By Sarah Crossan
Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.
And their lives are about to change.
No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?
But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…
From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?
Wow! Wow! Wow!
It has been a while seen I have absolutely broke down into tears because of a book. I’ve felt upset and teared but in this book I literally just bawled into by pillow at about 1.30am.
This book revolves round a pair of conjoined twins who experience high school for the first time. Written in the most beautiful and emotional enjambment, this story doesn’t just concentrate on Grace and Tippi’s experiences with high school, love and coping but also addresses the importance of family. This dysfunctional family consisting of a father who drinks too much, a mother supporting a family with a simple job, a Grandma with a loud voice and a ballerina sister who battles with anorexia, all shape these much-loved twins into who they are.
The relationship between Grace and Tippi is incredible! Their characters are both opposite sides of the spectrum: Grace is much more reserved and accepting while Tippi is opinionated and brash. Conjoined twins who shared a body from the waist down, they are different yet one and the same. Grace tames Tippi and Tippi forces (literally forces) Grace to go out. They have this fantastic relationship and I felt that the writing didn’t force it all. They’re like normal sisters at the beginning but it all just builds up during the story and it’s only till the end do you realise their absolute loving closeness.
In high school, their friends also end up being two who are considered the outcasts, Jon and Yasmeen. Both are unique in their own way. Yasmeen is shunned upon because she has HIV and Jon, because he is a scholarship student. They are both essential to Grace and Tippi in feeling like they are not alone and have some sort of normalcy. The romantic interest between Grace and Jon is cute but not as developed as much as I would like and isn’t concluded as satisfactory during the end. The friendship between them all is unconventional but it’s unique and I had a lot of fun reading about it.
I learnt so much about the lives of conjoined twins from this book. Their low life expectancy and their utmost bravery in stepping out into the world. I personally have never met one but my heart broke every time Tippi or Grace mentioned someone’s gaping stare or somebody’s insensitive snide comment. I never realised how many health risks there are in conjoined twins and I feel this book will open the eyes of so many.
All in all, an intriguing book that I had fun reading. The writing style is gorgeous. The enjambment, people! It’s so good, so well written without ignoring the development of Tippi and Grace’s story, The ending is heart-wrenching and this is book that will definitely stay with you.