Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Release Date: May 26th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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.
“There’s a specific energy to different moments, and once you lose it, it can’t be recaptured. You’ve got to record it, or you’ve got nothing.”
If The Beginning of Everything was the appetizer to my favorite meal then this book is the main course. I’ve always known that Robyn Schneider’s going to be one of those authors that, once you see their book in a bookstore, you’ll grab it without hesitation.
Extraordinary Means is nothing new I’ve read in YA literature. I’m almost tempted to say that this is the sister companion of The Fault in Our Stars, under different circumstances, of course. I don’t want to give anything away other than my hopes of fueling your excitement for this wonderful novel.
The story follows Lane and Sadie who unexpectedly reunite from summer camp to the TB sanatorium Latham House. They are joined with a wonderful cast of quirky (I know) characters: Nick, Marina, and Charlie. They’re squad is notoriously known for breaking some of Latham’s rules (like smuggling goods from the outside world) and being happy not miserable.
I mentioned this before that what makes a good book for me is an amazing protagonist. In this case, Schneider crafted these two extraordinary protagonists. Lane and Sadie weren’t cardboard cutouts; they made me feel with them. I felt their doubts, their miseries, and their happiness. And that can be dangerous sometimes for a reader, when we get attached to a character but I don’t care. I AM GOING DOWN WITH THIS SHIP AND ITS CREW.
“So that’s how you live a really great life. You make sure you have enough good days that you want to go back to.”
If I were to describe this book, it would be uplifting contrary to the seemingly bleak synopsis it has. I don’t want to give anything away about the events of this book, but all you have to know is that this was an exhilarating journey for me. It was like a peaceful and warm summer night.
Robyn Schneider is a godsend to the YA universe. I can’t imagine her books not existing. That’s why I’m pushing you and everybody else reading this review to check this woman’s work. Believe me when I say this: her words are extraordinary.
THE EXTRAORDINARY MEANS TAG
Welcome to the second portion of my review which is a tag! I haven’t done one in ages so I’m happy to be sharing my enlightening thoughts again. This time around, I was tagged my Miel (awesome dude, awesome blog) to do the Extraordinary Means tag which was created by Robyn herself. So let’s start!!!
I would give up the internet for a month for a signed first edition of this book.
I’m going with The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. It’s one of my favourite classics ever, and it’s also one of the most conflicting books I have ever read. Why would I want a first edition? I can totally imagine Wilde scribbling and annotating his book, and I WANT to see a glimpse of his thoughts.
I would give up pizza for a year if it meant I could sit next to this author on a long plane ride.
Michael Grant, hands-down. I think he’s one of the best storytellers in YA out there that’s why I’d like to seat next to him on a long plane ride. We’d tell stories about disappearing teens, politics, dragons, and the lot.
I would sit through a thousand hours of commercials if it would ensure Hollywood made this book into a movie.
I’d say Extraordinary Means but for the sake of mixing things up, I’m going with a recent read: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi. This is the YA indie movie of my dreams. No kidding.
I would never read a new book again if it meant I could live inside this book.
The Shadowhunter World, of course. I’d be like the most badass and sassiest Shadowhunter out there complete with designer hunting gear from Saint Laurent and Chanel.
I would let my Google search history be made public if it meant I could be best friends with this author.
This is a very big question. And requires the best answer possible. WE’RE TALKING GOOGLE SEARCHES HERE. Not that I have anything to hide…anyway. I would like to be best friends with a lot of authors but…oh what the heck Robyn Schneider for the win.
I would donate everything I own to Goodwill if it meant I could date this book character in real life.
I would like to date Elise Dembowski from This Song Will Save Your Life. Music junkie meets fellow music junkie = the perfect formula for a love story.