Book Reviews of The Girls

The Girls
The Girls
Author: Lori Lansens
ISBN-13: 9780786288274
ISBN-10: 0786288272
Publication Date: 8/2/2006
Pages: 581
Edition: Lrg
Rating:
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1

4.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

60 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Girls on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This book was so good. It is about the life of 2 siamese twins- the story told from each of the twins'- Rose and Ruby's- point of views. The font is somewhat different so you can tell who is writing, although half way through you can already tell who is writing by the 1st sentence. Somehow i started feeling just as the girls did in situations. I felt like they could have been good friends of mine by the end. Definitely recommended.
reviewed The Girls on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
i was tentative in reading this book, thinking that it may be weird or maudlin;how wrong i was!
this book about 2 distinct women,Rose and Ruby, who "just happen" to be attached at the head. the book is written by both women, the font changes so you do not get confused as to who is talking.
They can only see each other in the mirror and one twin has to "carry" the other on her hip, reminicsent of the Reba and Lori Schappell, often seen in documentaries on conjoined twins.
this book is about love,tolerance and acceptance.Read it, you will like it!
reviewed The Girls on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Conjoined twins Rose and Ruby Darlen are linked at the side of the head, with separate brains and bodies. Born in a small town outside Toronto in the midst of a tornado and abandoned by their unwed teenage mother two weeks later, the girls are cared for by Aunt Lovey, a nurse who refuses to see them as deformed or even disabled. At age 29, Rose, the more verbal and bookish twin, begins writing their storyi.e., this novel, which begins, "I have never looked into my sister's eyes." Rose evokes country life, including descriptions of corn and crows, and their neighbors Mrs. Merkel, who lost her only son in the tornado, and Frankie Foyle, who takes the twins' virginity. Rose shares her darkest memory (public humiliation during a visit to their Slovakian-born Uncle Stash's hometown) and her deepest regret, while Ruby, the prettier, more practical twin, who writes at her sister's insistence, offers critical details, such as what prompted Rose to write their life story. Through their alternating narratives, Lansens captures a contradictory longing for independence and togetherness.
reviewed The Girls on + 391 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I loved this novel about conjoined twin girls. Very moving- An awesome read
reviewed The Girls on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

In 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 much more. They 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.
reviewed The Girls on
Helpful Score: 3
Absolutely lovely book about the lives of conjoined twins. It was funny and heartbreaking. I was hooked by the very first page, where the author starting out the story beautifully. I'll always remember the characters Rose and Ruby and how they overcame so much in their quest for happiness. It really was hard to remember that they were only characters and not real women.
reviewed The Girls on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was pleasantly surprised by this very moving yet humorous novel. Although I felt the story dragged a bit towards the end, I enjoyed it very much. I will continue to think of Rose and Ruby for some time to come.
reviewed The Girls on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
What a fascinating book! Although it is painful to read at times, it is so full of hope and profound thoughts I just couldn't put it downIt was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I loved this book, and ripped through it at top speed, which is unusual for me. I loved it and felt that I knew these twins. Each had their own personalities and body shape, hopes and dreams. I fell in love with Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey, who raised them with love and hope. I am so very sad that I am finished reading this book, however the characters will remain in my heart for a long time to come. This was most likely my best read for the year, and in a year of excellent books that is quite saying something!
reviewed The Girls on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I read this book while in my book club. The leader chose the book and I paid no attention, just started reading it. I was almost finished with it when I learned that the book is a NOVEL and not at all in the category of non-fiction. That blew me away. Lori Lansens made me believe the whole thing. Such good writing and information about how conjoined twins live that I would never have guessed. It is a wonderful and heartwarming story, full of surprises and challenges with which the characters had to deal. :)
reviewed The Girls on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed the book. I think that this book is written as if it is the twins writing their autobiography, which makes it interesting, but also makes it challenging to read in parts. It is a story that will stay with you and will resonate with you because some of the central themes are that on unconditional love, death, and life unpredictable moments.
reviewed The Girls on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wonderful read! Am being generous, because I should keep it. But I want to share the greatness:)
reviewed The Girls on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A really wonderful book! Each chapter is told by one of the conjoined twins, so you get both points of view. It will make you laugh and cry!
reviewed The Girls on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoyed this book. It explores sibling relationships, and the world of being joined to another and never having time to oneself. It redefines what space really means. The ending seemed to just stop, but overall I liked it. Good bookclub read.
reviewed The Girls on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
What a great story! Although it was certainly about being conjoined twins, it was more than anything a book about being part of a family. The sisters are like any other sisters except they happen to be joined together at the skull. The novel switches back and forth between both sister's perspectives, and the story is so good that after a while you almost forget they're conjoined. Great read.
reviewed The Girls on + 115 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I just have to say that I really loved this book. It's one of those books that you remember years later. I really loved the writing style. I just can't say enough about it.

The story is about Rose & Ruby Darlen, The worlds oldest craniopagus twins. A recent medical diagnosis has spurred Rose to write her autobiography, and she encourages Ruby to do the same. They talk anout their life from birth to the present day. Each sister is different than the other. Rose is kinda quieter and more melodramatic. Ruby is more in your face and likes to "tell it how she see's it" Both of them are as different as night and day, but that does not really seem to come between them and they seem to respect each other.

This is such a beautiful story and I love how parts are told from Rose's point of view and parts from Ruby's point of view. I don't want to give too much away, but it does have some seriously shocking moments in there. They kind of blindside you and as you put the book down the only thing you will think of is, "I didn't see that coming."
reviewed The Girls on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
In interesting read that will draw you into the fictional world of Ruby and Rose Darlen, the world's oldest surviving craniopagus twins. While providing details of everyday adjustments-to-the-norm that must be made when two people are forever joined at the head, it's the insight that's provided through the first person narrative that causes the reader to warm to the girls as individuals instead of curiosities. At its heart, it's a simple tale of relationships and of lives and loves that endure despite heart-wrenching circumstances.
reviewed The Girls on + 223 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is a fabulous read about siamese twins, their trails, tribulations, and their love for each other and their fellow human beings. It is one book that is hard to put down.
reviewed The Girls on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a fascinating book! It was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I loved this book, and ripped through it at top speed, which is unusual for me. I loved it and felt that I knew these twins. Each had their own personalities and body shape, hopes and dreams. I fell in love with Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey, who raised them with love and hope. I am so very sad that I am finished reading this book, however the characters will remain in my heart for a long time to come. This was most likely my best read for the year, and in a year of excellent books that is quite saying something!
reviewed The Girls on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Rarely has the experience of being a sister been so poignantly and memorably captured as in Lori Lansen's triumphant novel.The Girls celebrate life's fundamental joys and trials as it presents Rose and Ruby,sisters destined to live inseparably but blessed with distinct sensibilities that enrich and complicate their shared experiences-of growing up,of finding their way in the world,of saying goodbye."The Girls skillfull takle a trick subject with both laught-out-humor and grace"
"This is not a book about the grotesue but a book about love,about being bound to someone else and accepting the situation gracefully,even gratefully."
reviewed The Girls on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
what a phenomenal book! I loved it. Very moving - well written. Intriguing and different than many books.
reviewed The Girls on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a fascinating book! Although it is painful to read at times, it is so full of hope and profound thoughts I just couldn't put it downIt was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I loved this book, and ripped through it at top speed, which is unusual for me. I loved it and felt that I knew these twins. Each had their own personalities and body shape, hopes and dreams. I fell in love with Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey, who raised them with love and hope. I am so very sad that I am finished reading this book, however the characters will remain in my heart for a long time to come. This was most likely my best read for the year, and in a year of excellent books that is quite saying something!
reviewed The Girls on + 107 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was kind of different than I expected it to be, but that's ok - I really enjoyed it, although it took me awhile to get into the story. All in all, it's a good book and I recommend it :)
reviewed The Girls on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a fascinating book! Although it is painful to read at times, it is so full of hope and profound thoughts I just couldn't put it downIt was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I loved this book, and ripped through it at top speed, which is unusual for me. I loved it and felt that I knew these twins. Each had their own personalities and body shape, hopes and dreams. I fell in love with Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey, who raised them with love and hope. I am so very sad that I am finished reading this book, however the characters will remain in my heart for a long time to come. This was most likely my best read for the year, and in a year of excellent books that is quite saying something!
reviewed The Girls on
Helpful Score: 1
This was an excellent read. If it was named as a best read for Young Adults, I would have to disagree. It is written at an adult level and has adult themes. Don't let this label limit you--It's not at all superficial.

The book is told from alternating viewpoints of two conjoined twin sisters. This makes it seem like two different novels going on at the same time. I really respect the way that the author was able to give the two different perspectives of the girls.
reviewed The Girls on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a fascinating book! It was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I loved this book, and ripped through it at top speed, which is unusual for me. I loved it and felt that I knew these twins. Each had their own personalities and body shape, hopes and dreams. I fell in love with Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey, who raised them with love and hope. I am so very sad that I am finished reading this book, however the characters will remain in my heart for a long time to come. This was most likely my best read for the year, and in a year of excellent books that is quite saying something!
reviewed The Girls on + 26 more book reviews
I really quite enjoyed this book!!!! The subject matter was something you don't read about very often!!!
reviewed The Girls on + 86 more book reviews
Loved this book! The story of conjoined twin girls growing up living in a small town. Had to keep reminding myself it was a novel - the characters are all so well-written and that they seemed so real. Laughed out loud a few times and had to dab away a few tears, too.
reviewed The Girls on + 352 more book reviews
This is a special, spell-binding book about an extremely unusual medical condition that few people experience. Conjoined twins has always been an anomaly that captures our attention and breaks our hearts. The day-to-day logistics and the thought of never being alone, even in death, are beyond comprehension. I think that Lansens did a masterful job of portraying conjoinment in this sensitive and very well written account of the lives of Rose and Ruby from both of their perspectives. There was no sensationalism, pruient accounting of details, but a poignancy that developed our knowledge of their world and those who loved them. There is a grace to this writing that is consistent until the end of the book.
reviewed The Girls on + 526 more book reviews
What a fascinating book! Although it is painful to read at times, it is so full of hope and profound thoughts I just couldn't put it downIt was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I loved this book, and ripped through it at top speed, which is unusual for me. I loved it and felt that I knew these twins. Each had their own personalities and body shape, hopes and dreams. I fell in love with Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey, who raised them with love and hope. I am so very sad that I am finished reading this book, however the characters will remain in my heart for a long time to come. This was most likely my best read for the year, and in a year of excellent books that is quite saying something!
reviewed The Girls on + 5 more book reviews
I just finished this book last night. It is about craniopagus-conjoined twin girls, from their early life to present-day 30 yr olds. There are funny parts and sad parts, hard to put this book down.

They switch back and forth each chapter, each telling their story, they are alike but totally different. I laughed out loud at some of the things they came up with.

Each character is described so intimately that you feel you know them. Their Slovakian Uncle Stash & their Aunt Lovey, a nurse, tell it like it is, raising Rose & Ruby to be independent & non-judgmental.
reviewed The Girls on + 4 more book reviews
I actually got a little bored, reading this book and did not finish it.
reviewed The Girls on + 636 more book reviews
What a beautiful book! I loved it! It was just terrific... though there were more questions that were left unanswered than I can normally be satisfied with.. But, at the same time, I wouldn't change a thing! This story of conjoined twins (I am such a sucker for any twin story, thanks to growing up on Sweet Valley!) felt so utterly real. The way the separate narration blended together wove together a beautiful, and ultimately very heartbreaking, story.
reviewed The Girls on + 526 more book reviews
What a fascinating book! It was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I loved this book, and ripped through it at top speed, which is unusual for me. I loved it and felt that I knew these twins. Each had their own personalities and body shape, hopes and dreams. I fell in love with Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey, who raised them with love and hope. I am so very sad that I am finished reading this book, however the characters will remain in my heart for a long time to come. This was most likely my best read for the year, and in a year of excellent books that is quite saying something!
reviewed The Girls on
Very interesting plot about conjoined twins. Different from anything I have read in the past. Plot lines gets a little far fetched as the story unfolds.
reviewed The Girls on
Absolutely loved this book! Both Ruby and Rosie were very dynamic characters with great insights. There were moments when I felt like they were speaking right to me. I would totally recommend reading this! It's definitely touching and heartfelt.
reviewed The Girls on + 3 more book reviews
Really enjoyed this book. So different from my usual read, couldn't put it down. Highly recommend it.
reviewed The Girls on + 3 more book reviews
Really different from what I expected. The characters both main and secondary are quirky and interesting. I really enjoyed the different perspectives of the two sisters, often viewing the same set of circumstances as completly different events. The fierce protectiveness of their "Aunt" contrasted by her adamant but loving insistence that they operate as two seperate individuals and be treated as such, was to me a very realistic portrayal of how a reasonable loving person would act given the situation.
reviewed The Girls on + 3 more book reviews
The last 1/4 of this book really take it from three to four stars- give it a chance.
reviewed The Girls on + 56 more book reviews
A good read and not in the least predictable. An interesting view by a "double" girl - fiction book.
reviewed The Girls on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

In 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 much more. They 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.
reviewed The Girls on + 31 more book reviews
This book was hard for me to get into at first but after the first 100 pages or so I couldn't put it down. Moving story, well written and a great read.
reviewed The Girls on + 174 more book reviews
This "autobiography" opens up the lives of two sisters with very different personalities, as well as likes and dislikes who happen to be conjoined twins. Their outlook on their life together is upbeat and you begin to believe very possible. Very entertaining read.
reviewed The Girls on + 14 more book reviews
Excellent story of conjoined twins and their life with adoptive parents in Canada. Touching and heartwarming and a tale of a life lived with grace, dignity and little self pity.
reviewed The Girls on + 27 more book reviews
This book grabbed my attention from the first page. This can be an uncomfortable subject to read about but the author approached it with humor & like not a big deal. I loved the book!
reviewed The Girls on + 82 more book reviews
This is a great book. It is so unique and you really get attached (no pun intended) to the two main characters. There was one scene in particular that disturbed me, but it was really important to the plot. The rest of the chapters are charming with a little bit of laughter, a little bit of sadness, and a whole lot of sisterly love. I highly recommend this book.
reviewed The Girls on + 7 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing to read a novel with a different set of characters and issues. It was difficult to connect with at times (how do you relate to someone who has never been truly alone even for a moment in time??), but still well written. I would definitely recommend this book to others!
reviewed The Girls on
What a fun and interesting book - The Girls will keep you thinking about them long after the book is finished, which is exactly what they wanted.
reviewed The Girls on + 54 more book reviews
Very good story written as fiction based on fact. Some parts needed more developement, but still very enjoyable storyline.
reviewed The Girls on + 79 more book reviews
This book was absolutely incredible! Lori Lansens book was a great find. The raw emotion, and beauty with which she writes simply takes my breath away. One of the best books I've ever read.
reviewed The Girls on + 71 more book reviews
The topic was fascinating, and the girls felt like friends. For me, the book was very slow-moving at times and I preferred Ruby's writing to Rose's, simply because she got to the point. There were times I felt like I *had* to keep reading because I cared about the girls, but I was sort of bored w/ the pace.
reviewed The Girls on + 3 more book reviews
This book has such an unusual subject matter, I never thought I would want to read it, and in fact, eschewed it for years. Finally bit the bullet after reading other reviews and enjoyed it quite a bit. Recommend.
reviewed The Girls on + 410 more book reviews
What a wonderful, unusual novel this is, a fictional autobiography of conjoined twins. I highly recommend.
reviewed The Girls on + 149 more book reviews
At times funny, at others heart breaking - the story of the lives of a pair of conjoined twins told from the point of view of first one sister, then the other.
reviewed The Girls on + 4 more book reviews
Not my typical kind of book. I read it for a book club that I'm a member of and ended up enjoying it. It was touching.
reviewed The Girls on
touching book.
reviewed The Girls on + 153 more book reviews
This one draws you in and makes you truly like the characters. I enjoyed it very much.
reviewed The Girls on + 12 more book reviews
slow read, it just lacked a lot...
reviewed The Girls on + 4 more book reviews
Seriously, this is a great book! So fascinating. I encourage everyone to read it.
reviewed The Girls on + 92 more book reviews
Great read on a set of unique characters--all around. Rose, Ruby, Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey are a one-of-a-kind family. This book really brought to life the strengths and weaknesses of conjoined twins. Written in 2 different voices (fonts), they were so different in thier characters even though they live attached. Would definately recommend.
reviewed The Girls on
This book wasn't what I thought it would be but it was pretty good. Great character development, and writing style.