Rating: 4 stars
Sarah Crossan manages to get a lot of emotion across in her story written about conjoined twins. These girls, Grace and Tippi, have lived together — really together — for sixteen years. Although they share legs and the bottom half of their body, they are different people on top. The story is told mostly from Grace’s perspective, but Crossan manages to show the thoughts and feelings of friends and family through carefully written free verse.
When they finally start at the local high school after years of home schooling, the girls don’t know what to expect. They do expect to be treated like freaks, and they are. What they don’t expect is to make friends — which they do. But this particular year will bring challenges that they did not expect, although perhaps they should have since a doctor told their mother that they wouldn’t live to see their second birthday.
The book was heavily researched by Crossan, and she shares her sources at the end in the Author Notes. Crossan says that while all cases of conjoined twins are unique, she tried to use information from different sets of twins for the main characters. She also notes that “…conjoined twins do not see themselves or their lives as tragedies.” Reading this story will definitely make the readers more interested in the subject.
The story is beautifully written. The first person narrative manages to get across lots and lots of emotion, and the resulting lack of physical description of surroundings and people doesn’t really seem to matter. It’s a book that would be great to use in a middle school or high school classroom, but it’s also a book that would be enjoyed by anyone picking it up.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Greenwillow Books for review purposes.