Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.
But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives.
Verse is not really my favoured form of reading, but One was beautiful in verse. In prose this story would probably not have had the same effect, which is of a story being told in as little words as possible but the meaning and effect somehow equivalent to that of prose. Told from Grace’s POV, the story is how the two become one in light of a health condition.
As there are conjoined twins, they have lived their entire lives together. But never have they felt that the other is intrusive to their life, or hoped for separation. They may snap at each other at times – Tippy being the snapper usually, but their love for each other is so strong. Grace is the dreamy one while Tippy is the pragmatic one, but they aren’t limited to that. Tippy loves her sister so much that she wouldn’t want to be separated, even if it kills them both. Grace just wants to save Tippy from dying along with her. The pain and loss shines through the writing, delivering a story of two girls who have just wanted to be normal, as they are.
Their friendship with Yasmeen and Jon brings a new kind of joy in their lives. They also find that not everybody becomes a monster around them, as evident by Yasmeen never for once caring that they are conjoined. The family situation, is also explored, with their monetary problems affecting their choices; they have a younger sister who loves to dance and for her, they are ready to do the one thing they never wanted to.
Overall, it is a pretty fast read, because of the verse; but I didn’t feel it to be incomplete. Beautiful and heartbreaking storyline – 4.5 stars.
Received a free galley from Greenwillow Books via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or the review.