and high school collections.  Highly Recommended.

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