Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Grace and Tippi are twins, but not just any twins: they are conjoined. They have their own hearts, arms, lungs, and brains, but starting at the waist, they are one person. The girls defy the odds and survive for sixteen years instead of two years. When their dad loses his job and money becomes tight, Grace and Tippi decide to swallow their pride and let their lives be documented. But halfway through the filming, Grace collapses. Discovering Grace has a heart condition that could kill her, Grace and Tippi decide to get separated to give Grace a chance to live. Unfortunately, Tippi doesn't make it, but Grace gets to live on, living for herself and Tippi.
Crossan tells a heartbreaking story of two sisters that don't want to live without each other. She wrote it in an epitaph, making it a quick read, but really bringing the reader into the feeling of the story. Breaks between certain words show Grace's struggle to share her feelings and how scared she is of being alone and rejected. The beginning of each section has a paper carving showing the two girls linked together, but when Tippi dies, only Grace is left silhouetted, really bringing home the separation and loneliness that Grace feels. Even though Grace and Tippi are connected and must do everything together, they have different interests in reading, baking, music, and movies. Seeing the sacrifices they make for each other so they can both be happy is astounding. One is a really uplifting read for anyone wanting to better understand conjoined twins and learning what sacrifice really means.
*Contains severe language.