ARC Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider


Extraordinary Means
Series: None
Author: Robyn Schneider
Published June 4th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Children's Books

Goodreads Synopsis
A bitter-sweet, coming-of-age novel that's perfect for fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky.

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.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

From the synopsis, it is recommended to those who enjoy John Green or Stephen Chbosky, and I could definitely see the connection with Green, not with Chbosky, which was good for me, as I really couldn't stand The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This book was nothing like I was expecting, though, to be honest, I don't know much about it when I requested it. This was a total case of cover love. From my first impressions of the book, based on both the cover and the, albeit vague, synopsis, I thought Extraordinary Means would be about teens with some sort of lung problems, perhaps cancer. To some extent, this impression was true, but it was such an understatement. In Extraordinary MeansTuberculosis (TB) has returned, with a strain that is 'Total Drug Resistant' (TDR). Lane and Sadie, the protagonists in the novel, as well as their friends, are suffering from TDR-TB, and are patients in Latham House, a sanatorium for teenagers suffering from this condition. As the TB is drug resistant, there is as much a chance of death as there is of full recovery.

I really enjoyed that this book was dual POV, and that the two voices were really likeable. Both Lane and Sadie seemed like 'real' teenagers, you could see their suffering, and their happiness, and they weren't perfect in any respect. I especially liked the fact the they had known each other as children at a summer camp, and that the history between them was explained and not just glossed over. One problem I did have, though a really small one, was the romance. Yes, I was a fan of it (and I shipped the characters), but it felt sort of rushed, though I understand why it was rushed - they both could die at any day.

The book, and particularly TB, seemed to be really well researched, and I think this is something that Schneider should be praised for. The whole situation with the numerous x-rays, medical wrist sensors, and the different medications mentioned all made it seem even more real, as if it could actually happen, or was happening. 

Overall, Extraordinary Means was unlike the usual YA Contemporaries that I read, and I really would recommend this book. 

Dates Read:
May 1 to 14, 2015

4 Stars 

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  1. I enjoyed their relationship as well! I also thought she did a good job researching.