Author: Robyn Schneider
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
What It's About: Extraordinary Means is about a seventeen year old boy named Lane who after contracting an incurable form of tuberculosis, finds himself at Laytham House, a care centre for teenagers like him. Lane was top of the class at school and he struggles with not being able to keep up with the work or fill out his Stanford application.
One day in the cafeteria, he spots Sadie, a girl he went to summer camp with a few years ago. Lane notices that Sadie and her friends stand out from the other kids at Laytham. They're funny, intelligent, sarcastic, and well, alive. By befriending them, Lane learns that there's more to life than applications and deadlines, and that sometimes you just have to go with the flow and see where the road takes you.
What I Thought: This is my second Robyn Schneider book and I think that I liked it even more than the first one, The Beginning of Everything or Severed Heads and Broken Hearts. I listened to the audiobook and I'd really recommend it. The narrators did a fantastic job.
I liked Lane. I understand the pressure that he put himself under at school and how he always looked to the future instead of living in the present. I loved watching him grow and try new things as the book went on. He had great character development.
I quite liked Sadie, the female protagonist. She was brave, snarky and I was interested to learn about her.
It's obvious from the get go that this is a love story about two ill teenagers who fall in love, and I've heard it compared to John Green's The Fault In Our Stars, but it's not The Fault In Our Stars. It's different, so don't let that put you off giving it a try.
I enjoyed the writing. I liked how it's a dual perspective novel and how we got to see both Lane's and Sadie's side of their story. Robyn Schneider had some important messages in here about enjoying life and breaking rules and how there is more to life than essays and textbooks. At times, it's really funny and makes you laugh, and other times it's serious and makes you tear up as you think about what the characters are going through, and how you would act it were you.
The plot is good, but also rather typical of these kinds of stories. There are some surprises that made me want to keep listening and I was completely invested in the story.
I have to say that I was impressed by this book and I'm looking forward to future books by Robyn Schneider.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Picture = Goodreads