Review: One by Sarah Crossan

Book Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Published Date: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
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: Apple & Rain by Sarah Crossan

Book Title: Apple & Rain
Author: Sarah Crossan
Published Date: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s USA
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads
When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels almost whole again. In order to heal completely, her mother will have to answer one burning question: Why did she abandon her? But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets her younger sister, Rain—someone more lost than she is— that she begins to see things for how they really are, allowing Apple to discover something that might help her to feel truly whole again.

From the author of the acclaimed The Weight of Water comes a beautifully-crafted, moving novel about family, betrayal, and the ultimate path to healing.
Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Bloomsbury Children’s USA in exchange for my honest review.

When I first saw the synopsis for Apple & Rain, I was excited and hopeful. Sister stories are some of my favorite things, and I was hoping I’d love the book as much as I loved the cover. Unfortunately I spent the majority of the book metaphorically banging my head against a wall. These characters all frustrated me in varying degrees.

Apple wanted her mom to come back. She held her mom up on this pedestal. Even when she did come back and make some extremely questionable decisions, it took a long time for Apple to even realize that just because her mom was back didn’t mean everything was perfect. Apple was a very frustrating character, but she was also the one who had the best character arc. By the time the book ends, she realizes that her mom isn’t perfect and that her grandmother was more of a mom to her than her own mom.

I felt terrible for Rain. Clearly she had a lot of problems and I hated how her mom handled them. Yeah she carried around a baby doll, who she swore was a real baby. Most moms would have been extremely concerned about that and would have done anything to get her the help she needed. Yet, Rain and Apple’s mom didn’t give a crap. All she cared about was her career and the parties she would have (which involved plying her oldest underage daughter with alcohol)

Apple and Rain’s mom, Annie, was incredibly selfish. She didn’t give a crap about how Apple felt about anything. She would randomly pull Apple out of school for the hell of it, or even to babysit Rain while she went on auditions. So instead of being selfless and focusing on what her daughters needed, Annie focused on herself. Her career seemed to be all that mattered to her. It was utterly infuriating.

As for Nan, Egan and Del and the other secondary characters, they were woefully underdeveloped, which bummed me out. I wanted to know more about them, particularly Del. I thought there was a lot more to him than met the eye.

The book definitely improved by the ending, and in fact I was able to bump it up one full star. I was excited about that because I had felt so frustrated by the book so far. I am definitely bummed that this wasn’t an emotional read like I was expecting. I didn’t laugh or cry at all and I think that was simply because I didn’t connect with the characters. I’ll be giving this book 3 stars.