Monday, March 13, 2017

Review - One

by Sarah Crossan
Date: 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Reading level: YA
Book type: verse novel
Pages: 400
Format: e-book
Source: library

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. Each of the sixteen-year-old girls has her own head, heart, and 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 Grace doesn't want to admit it. Not even to Tippi. How long can they hide from the truth—how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

It's been a while since I read a novel in verse. I like them because they tend to be quick reads. They can also pack quite a bit of emotional punch into relatively few words. This book was no exception. Although I did question its need to be in verse at first, I think the author chose the right format after all.

The subject of conjoined twins--both the biological and psychological aspects--fascinates me, so when I heard about this novel, I though I'd probably enjoy it. The story is fairly simple, but also poignant. The characters were all done quite well, and everyone had distinct roles and personalities. That's not to say that I liked all of them but, for the most part, they all seemed quite real. And the formatting of the text itself was unique and quite symbolic (especially near the end), which adds to the specialness of the book.

My main complaint with this book is more of a technical one. I've noticed this issue with many books, and that's the seeming lack of editing as the book goes along. This story is set mostly in New Jersey. However, a few British expressions and turns of phrase showed up in the last part of the book, which kind of threw me out of the flow of the story. The only conclusion I can draw is that editors don't bother going through the second halves of books. (The author does live in London, but she did live for a while in New Jersey. You'd think that, between her and the American editors, they could've caught some of these problems.)

Overall, though, this was a good read, and it's one of those stories that you'll think about long after you've finished.

Quotable moment:

Sometimes we do something
completely ordinary,
like sweep the kitchen floor,
and Caroline lets her jaw drop
to show how fascinating
we are.
"Wow!" she'll say.
And then again,

I just find it funny
that she's paid us for this
and that
something so boring
could ever
make it to TV.

Premise: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Editing: 2/5
Originality: 4/5
Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 ladybugs


  1. I keep seeing this book advertised everywhere. I'm glad you enjoyed it, despite the lack of editing in the latter half. Sounds like it will be an interesting read.

    1. It's worth a look. The subject matter is pretty unique.

  2. I wanted to like this one, but verse/poems aren't really my thing haha. I just never seem to be able to get a full view of the story without description or more dialogue? But, erm, I can definitely confirm that editors do not only go through the first half of books. Especially in traditional publishing houses. I think some of that might be a matter of subjective preference? Just a thought!

    1. I don't think it's a matter of subjective preference. I've read way too many books where the last half is riddled with grammar errors and outright typos. I just want to know how that happens... especially when the earlier parts of the book are way more polished.

      I found this book to actually be pretty heavy, word-wise, for a verse novel. At times, I felt like you could probably take out all those line breaks and have it read as prose. It wasn't one of the more poetic verse novels I've read, that's for sure!

  3. I love verse novels and although I enjoyed this one overall, I struggled with the difference in language too. I think given the heavy subject matter, it probably would have been suited to a traditional novel as much as it was as verse. I think this is one of her better novels though, she's an author that's but a bit of hit and miss for me. So glad you still enjoyed this though despite those discrepancies. Wonderful review!

    Kelly @ Diva Booknerd

    1. Yes, I think this could have been a great prose novel, too.

      Thanks for stopping by!