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Sarah Crossan. Greenwillow, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-211875-2

Grace and Tippi are 16-year-old conjoined twins attending private school after only being homeschooled. With an alcoholic and unemployed father, an anorexic sister, and a mother frantically trying to hold her family together, the girls cling to new friends Yasmeen and Jon, two outcasts who defend the girls and treat them as equals. Just when Grace falls for Jon despite Tippi’s warning—“We can never ever fall in love”—the girls learn that an illness in one jeopardizes both. Facing financial hardship, they are asked to make a difficult decision that carries enormous consequences. Crossan’s free-verse deftly conveys the twins’ heightened emotions through repetition, creative spacing, and lyrical similes (“Her breath is as delicate as lace”). Writing mainly from Grace’s perspective, Crossan (The Weight of Water) interjects the voices of friends and family, offering a glimpse of the difficulties conjoined twins and their loved ones’ face. In asking important questions about how bodies shape identity, Crossan’s novel achieves a striking balance between sentimentality and sisterly devotion. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Sept.)