by Sarah Crossan

Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: September 15th 2015
by Greenwillow




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 soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives.



I’ve read three of Sarah Crossan’s books so far, and this is, by far, the best book I’ve read of hers. It’s a short and simple story, but it packs a surprising emotional punch and reminds you about the power of sisterhood.

One revolves around a set of 16-year-old conjoined twins named Grace and Tippi who are about to begin attending school for the first time in their lives.

Adjusting to the ladder of popularity, navigating the world of boys, and finishing your homework on time is a struggle for every teen, but it’s hard to even begin to imagine what it must have been like for Grace and Tippi. With every whisper and every stare they get from a fellow student, you can’t help but feel Grace and Tippi’s anger and helplessness.

Yet, the two girls stay strong. Never once do they retort something negative back to a whispering passerby, and it’s hard to not be inspired by their silent strength and refusal to let their physical weakness stop them from being who they want to be.

Grace and Tippi’s bond is written in such a honest and wonderful way. Despite not being a conjoined twin, you’re still able to feel Grace and Tippi’s love for each other. They may bicker and fight sometimes (don’t all siblings?), but they truly love each other and can’t imagine life separate from each other.

One is written in exquisite freeverse. Despite not being much of a poetry fan, Crossan’s beautiful writing hooked me until the very end.

The story may be predictable, but it’s the journey that counts. It’s emotional, beautifully written, and not to be missed. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a conjoined twin, the beautiful, the ugly, and everything inbetween, look no further.


57 thoughts on “One

  1. I am a bit nervous about the prose structure of the book, but the premise and story sounds absolutely intriguing and beautiful so I am going to give it a go. Lovely review, I’m going to try get this one with my next paycheck!

    1. Don’t be nervous about the prose structure Aentee. Once you adjust to it, you won’t even notice. I hope you end up liking it as much as I did! πŸ™‚

  2. I grabbed this at the library on Saturday and am planning to read it ASAP (though with all the October releases it may have to wait a week or two). I’ve heard so many great things about this and it sounds amazing, even if I don’t normally pick up novels in verse. Awesome review, Zoe! <3

    1. I think it’s originality is really what sets it apart from the crowd Jeann. Definitely let me know what you think if you decide to pick it up. πŸ™‚

  3. I haven’t really heard of Crossan before this, but I’ve been seeing One EVERYWHERE, and I just now realized that they’re conjoined twins! That sounds like such a unique premise :O I’m glad you enjoyed this so thoroughly, Zoe. Beautiful review, and I shall DEFINITELY be checking this out.

    1. You definitely need to give it a try Maddy! It’s beautiful and unique and amazing. Let me know if you do end up picking it up!

  4. I haven’t read any of Crossan’s books, but I really think that this one would intrigue me! Everyone’s been raving about it, and I really want to see how it all plays out. Great review!

  5. I’m a bit nervous about the fact that it is written in freeverse. I can’t help but be intrigued by the synopsis, though. It would be such a different way of life to be a conjoined twin. Even a simple fight would be a struggle for the mere fact that you couldn’t leave each other’s side. I’m curious how to book deals with these issues. Great review, Zoe.

    1. Don’t be nervous about the prose structure Sarah. Once you adjust to it, you won’t even notice. I hope you end up liking it as much as I did! πŸ™‚

  6. Yesssss, I agree. XD hehe NO SURPRISES. I thought it was a bit too predictable at times, but sheesh, it was super sweet and I LOVED how it was written like that. And maybe I’m just gonna take a moment to sniffle a bit. :'( It’s only my 2nd Sarah Crossan book but I did like it more than Apple & Rain for sure.

    1. *gasps in mock shock* To be honest, I thought the predictability was almost a plus here. You knew what was going to happen, but I think that makes you almost appreciate their bond that much more, you know?

  7. I agree with this 100%. Absolutely spot on review! I loved this book, despite some predictability, and despite the fact that I don’t love prose usually. I was SO impressed with how Sarah was able to really get inside of Grace’s head to what it really would be like to be a conjoined twin- I think that has to be one of the hardest viewpoints to imagine, because really, one thing that most of us DO have in common is control over our own bodies. I loved this one, and also, short books make me happy πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you Shannon! xD So glad you agree. πŸ™‚ She did it SO well, didn’t she? I almost want to know how she was able to capture Grace’s voice so well.

  8. One captured my interest when I read the blurb a few months back and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! It sounds like an incredible, important book and though I’m still on the fence if I like verse novels, One sounds like it takes advantage of it and uses it well. Wonderful review, Zoe! <3

  9. I bought this book not so long ago. It being written entirely in prose kind of made me want to read it more, but also kept me wary of getting to it. IT’s good to hear it was a powerful read. I can’t wait to read it for myself. Fantastic review, Zoe.

  10. What a great review. I’ve seen this book around for quite a while, now, but I didn’t add it to my TBR yet. I think now, I will. It sounds like such a powerful story, even if it’s a bit predictable, I’m sure I would enjoy it for the emotions and the interesting theme it deals with πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Marie! Definitely add it to your TBR – you won’t regret it. It’s definitely a tad predictable, but, oddly enough, I think the predictability was almost a strength here. (Can’t say anything more without spoiling it, unfortunately).

  11. I really enjoyed this one too Zoe and thought that the verse format packed such an emotional punch as well. The bond they shared was incredible, not just the physical parameters of their bond but the emotional connection they shared. I thought it was predictable too, but so lovely and poignant. Wonderful review Zoe, absolutely loved it and so glad you enjoyed One too <3 <3

  12. I’ve heard so much good things about this one! Sarah Crossan is one of those authors I’d love to read as soon as possible, because her works reach out to us in one way ot another. Plus, free verse! Have you read 5 in 1 yet? One was in free verse, and the other in normal prose, and I found it awesome πŸ˜€

    Faye at The Social Potato

  13. I’m not sure I could handle the formatting on this one. Verse is definitely not my thing. I’m sooooo not a poetry person. I’ve only read one other book in verse and it was a bit torturous for me. Plus… so many feels!!! It scares me just a bit. But I was sent a copy, so I’m considering reading it. I’m so torn!! Fantastic review! ♥

    1. I’m not a verse person at all (trying to decipher all that figurative language just gives me a headache – LOL), but I loved this. I hope you do end up giving it a try though. πŸ™‚

  14. I haven’t read anything by Sarah Crossan but I think this is definitely the book I’ll pick up when I finally do. I’m so glad you loved the story and found that it packs an emotional punch. But the one thing that truly sold me: freeverse. Love freeverse books! Must read ONE soon! πŸ˜€

  15. This definitely sounds like it would be an intense read with a lot to cover, and I’m happy it was so amazing for you, Zoe. Blurb wise I’m not sure it would be something I’d immediately pick up, but I also haven’t had much luck (or positivity) with Sarah Crossan’s past work, unfortunately, so I think I’ll just steer clear. I also tend to not enjoy verse-told novels, either, so… I’m thinking not me, for this one. Still, gorgeous review! Looks like a new favourite. xx

    1. It’s simple, but at the same time it’s not (if that makes any sense). I’d definitely recommend giving it a try – especially if you’re a fan of freeverse. πŸ™‚

  16. I have not read a Crossan book before,so I really am not sure how I would like this one. It seems intense and emotional, but I wonder if I can connect to the way the story is told. It is certainly a unique story so that is a big point in it’s favor. I’m glad it was such a great read for you Zoe!

  17. I have only read Apple and Rain, but One sounds amazing. And super emotional. Awesome review Zoe! I’ve been hearing about this for awhile, and once I get through all my other books I’ll look into picking this up. It sounds like such a unique perspective.

  18. I am pretty intrigued about this book and definitely am going to be reading it. Just knowing it was about conjoined twins had me intrigued and wanting to try it out for myself. I am actually not a big fan of verse books and I am all about the traditional style of writing, but I will try it out nonetheless!

  19. I actually saw this book in the store today and almost bought it! After reading your review I wished I had. I haven’t read any of Sarah Crossan’s books before, which was part of the intrigue for me, but damn, I am really scolding myself for not having bought it.
    (I’ll just have to go back tomorrow… The hardship, haha)
    Great review Zoe!

  20. I read an ARC of this a couple months ago and I absolutely loved it! This was my first Sarah Crossan experience and now I’m excited to pick up something else by her. I want to read some more free verse, but the book that I’ve heard the most about is Apple and Rain, which is written in traditional prose… I dunno, which one would you recommend I read next?

    1. Definitely Apple and Rain. It’s not as good as One, but it’s still a good read. I’d save Breathe for last, just because (IMO) I feel like it’s not nearly as good as A&R or One.

  21. Your review reflects my thoughts on this book precisely! I did see the ending coming, but I really didn’t care because I was so absorbed in the story’s emotions. (I adored the sisters’ positive outlook and felt so engaged in cheering for them.) I LOVE books that pack an emotional punch despite being short, and ONE is one of my recent favorites to fit that description.

    1. I think Crossan almost meant for us to guess the ending, but that didn’t make it any less heartbreaking. And I agree – their optimism is so inspiring.

  22. Yay, so glad you liked this one! I did, too. I didn’t feel a connection with them, but I did feel for them, and I loved how they didn’t actually care about their sitation, and how it was just normal to them. And exactly, every sibling bickers, and actually, they fought less than i thought they would. The one thing I didn’t like was the parents, mainly because of Dragon, but such an emotional read! πŸ™‚

  23. I’m so glad you liked this one, Zoe! I thought it was incredibly lovely, as well, and I pretty much mentioned the same things as you in my review of it!

    I thought that the strength of Grace (and Tippi, but we didn’t get to see inside her head, which was kind of sad. I would have loved to get to know her a little better!) was probably the best aspect of this book. That they both stayed so strong throughout everything was beyond admirable.

    I agree with you about it being predictable, but I found myself quite heartbroken by it all anyway. This is definitely a book I’m going to recommend.

    Lovely review, dear! <3

  24. Great review, Zoe! I loved Sarah’s Apple and Rain, but this one was a bust for me. I think that because of the writing style, I just couldn’t connect to the characters, and wasn’t interested in the story as much. I was heartbreaking though, especially the ending.

    Sophie @ Sophie Reads YA

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