Hello! Today’s blog post is about a very special book – One by Sarah Crossan.
One by Sarah Crossan
Publication Date: 27 August 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
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…
You may not know this about me, but I love poetry, with spoken word being my favourite. When I read Sarah Crossan’s “The Weight of Water” which was written in free verse, I was amazed at how a story could be told in that style, and still tell a story to the detail that a conventional written novel does. Free verse is a form of poetry that does not rhyme or follow a regular meter. It follows the natural rhythms of speech. If you are new to free verse, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to read. I personally find it quite relaxing and I enjoy the way the words flow.
When I heard that Sarah’s new book, One, would also be written in free verse, I counted down the days to the publication date. However, I received the wonderful opportunity of reading the book a few days before that date, but in typical me-like fashion, this review is coming at you a few days later than I had originally planned.
One tells the story of Tippi and Grace. They are conjoined twins living in America, and in case you were wondering they are named after Hitchcock’s favourite stars. The story is narrated from Grace’s perspective, who is the quieter and more reserved twin. We follow them as they attend school for the first time having spent years being home-schooled and kept away from the stares, whispers and awkward questions. Putting the conjoined twin part aside, the story was relatable as we follow the twins experiencing things such as making friends for the first time, enduring cruel taunts and the hopeless feeling of unrequited love.
I found Grace and Tippi’s story to be incredibly moving and poignant; yes, I’m not ashamed to say a few tears were shed on the train. Even though I read this story rather quickly (in just under two hours) it has stayed with me and I catch myself thinking about it. I would have loved the story to be slightly longer, perhaps with some chapters from Tippi’s perspective, as I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Tippi and Grace just yet. I don’t want to say any more about the story because then I won’t be able to stop and I’ll spoil it!
I don’t think this story could have been told in any other form apart from free verse. The story is more powerful and emotional told this way, and if it had been written as a typical novel I doubt it would have had the same impact on me. I urge you all to read this beautiful book.