Book Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

 

Title: We Come Apart
Author (s): Sarah Crossan and Brain Conaghan
Release Date: February 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Overall Rating:  5/10
Genre: Coming of age, Romance, Contemporary, Poetry

“And my eyes don’t close for sleeping,
and it raining in my stomach,
and it storming in my heart,”
– We Come Apart ARC

It’s been quite a while since I last posted a review, with We Come Apart’s release coming up this week, I thought what a perfect time to write a review. I have a love/hate relationship with this book because there are some points that I hated and some things that I loved in this book but this book just wasn’t for me. Before reading this book, I had high expectations as I love poetry books and I really enjoyed Sarah Crossan’s other novel, One. However, I was disappointed and it didn’t quite match what I had imagined.

I loved the concept and themes that they explored in the novel, a refugee and a girl falling in love despite what the people around them thought. Especially with what’s happening with the world around us, this novel was highly relevant. Unfortunately, it wasn’t executed as well as I thought. There wasn’t really any relationship development and I didn’t quite feel the connection between the two characters. I thought that the characters fell in love for the sake of proving a point. There wasn’t really any depth to the relationship. I could definitely feel how Nicu fell in love with Jess but to me, it felt like puppy love.

In addition, I found the writing hard to read. I understand that the writing was trying to reflect the two main characters- Nicu and Jess but at times I couldn’t quite understand or follow what was going on.  Although the two characters had two completely different voices, at times I was confused as to whose perspective I was reading from.

Maybe it was because I found it a bit difficult to relate to the characters but this wasn’t my most favorite read. Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed reading about the characters but there were just a few flaws to the book that let it down. However, when you do have the chance definitely check the novel out!

Have you read We Come Apart before?

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Review: One by Sarah Crossan

Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Release Date: September 2015
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating: 7/10
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Drama

Sarah Crossan’s One is not your average young-adult fiction. This eye-opening, touching novel got me thinking throughout the story. It was quick read, yet my mind was buzzing with thoughts. If you are looking for a quick read but a read that packs a punch, Sarah Crossan’s One is the perfect novel for you.

Grace, the main character, is conjoined with her twin Tippi and both of them are like two peas in a pod. Being home-schooled their whole life Tippi and Grace seem like your average teenagers. However, with their family’s worsening financial state Tippi and Grace have no other choice but to attend a proper school. As they both venture to the real “school” life hearts are broken, bad habits are created and a dire situation begins to surface in the lives of Grace and Tippi. Told through a powerful voice, One is a thought-provoking novel that won’t disappoint.

*SPOILERS FOR SARAH CROSSAN’S ONE*

This novel was nothing like your average young-adult novel. The characters, storyline and structure was all one-of-a-kind. The whole novel is in free-verse and I haven’t read a free-verse novel since grade two. However, it fit the storyline so well and I genuinely applaud Crossan’s daring structure of the novel. The story was beautiful in itself and the free-verse writing style highlighted the “touching” side to the story.

Grace’s character seemed really genuine and her personality, background and words reflected the author’s extensive research in the field of “conjoined” twins. It was truly fascinating to read from her point of view. It is not every day we get to read from the eyes of a conjoined twin as often we read about conjoined twins through an impartial view but in this novel we read about conjoined twins through what felt like an authentic voice. I loved reading about the way she felt like all the guilt on her shoulders and her flaws and thoughts was what really pushed me through the novel. It was really interesting to read about the way she felt when others treated her and how, even though her sister was conjoined to her she didn’t dislike her in anyway. However, her and her sister’s personality was easily manipulative and she often fell for the traps that we are often warned of in high school, such as smoking. That really frustrated me but in a way it made the story more realistic considering their background.

The whole story was very much like a song. It slowly built to the final crescendo where the reader is left paige turning and gripping onto the novel. I was desperate to find out if Tippi survived and it was heart wrenching. To see the way Grace dealt with her sister’s death really touched my heart. I have never been through anything Grace has been through and it was really eye-opening for me to read about that.

Not only that but I loved how before the incident Grace was hopeful, which was one of the underlying themes of the story. I love it when novels deal with the theme “hope” and this one was really unique. If I was in her shoes, I would have found it extremely hard to still have hope in such a dire situation but Grace managed to do that. The only thing about the novel is that I never felt any true connection to the storyline but that is partially because I have never witnessed anything like what happens in the novel.

The ending was very open-ended and as a reader I partially enjoyed that. 🙂 Sometimes, leaving it to the reader often gives the book something to remember but often I just want to find out what happens next. I really wanted to know how Grace deals with her sister’s death in the future but we never find out. However, I loved how the ending we discover the whole book was an epitaph as it made the story seem like a true story.

I honestly believe this book is an honest, unique and beautifully written novel. I highly enjoyed reading about the lives of conjoined twins through a fascinating voice. One has really opened my eyes to the way conjoined twins live their life and the novel’s underlying message is one that should be taught once in a person’s life. I will definitely not forget this novel and I highly recommend it!