ARC Review: Extraordinary Means

Title: Extraordinary Means
Author: Robin Schneider
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
My Rating: 4 Stars

  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 was provided an ARC copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Note that all quotes mention below are from the ARC copy and not the final one.

Comparing this book to TFiOS. (You can skip this part)
  I can't help but be reminded of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and making a comparison. For those of you who know me, you know that I didn't enjoy The Fault in Our Stars and didn't shed a single tear reading the book or watching the movie. 

  The reason why I didn't like that book and like this one is mainly because I felt like the sole purpose of that book was to make people cry, whereas this book is more about belonging and being a part of a family outside your family. Take out the cancer in The Fault in Our Stars and the book would be degraded to almost nothing; but take out the Tuberculosis in this one and it would still have meaning. Which is why even though both are about doomed lovers with little odds of survival, I liked this one better than The Fault.

  P.S. Sorry to TFiOS fans, I'm just stating my honest opinion. :)

  When I first read the synopsis of Extraordinary Means, I wasn't sure if I should request it or not. On one hand, it reminded me of The Fault in Our Stars which I didn't like, on the other there was something about it that just spoke to me. After an internal debate, the latter won and boy am I glad that it did! Turns out, Extraordinary Means is nothing like The Fault. It has it's own unique and captivating story, and I really enjoyed it!

"It was like I misread the directions and had been trying to solve an unsolvable equation, when all I had to do was simplify." 

  I really applaud Robyn Schneider for writing about Tuberculosis and not Cancer for a change. She was right to say in the author's note that it's not very popular in YA novels, and she did a great job in raising awareness for this sickness. As I said in my comparison above, what I love about this book is although it's about Tuberculosis, it's not all the book is about. It's about belonging and finding and being a part of a family outside your family. It's not about dying, but about living.

 "I didn't have a lot of stories, but ever since I'd arrived at Latham, it seemed I was collecting them." 

  I really enjoyed Robyn Schneider's writing style. I liked how this book made me laugh out loud while still not losing the seriousness of the subject of Tuberculosis. She has a certain way of playing with words and making them go her way, which is why there were so many quotable quotes in the novel. Plus, the book has Harry Potter references! How can I not like a book with Harry Potter references, right?

"Being temporary doesn't make something matter any less, because the point isn't for how long, the point is that it happened." 

  However, there are two things hindering me from giving this 5 stars. First is that it annoyed me how there were so many French sentences and how they weren't explained because I couldn't understand a single word. It was all guess-work for me. Second is I really hated how things ended. I mean, the book closed of in an amazing manner in terms of words, but in terms of events, it felt like it was not enough. There where still to many questions in my head after the ending. (view spoiler)

"We mourn the future because it's easier than admitting we're miserable in the present." 

  Anyway, overall, this was a really great book with a great story, and I recommend people to read it. I promise that it'll worth your time. And if you still aren't convinced enough, read it for the quotable quotes, humor, and Harry Potter references. :D

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