Published by Bloomsbury Children's on August 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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…
From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?
This will be a short review because 1) this book is short (read it on the plane in 3 hours) so I don’t want to give anything away and 2) there really isn’t much to say except READ IT NOW
One is probably one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It’s touching, heartbreaking, raw and honest. It’s about Grace and Tippi, two teenage girls who also happen to be conjoined twins. It’s about their family; the physical, medical as well as the emotional implications it has on everyone around them.
This book is written in free verse but do not let that put you off. I had never read a book in verse before and it only took me a page or so to get into the writing style. The style lends the book a kind of poetry that gives the story, which is already so insightful on its own, even more impact, to the extent that you will find yourself staring into space for a couple of seconds (or maybe minutes) after you finish.
The story is an emotional one, but it also provokes a lot of thought. It makes you see things from new angles and covers a range of different topics. From the twins’ physical difficulties and the family’s struggles to pay all the medical bills, to their feeling of alienation and being unable to fit in anywhere, the lack of privacy, how they are perceived by others and the knowledge that they will never have a life of their own in which they can be in an intimate relationship with another person.
The characters themselves, both the two protagonists as well as the side characters, were complex and fleshed-out, they had their flaws but were simultaneously really likable. Despite the book’s brevity I felt attached to everyone and the ending was truly a punch in the gut.
My only complaint is that I wanted more when I was done with it. The ending felt too abrupt, too rushed and I would have like to have a bit more closure. Also, some of the subplots didn’t get the resolution, or at least attention, that I would have liked. View Spoiler »For example, I really wanted more discussion on Dragon’s anorexia and the dad’s alcoholism since recovery is such a long process. « Hide Spoiler But besides that I really have no complaints about One.
All I can say is that I highly recommend this book to absolutely everyone. It’s an important read that will make you consider things you haven’t before and will hopefully make us all a little more empathetic.