Saturday, 17 September 2016

REVIEW - One by Sarah Crossan

OneGrace and Tippi don't like being stared and sneered at, but they're used to it. They're conjoined twins - united in blood and bone. What they want is to be looked at in turn, like they truly are two people. They want real friends, and what about love? But a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead for Tippi and Grace. One that could change their lives more than they ever asked for...

For a long time now, I've been in an on-going clash with the YA genre. Every book feels like a duplicate of another world, another idea, another set of conventional characters. But this was completely different. One is the kind of book that gives me faith in YA.

One of the things that astonishes me about One is the fact that through such simplistic, unembellished free verse, every single word was so filled with Grace's concerns, love, and anxiety. This hurt to read. In spite of such a heavy focus on Grace and Tippi, and the to-the-point construction of the free verse, every character felt so incredibly deep and complex; I never expected such delicate handling of alcoholism, financial struggles and eating disorders to come across in so few words. Grace and Tippi's family are utterly dysfunctional within their brief descriptions throughout the book, and yet I still found myself caring for them all. 

The reason that One gets such a high rating is because it made me question things that I'd never really considered before when regarding conjoined twins - like how you deal with Periods? What if one of you falls in love - and how do you as a collective pair deal with that
? How do you deal with the anger you feel for your twin smoking and drinking when whatever they consume will directly affect you as well? I'm sick of YA fiction that is repetitively produced, not giving any real room for its audiences to question new ideas surrounding other perspectives and ethics. On the other hand, One is so unique in its format, subject nature, and underlying themes that the overwhelming room for audiences to uncover new views and beliefs is screaming to be used throughout this story's four hundred pages. That is truly inspiring, and makes me, and I'm sure many other readers, appreciate this book even more, simply for breaking away from the stereotypical moulds of young adult literature.

Crossan's latest book is more than a read - it's an experience. It's an insight into two lives that the majority of us will never live through ourselves. It's a reminder of the privilege that comes with having a body of your own, and it's a shock into the fear, pain, and eternal struggle that may, in some cases like Grace and Tippi and other conjoined twins, never cease to end. It's an experiemental piece that works with glorious success having gained numerous awards since first release last year such as the Carnegie Medal and the YA Book Prize. Each of these accolades are in my eyes well deserved, and, if you're curious about the topic nature, or intrigued by the wide-spread praise, this is certainly worth a read. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh I liked this one too!! I did struggle a bit with the verse aspect because I feel like it only touched on a lot of scenes instead of fully describing them....but it was BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN. And like TEAR-JERKING. I loved Grace and Tippi so so much eeep.


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