This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Ugh I had to force myself to finish this book This is a book about twin girls conjoined at the head, written alternately by each girl in autobiographical form Here are the things that made me not like this book 1 Way too much emphasis on the intended publication, or hope thereof, of the finished product I cannot believe a real editor would not edit all that out.2 I did not understand why it took them 30 years to figure out that some sort of wheeled assistive device would drastically improv Ugh I had to force myself to finish this book This is a book about twin girls conjoined at the head, written alternately by each girl in autobiographical form Here are the things that made me not like this book 1 Way too much emphasis on the intended publication, or hope thereof, of the finished product I cannot believe a real editor would not edit all that out.2 I did not understand why it took them 30 years to figure out that some sort of wheeled assistive device would drastically improve their lives so Rose wouldn t be carrying Ruby ALL the time The we wanted to be strong story seems ridiculous.3 I found the concept of one twin getting pregnant and having a baby extremely far fetched 4 If the twins could not be separated because they share an essential vein, to me that means they share all their blood because blood circulates So I don t understand how one twin is not affected by drugs that the other twin is taking.5 In terms of writing style, it seemed wasted It could have been a beautifully written story, but instead it seemed like two diaries published with no editing except maybe spell check Meet Rose and Ruby sisters, best friends, confidantes, and conjoined twins Since their birth, Rose and Ruby Darlen have been known simply as the girls They make friends, fall in love, have jobs, love their parents, and follow their dreams But the Darlens are special Now nearing their th birthday, they are history s oldest craniopagus twins, joined at the head by a spot the size of a bread plate When Rose, the bookish sister, sets out to write her autobiography, it inevitably becomes the story of her short but extraordinary life with Ruby, the beautiful one From their awkward first steps Ruby s arm curled around Rose s neck, her foreshortened legs wrapped around Rose s hips to the friendships they gradually build for themselves in the small town of Leaford, this is the profoundly affecting chronicle of an incomparable life journeyAs Rose and Ruby s story builds to an unforgettable conclusion, Lansens aims at the heart of human experience the hardship of loss and struggles for independence, and the fundamental joy of simply living a life This is a breath taking novel, one that no reader will soon forget, a heartrending story of love between sisters Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.comIn what has to be the best blend of heartbreaking sadness and unbelievable joy, author Lori Lansens has managed to write a novel about two girls that you will not soon forget if ever After I finished THE GIRLS, I felt many emotions, but the strongest was that I had just read the story of two of my best and dearest friends And even though I know that this story is fiction, I can t help but think that somewhere, two girls share a life that is a lot like that Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.comIn what has to be the best blend of heartbreaking sadness and unbelievable joy, author Lori Lansens has managed to write a novel about two girls that you will not soon forget if ever After I finished THE GIRLS, I felt many emotions, but the strongest was that I had just read the story of two of my best and dearest friends And even though I know that this story is fiction, I can t help but think that somewhere, two girls share a life that is a lot like that of Rose and Ruby Darlen Rose and Ruby are twins, yes, but they are also so muchThey are craniopagus twins, born conjoined at the right side of the head As Rose puts it, she s never looked into her sister s eyes, she s never bathed alone, and she s never taken a solo walk But what Rose lacks in aloneness is made up for with the closeness that she shares with Ruby, her sister, best friend, confidant, and greatest admirer The Darlen sisters were born in the small town of Leaford on the same day that a tornado struck the town and scooped up a young boy named Larry Merkel, who was never seen again On the day that their mother, a young, frightened woman who called herself Elizabeth Taylor, gave birth, she was attended to by a devoted nurse known as Lovey When the girls mother later disappeared a week after that fateful day, much as Larry Merkel had been blown into the wind, it was Lovey Darlen who chose the girls as her own or, rather, they chose each other As Rose and Ruby struggle to learn to live together and yet retain their own individuality, it is their Aunt Lovey and Uncle Stash who provide the love, comfort, and stability that the girls need Being a conjoined twin has both its benefits and detriments, as both girls learn from an early age But with the love of their family and the help, support, and dedication of a wonderful cast of supporting characters, the Darlen girls make a name for themselves in Leaford THE GIRLS is written as an autobiography, started by Rose to tell the story of her life and, with it, the story of Ruby s life, as well Interspersed with chapters written by Ruby herself, the story doesn t always unfold in chronological order The things Rose deems important, of course, don t always coincide with what Ruby believes to be necessity I laughed while reading this novel, and many times I cried I went through joy and sorrow, much as the characters did This is the first story I ve read in a very long time that moved me to feel what the characters felt, to feel, in the end, as if I knew them I applaud Ms Lansens for her wonderful writing skills, and, although I am sad to say goodbye to Rose and Ruby Darlen, I wish them the best that life has to offer I love when I finish a book and it stays with me for days afterward as I continue to wonder about the characters and what may still be happening even though the story in the book has ended This is going to be one of those books I can t think of one negative thing to say about any aspect of this book I loved the characters, ALL of them I loved that the author told the story as if Rose and Ruby were writing an autobiography I had to remind myself it was fiction numerous times.Simply an amazi I love when I finish a book and it stays with me for days afterward as I continue to wonder about the characters and what may still be happening even though the story in the book has ended This is going to be one of those books I can t think of one negative thing to say about any aspect of this book I loved the characters, ALL of them I loved that the author told the story as if Rose and Ruby were writing an autobiography I had to remind myself it was fiction numerous times.Simply an amazing, moving, richly written book I won t be finishing this, life is too short A character and someone on greads said it best it doesn t matter if the book is well written, it will sell because it s about conjoined twins Yep.This story is unique in its premise a back and forth of two conjoined twins who have learned that they are dying but the execution was a real disappointment The actual complicated layers of such a situation never being alone, never being able to fully choose for you, never being perceived as your I won t be finishing this, life is too short A character and someone on greads said it best it doesn t matter if the book is well written, it will sell because it s about conjoined twins Yep.This story is unique in its premise a back and forth of two conjoined twins who have learned that they are dying but the execution was a real disappointment The actual complicated layers of such a situation never being alone, never being able to fully choose for you, never being perceived as your own person remained untouched, and Lansens allowed the premise to be the only interesting factor in this work The girls Super dull Instead of having them actually be interesting people in their own right, you get the sense that the only thing going for them is their freaky status To establish individuality she attributes very superficial differences Rose, intense, Ruby, not intense but neither was actually interesting to read or had anything else to say for themselves The story was told in a hodgepodge chronologically which was confusing and irritating, and went off on many tangents that I cared nothing for like the equally boring history of their adopteds family, or how the Canadian sports teams were faring , It is actually quite surprising just how boring a book about such an original topic can be I ended up skimming a lot, not to mention being grossed out when it got detailed about their medical complexity.The writing itself was monotonous and annoying there was no poetry here or anything to hold me I kept refelecting back to Poisonwood Bible where Adah and Leah who actually did have personalities and were complicated in individual ways describe in beautiful prose how it was to be twins in their own complicated set up This was instead a young adult novel, if anything, and a very undeveloped one at that The cover reminded me vaguely of the cover of The God of Small Things they re both pretty artsy flowers on the water things but there s really very little that s similar about the two books, except that they re good And they have twins in them The Girls is amazing The edition I bought has a little reader s guide questions section at the end, which I started to read because I kind of didn t want the book to end seriously, it was really good and one of the questions was something to the eff The cover reminded me vaguely of the cover of The God of Small Things they re both pretty artsy flowers on the water things but there s really very little that s similar about the two books, except that they re good And they have twins in them The Girls is amazing The edition I bought has a little reader s guide questions section at the end, which I started to read because I kind of didn t want the book to end seriously, it was really good and one of the questions was something to the effect of Why did the author choose to write this novel as a first person narrative Did you ever have to remind yourself that you were reading a novel and not an autobiography Yes, it was very convincing as a memoir and I kept reminding myself that it really wasn t one and getting kind of disappointed that these people were figments of someone s imagination I can t imagine the story being told any differently, either I looked forward to reading Ruby s sections, and kept being amazed with how well thought out the whole format was Even though it s not at all difficult to read, there s enough creativity and pathos for this novel to really lend itself to re readings and analysis And quoting The Girls is a wonderfully engrossing read, with humor and romance and tragedy and quirkiness I just finished reading it so sorry if this review is a little gushy Or hard to follow 3.5 Believe it or not, this is the third novel I ve now read about conjoined twins, after Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss about the Bunkers, the original Siamese twins and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese Like Marion and Shiva from the latter, Rose and Ruby Darlen are craniopagus twins, joined at the head Unlike the Stone brothers, though, they are linked by such major veins that they can never be separated Ruby, the parasitic twin in old fashioned offensive terminology, rests o 3.5 Believe it or not, this is the third novel I ve now read about conjoined twins, after Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss about the Bunkers, the original Siamese twins and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese Like Marion and Shiva from the latter, Rose and Ruby Darlen are craniopagus twins, joined at the head Unlike the Stone brothers, though, they are linked by such major veins that they can never be separated Ruby, the parasitic twin in old fashioned offensive terminology, rests on her sister s hip until a neighbor invents a rolling chair for her to sit on The girls were abandoned by their young mother, who gave her name as Elizabeth Taylor, and raised by a hospital nurse, Lovey, and her Czech husband, Stash, in Lansens fictional southwestern Ontario town of Leaford.At age 29, Rose and Ruby are the world s longest surviving craniopagus twins, having been born in 1974 on the day of a devastating tornado they work at the local library and Ruby contributes First Nations artifacts she s found to the town museum Ruby s informal chapters, set in a different font, are occasional interruptions in Rose s typed narrative and sometimes offer an opposing perspective on their life with Aunt Lovey and Uncle Stash and a trip back to Czechoslovakia view spoiler The girls are keenly aware that their joint life will soon come to an end due to Rose s aneurysm, and both are compelled to memorialize their history in writing The most surprising revelation is that one of them has had a child and given it up for adoption, so much of the novel is about the longing to find this long lost daughter evenof a pull than the search for their mother hide spoiler I love reading about sister relationships in general, and the Darlen girls situation is an extreme case of love and jealousy given that they literally can t get away from each other and it s almost impossible to keep any secrets It s a mixed blessing As Rose writes, It would occur to me how deeply I loved my sister, and how profoundly I was loved by her I think I found something of God in that Lansens gives just enough detail about the protagonists daily life to make it believable without being prurient I don t think the novel will stay with me, and it isn t as good as the other conjoined twins books I mentioned, but I would readfrom Lansens she s a solid Oprah Book Club sort of author One of the least engaging books I have read in a very long time I found the main characters of Rosie and Ruby to be exceptionally boring and slightly annoying It literally felt as though I was reading someone s mundane diary, dreary boring details that may make up a good diary for the writer however do nothing for an outside reader. Beautifully written story of two sisters who are conjoined They live in a small town, where everyone knows them as The Girls As with any other sisters, they are very different people but unlike every other set of sisters, they are often viewed as one The author has done an amazing job of creating two completely seperate voices and manages to weave a haunting story based on two characters perspectives who are literally at the same place, at the same time always Rose, Ruby and their fami Beautifully written story of two sisters who are conjoined They live in a small town, where everyone knows them as The Girls As with any other sisters, they are very different people but unlike every other set of sisters, they are often viewed as one The author has done an amazing job of creating two completely seperate voices and manages to weave a haunting story based on two characters perspectives who are literally at the same place, at the same time always Rose, Ruby and their families and friends feel so real throughout the book It s impossible not to feel sorry and happy for themthey struggle to maintain their individuality, some people view them as monsters or one person with two heads but they have a wonderful family full of support and loveand their very best friend around when they need em THE GIRLS is written as an autobiography, started by Rose to tell the story of her life and, with it, the story of Ruby s life, as well Interspersed with chapters written by Ruby herself, the story doesn t always unfold in chronological order The things Rose deems important, of course, don t always coincide with what Ruby believes to be necessity This is a story of love, loss, friendship and truth vs perception I think you ll enjoy it I admit I was attracted to this book because it was about conjoined twins But, the fascination quickly wore off and I was left wondering when the characters were going to come to life and become compelling beyond their conjoinment The story never came to life for me.