I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Amazon・ Good Books・Book Depository
From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.
At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.
There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.
But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down.
Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.
Warning: unpopular opinion ahead.
You know when you read a ton of positive reviews about a certain book and then you don’t like it? I feel like a book-hating monster. But I wanted a tear-jerker! And people kept insisting that it was. Liars. My eyes didn’t even get misty. To be honest, I was looking for a dark/sad story and all I found was a predictable (and slightly boring, to be honest) novel about two sick teenagers. Sound familiar?
Laine ends up at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from TDR-TB (aka a new incurable/contagious strain of tuberculosis). Because being contagious is not bad enough, he runs into Sadie, a girl he used to know from summer camp. Oh, and she hates his guts. Fun times.
I kept waiting for something to happen. My little raisin heart wanted to feel something! But I felt…nothing. I can’t even tell you how much that bothered me. The point is to be a sobbing mess at the end, isn’t? So, what went wrong? Am I broken? Am I incapable of shedding a few tears for a couple of fictional characters? Am I asking too many irrelevant questions? (yes)
Honestly, the story never took off for me. I saw the ending coming from the very start. I think I was expecting something to go wrong so I was immune to the feels by the time they actually happened. I just felt very distracted when I was reading this, like I was waiting for something better to come along. I should have known this wasn’t the book for me when I abandoned it for a few weeks and I didn’t think about it at all.
I did like a few things (I’m not a total monster, okay?) that I think I should mention. The friendship aspect of the novel is fantastic. I love Sadie’s group of friends and all the shenanigans that they cause throughout the book. The alternating points of view are distinctive, which is always a plus. Also, Robyn Schneider has a very clever writing style. I really enjoyed the witty remarks and the overall tone of the book. I even highlighted a handful of beautiful passages because I want to cherish them forever. So, I can see why so many people like this novel. It just wasn’t for me.
I once heard someone criticize the characters in TFIOS as being “too earnest” and that is what I think of when I think of Robyn Schneider. I read her book that came out two years a go and while it wasn’t bad I didn’t really connect to it. The characters felt like characters and not real.
P.S. Have you seen the trailer for this book ? Apparently the author made it herself.
Kat C recently posted…Audiobook Review: Insiginia by S.J Kincaid
Exactly! They really do feel like characters. I haven’t read her first book and I’m not really sure if I should :/
About the trailer, I didn’t want to watch it before reading the book…and then I forgot about it. I’ll look it up!
You are not alone. I too found the characters tedious at worst and cliched at best and the storyline predictable. Not one ounce of “feels” (as the young folk say) pierced my stony heart.
Beautiful cover though.
Bruce Gargoyle recently posted…Tomes from the Olden Times: The Third Form at St. Clare’s…
I’m glad! 😀 The cover is gorgeous. Makes me wish that the book was better! Now I don’t have an excuse to buy a FC to add to my collection. Oh, well.
“How to steal internet”. That doesn’t sound like something a teen would say. More like a 40, or 50 year old would. :-\
Hahaha, right? -.-