Title: Extraordinary Means
Author/s: Robyn Schneider
Publication: Published May 26th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Personal Purchase
Plot in a Nutshell:
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 initially didn’t like Sadie’s behavior because I thought that she was petty and a total cliche. Eventually she grew on me and I realized what a spit-fire she actually was. I liked how Robyn Schneider developed both of their character arcs in a way that made sense and felt authentic.
However, I’ve got to be honest with you, I really anticipated certain things to play out whilst reading this book and that really dampened the reading experience for me. I wasn’t able to feel the full-impact of emotions the author wanted to portray, which still irks me. This is not the fault of the book by any means. I just feel like when I know a book is about a disease I immediately summon up the typical plot twists and wait for it to happen, which kinda waters down the emotions it initially intends to translate.
The author managed to make the scenarios the characters faced feel believable. These kids weren’t being heroic about the disease. They actually showed vulnerability and fear, however they did not wallow in their despair. They tried their hardest to still live life to the fullest and I think that is one of the loudest message this novel presents.