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One by Sarah Crossan - Review

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Where did I get it? as part of my Carnegie medal order. It's only just come out in paperback so it only arrived the week I decided to read it! 

What's it about? Grace and Tippi (named after Hitchcock's heroines Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren) are conjoined twins, joined at the hip with two legs between them. Their Dad has lost his job so they have to go to school for the first time. Their Mum loses her job too, and their younger sister Dragon is concentrating on her ballet. 

One is written in free verse which I was unconvinced about to start with, but it actually works really well. It makes the book less of a full narrative and more of a collection of vignettes about the family's life. There's a lot that's left out, but it really works. 

I do have to say that I'm a bit over books where people with some kind of disability/difference have to go to school for the first time. I get that school is scary and that's what authors are going for, but I'd love to read a book where someone is already in school and mostly accepted by their peers. Lots of schoolkids have differences that are just part of the class make up and no one really cares. I'd rather see this but I realise that it makes a story less exciting I guess. 

I will say that I really liked that this family had an intersection of problems, like with their dad losing his job and his drinking problem. Too often it feels like the "issue" is the only problem that a family has and that's totally not true. Life doesn't work like that!

I liked Tippi a lot, and Dragon, but I absolutely adored Grace and I'm really glad the book was totally from her point of view.

What age range is it for? 13+ I think, there's nothing too adult in it.
Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No
Are any main characters non-white? No
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? While I can understand that being conjoined twins may be seen as a disability, I don't think that the twins think they're disabled. They're understand how their bodies work together. I don't want to label them as disabled when I don't think that's how the twins would see themselves. 
Trigger warning for some eating disorder stuff. 
Is there any sex stuff? No
Are drugs mentioned or used? No
Is there any talk of death? Yes, but it's not graphic.
Are there swear words? Not many
Would I recommend the book? Yes, totally. At the beginning I was very unsure if I'd like the book, but I loved the twins and their friends Yasmeen and Jon. It was a very quick read and I found it a really emotional read. 
How many stars? Nine out of ten. My friend Stacey also read it in one sitting and cried! I have another book by Sarah Crossan and I think I'll pick it up sooner rather than later. 
Where is the book going now? I'll keep it, but I think I'll lend it to my friend Laura first! 

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