Two sisters come of age in this thoughtfully crafted, well-researched verse novel of emerging selfhood.
Life for 16-year-old Grace and her sister Tippi hasn’t been easy: they’re conjoined twins—literally joined at the hip. They’ve spent their lives dealing with staring strangers and invasive questions, but the girls are happy together and wouldn’t have it any other way. Grace and Tippi have been home-schooled until now, but when the state decides to pay for the girls to attend a private high school instead, they begin their junior year among peers. After a few unfriendly gestures from other students, the girls befriend outsiders Yasmeen and Jon (Yasmeen is HIV-positive, and Jon is on scholarship) and settle into a life of firsts most “singleton” teens take for granted: learning to drive, getting drunk, skipping class, and for Grace, falling in love. When Grace is diagnosed with a bad heart, the twins have a difficult decision to make: risk the dangerous separation surgery so Grace can qualify for a transplant, or stay together and get sicker until they both die. Grace’s elegant and intimate first-person narration combines with her wry sense of humor to create a likable character in a believable situation.
This is honest, unapologetic realism from a diverse perspective not often seen in fiction for teens. Not to be overlooked. (author's note) (Verse fiction. 12 & up)