ARC Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Tuesday, 16 June 2015




Book: Extraordinary Means

Author: Robyn Schneider

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books 

Publication Date: May 26th, 2015

Pages: 336 Pages

Format: ARC

Source: HCC Frenzy




This book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.




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.




I'm going to come right out and say it - Robyn Schneider is the Queen of Contemporary. She's got it down. She can create interesting and lovable characters, as well as fast paced, fun, and honest plotlines. And don't forget that everything she writes is just so funny and full of life. And even when she's talking about things as serious as death and tuberculosis, she still has this unbelievable sense of hope in her stories.

One of my favourite things about Robyn's writing are her characters. I saw so much of myself in Lane, and so much of myself in Sadie, that it was easy to believe them, and it was easy to understand their decision making process. In a lot of contemporary books there's a bit of a transition period where you have to get to know the narrator, and that just didn't happen in this one. I immediately slipped into both narrations, and that was something that hasn't happened in a while. I just became submerged into this story and it held onto me until the final page. Sadie was such a delight, and Lane was just so familiar, and it was these two that made the story so memorable.

Another thing Robyn Schneider does so well is write about the human condition. She sets up a story that shimmers with whimsy and is so full of life, and she grounds it. She writes about life, and about the beauty it has and the harsh realities that come hand in hand with it. She tells her readers that, yes this is a book about relationships between people, and coming to understand who you are and who you want to be, but it's also a book about sick teenagers. She never lets you for one moment forget that this story is plagued by something. And she does that seamlessly, leading you up to a heartfelt and heartbreaking finale. 

Robyn Schneider has won my heart, and with this book, she'll win yours. She has one of the wittiest and realistic voices in print, and she deserves every miracle and sunny day. Thank you, Robyn. For allowing me to be apart of Lane and Sadie's journey. I won't easily forget it.

6/5 Stars. This is one for the history books.

Also! I did the Extraordinary Means book tag! Check it out!





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