Review: One by Sarah Crossan

Book Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Published Date: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads

Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

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. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has 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.

 
Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
 
Review:
I had been wanting a YA book about conjoined twins for well over a year, so when I saw this one, I pounced on it. I was a little nervous about it though because of the writing style. I’m normally not a fan of novels that are in verse, but considering the subject matter, I decided to give it a shot.
 
I am so glad I did, because it was really good, and even though it was written in verse it didn’t read like it was. It read like it was written in typical novel fashion. I think it was probably because it was written as a free verse novel. 
 
Another problem I normally have with novels written in verse is that I can’t connect to the characters very well. That was not a problem this time around. I loved Tippi & Grace and their personalities were different, and interesting. They were captivating and so very fascinating. 
 
They shared friends. 
 
I really loved Yasmeen. She was so good for them and she accepted them without question. She was a wonderful friend throughout the entire book. And Jon was another friend of theirs. He treated them normally and like Yasmeen he didn’t even seem to see that they were conjoined. That wasn’t an issue for him.
 
I was really glad that there wasn’t a whole lot of romance in this book. There were hints of it here and there, but this book was mostly about two sisters who had been joined together since before birth. You know me, I’m a sucker for sister stories.
 
I do wish we could have seen more of their younger sister, who they had nicknamed Dragon. I felt crappy for their mom as she was desperately trying to hold down the fort. Their dad was no help as he was unemployed and spent most of the book drunk, leaving his wife to deal with the mounting hospital bills and her constant worries about Tippi and Grace.
 
Oh, and make sure you have kleenex. I needed it several times while reading the book. There are definitely feelsy moments throughout the book.
 
I ended up really enjoying this book more than I thought I would, and I definitely think there needs to be more books about conjoined twins. I find the whole concept fascinating and am so thrilled that I got to read this book. I am giving it 4 stars and I definitely recommend it to fellow YA Contemporary lovers like myself.

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Book Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Published Date: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: Putnam (Penguin)
Genre: YA Retelling
Series: Book one in The Wrath and the Dawn series
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Disclaimer: I bought this book.

Review:

I am utterly dumbfounded right now. This book was unbelievably gorgeous. From the cover to the pages to what was written ON the pages. This book was stunning. I’m still as in love with the cover as I was the first time I saw it. Now that I’ve read the book, I’m just as in love with the words on the pages as I am in love with the cover.

I have read many many books in my 29 years but I don’t think any of them have ever been this gorgeously (is that even a word?) written. I was barely 20 pages into it when I put it down and said out loud “holy hell this book is gorgeous” I could probably talk about the gorgeous writing for days, but I probably shouldn’t. It was so beautiful through the entire thing. I was worried that the beautiful writing would take away from the actual story, but it didn’t. It added to it.

The world building was stunning and I felt like I was actually in this world. That’s how vivid things were. I could see the clothes in my minds eye, my mouth watered with the descriptions of the food (funny as I usually don’t enjoy Indian or Persian food) but I definitely wanted the food they were eating because it sounded delicious. When a book can make you hungry in the dead of night, then you know the book is good.

I have massive love and respect for Shazi. She was fierce, stubborn and protective. Her objective was the avenge the death of her best friend Shiva. She never expected to fall for Khalid, and in fact she fought it for a good chunk of the book. In her mind, she could never love Khalid because of what Khalid had done to many young girls before her, including Shiva. She had this vulnerability to her that she was clearly reluctant to show anyone else. It took awhile for her to even let Khalid sense her vulnerability. But when she did, it was beautiful.

Khalid was one of those brooding, mysterious types. Those types always intrigue me because there is always more to them than initially meets the eye. I sensed that he had a lot on his plate and that being vulnerable with anyone wasn’t something he was comfortable with. Just like with Shazi, it took awhile for him to show her his vulnerable side.

I was really worried that Shazi and Khalid would fall for each other and it would feel very insta-lovey. I was really hoping that wouldn’t be the case as I think it would have really ruined the book for me. Thankfully it was not an insta-love situation. I fell for them as I watched them slowly fall for each other. That is a truly great feeling.

There were so many secondary characters in this book. My favorites were Despina, Shazi’s handmaiden & Jalal, Khalid’s cousin. We didn’t get to see a lot of Shazi’s father, but I liked him. I was not really fond of Tariq, Shazi’s first love, but he wasn’t a terrible person. Even the secondary characters were fleshed out well.

I almost forgot to mention, the feels! Holy feels, Batman. Within the first 20 pages I had already cried twice and then through the rest of the book, I cried no less than 5 times. I was not expecting the feels to be so rampant in this one. There were several feelsy moments near the end, and thankfully I had kleenex for those moments.

I absolutely loved this book and I am so glad I took a chance on it and pre-ordered it without even reading an ARC copy. It was totally worth it and I’m not sure how I am going to wait until next year for book 2. 5 stars to this beautifully captivating book.