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extraordinary meansWhat: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Who: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

When: June 4th 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Australia for review.

When he’s sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.

But when he meets Sadie and her friends – a group of eccentric troublemakers – he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn’t have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances.

4cats2I’m not one for books about sick teenagers. I never fall in love with them, and they always make me super sad. So, after ogling the cover of Extraordinary Means for about ten minutes, I actually read the blurb and guess what? It’s about sick teenagers.

I wasn’t going to read it. I thought to myself: this is about sick teenagers, and I don’t like that. And I also saw some pretty mediocre reviews for it by fellow bloggers and I was like … nope. Not for me.

And then I picked it up one afternoon, and I could not put it down. I was so surprised, because I hadn’t expected to like it, or want to keep reading it. But I felt both of those things, and I was actually super happy about it.

In short: I really liked Extraordinary Means. Yes, it’s about sick teenagers, but it’s done with such tact and there’s no melodrama, and I was enamoured with it.

Lane. Lane is quite adorable, to be honest. I mean, I didn’t love him, but I did really like him. I thought it was hilarious when Sadie was internally paying out on his polos and crisp jeans when it turns out they were the only things his mum packed for him. I just really liked his personality. I felt for him so much when he realised that he really couldn’t keep up with his AP classes, and he just had to chill out and rest. I can only imagine how hard that would be, as someone who has always taken studying extremely seriously.

Sadie was a great character to read about. I loved that she hated Lane for something that happened so long ago, because I can relate to that feeling. I keep grudges against people forever, and if I do end up letting it go, it is forgiven but not forgotten. But then it turned out he didn’t do the thing she hated him for, and then she allows herself to crush on him. Their relationship was adorable. I shipped them quite aggressively, if I do say so myself.

As with all sick teenager books, there is death. Well, more than one. So prepare yourself. I was pretty saddened by both because I had come to care for those characters so much more than I ever thought I would, and even though I knew, I knew, this was a sick teenager book and that people died, I thought there would be a happily ever after at the end of Extraordinary Means.

Now, the group did some pretty stupid shit, and I was prepared to hate them for it, but in all reality I didn’t. They were sick kids who knew they could end up dying at any given point in time, and they wanted to enjoy themselves and do the usual crap that non-sick teenagers get to do. So yeah, some of it was pretty silly, but it was also a coping mechanism for them, and there’s no way I could hold that against them. And they’re young. They’re so young.

All in all, I really enjoyed Extraordinary Means because it was such an out-of-the-blue read for me, that I was completely not expecting at all.

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: July 25, 2015 • By: Chiara

18 Responses to Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

  1. I LOVE it when I don’t think I’m going to like a book and then I end up…really liking it. Like with Paperweight, recently – wow, that book. So glad you liked this one :)

  2. I was one of the ones that couldn’t get past the stupid decisions that they (repetitively) made, but I’m glad you were able to relate to and enjoy the book in some way. I much liked Lane a lot more than Sadie, Sadie had this kind of sarcasm about her. IT was sad, glad to hear you enjoyed!

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, I was a bit wary of the decisions they made, but I guess in a situation like theirs, it’s a little different. Lane was super adorable, but I also liked Sadie!

  3. I really want to read this book! I had seen mixed reviews too, but your review has me convinced! :-)

  4. ME. EXACTLY ME. I adored Lane so much because I was pretty much all work-work-work in school (and my little sister is the same now, so I basically threw this book at her, :D) I don’t mind books about sick teens, so that wasn’t an issue for me, but yessss…it was pleasantly wonderful. Except for THAT ENDING. D:

  5. Katherine says:

    I’m pretty split on this book because I didn’t like Robyn Schneider’s first book at all. This one sounds better, and from your review, it sounds like something I might like, although I’m not a fan of these sickness-related YA books.

    • Chiara says:

      I haven’t read her first book, but I know a few people weren’t so keen on it.

      It wasn’t the average ‘sick teenager’ book, because there’s no family or friendship changes, as the kids are at boarding school.

      I think if you’re in the mood for this book, you might like it!

  6. I love when a book completely surprises you. The cover is intriguing. I haven’t heard of this one before, and I just read a sad book, so I need a breather before I read another one, but this sounds like a book I might try, For some reason I thought this was going to turn into a fantasy – I think it was the boarding school for sick teens part. Usually the character goes to a boarding school and turn into a magical/paranormal creature of some sort. lol.
    Great review.

    • Chiara says:

      Same! It’s such a nice feeling to go in with no expectations, and come out really liking what you’ve read. The cover is SO beautiful, and I adore it. I think this is definitely a book to read when you know you can handle a sad book, though.

      It’s so funny you say that, because in the back of the book, the author said that the story started out as a vampire book, haha! XD

      Thanks, Rochell!

  7. Romi says:

    OH HEY YOU LIKED IT. I think this is becoming a thing, me starting all my comments to you in allcaps. Ah well.
    But yaysies! Like people are saying in the comments, it’s so awesome when you don’t expect you’ll like a book and then you end up cherishing it; it seems to make your enjoyment level soar, perhaps higher than it would’ve gone if you’d been anticiating it with any kind of eagerness. I guess for expecting to dislike it, you appreciate it all the more when you DO like it.
    For me… this didn’t go so well, but hey (as they say), not all books are destined to be favourites, and some just end up being better for other people and DNFs for you.
    Lovely review! xx

    • Chiara says:

      I DID. And I love caps, so I like the thing.

      I definitely did not expect to like this one, and whilst it isn’t a favourite, I’m glad I read it! It was different to what I expected, and I’m surprised I ended up liking a ‘sick teenager’ book.

      Oh no D: I’m sorry you didn’t like this one, Romi!

      Thanks, dearie <3

  8. Kim @ Divegent Gryffindor says:

    Amazing review! I agree, I was also hesitant to read this because of the sick teenagers, but I liked it too. I only expected one death in the book, and I was really crushed about the second one. :(

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG
    Most recent posts: Review: Rainfall || Dress Up: The Heir

  9. Valerie says:

    This sounds like an amazing, sad and tearful read. I NEED IT.

    I also understand why you wouldn’t pick this up though. It’s kind of saddening reading about sick teenagers. But I’m glad you liked this a lot in the end.

    • Chiara says:

      This one is a really sad book, but also kind of lovely. I hope you get it, Valerie!

      It is SUPER SAD, and I usually stay FAR AWAY, but for some reason, I wanted to read this one. I’m super glad I ended up loving it, too :D

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