Review Blog

Sep 17 2015

One by Sarah Crossan

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Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781408863114
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Topics: Conjoined twins. What it means to be an individual - identity, What it is like to have an absolute soulmate. What it is like to be born different. Teenage relationships.
One is about the fascinating subject of the unique relationship between conjoined twins. The book explores what it means to be an individual, who is totally connected to another person, and dependent on them for your existence, in a most sensitive way. It is written from the perspective of one of the twins in such a convincing manner, that the reader can start to embrace what is means to constantly think of someone else. When flicking through this book, you may be forgiven for thinking it is a series of poems, but it is actually a book where the typeset is used in a unique and cleverly decluttered style. The space entices the reader to stop and think, imagine and be challenged. This is a true page-turner, with chapters flowing from one topic to the next. Often the shortest chapters are the most poignant.
The sixteen year old twins Grace and Tippi experience much more than most teenagers. Daily they have to deal with people's ignorance and insensitivity, constant monitoring by doctors, parents who are protective and often overwhelmed, and low life expectancy. There are some fascinating insights into how synchronized they are and the complexities of shared body parts, yet how they like doing different things, enjoy different food and manage having private conversations. As teenagers they are more than challenged when it comes to learning to drive, are interested in boys, want to earn an income, and need time on their own. One is also a story of two people who are so connected in love and sisterhood that it would be almost unthinkable if they weren't together.
Sue Galpin

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