on May 26, 2015
Also by this author: The Beginning of Everything
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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’ve been excited to read this book for quite some time. The Beginning of Everything was a fabulous book that I recommended to everyone. So of course I had some high hopes for Extraordinary Means. Unfortunately I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.
Extraordinary Means wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I had the impression that the characters had something cancer like and were being treated in a hospital. That’s not the case at all. Robyn Schneider has created a fictional form of tuberculosis that is drug resistant. I was really fascinated by this. The characters aren’t in a hospital either. They’re in a boarding school like sanatorium.
While I thought the basis for the story was great, I just couldn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. Lane and Sadie’s relationship was sweet but it fell flat for me. Sadie went from secretly hating Lane to swooning over him rather quickly. I also found the characters to be unnecessarily reckless with their health and the health of others. That might just be the mom in me coming out though.
I also felt the story was pretty predictable. I guessed the ending very early on and then it just felt like I was going through the motions to finish it.
I adored The Beginning of Everything so much that I will definitely be reading any future books by Robyn Schnieder. Probably not with as much excitement and anticipation as I did with Extraordinary Means.