Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Title: Extraordinary Means

Author: Robyn Schneider

Release Date
: June 4th, 2015



Goodreads | Book Depository

This is my first of Robyn Schneider's books and I really wasn't disappointed. It reminded me of Looking for Alaska but with the added element of having an incurable disease from The Fault in Our Stars. Don't get me wrong, though, Extraordinary Means is not a copycat and has its own, separate, world to immerse yourself in.

The story begins with Lane's point of view. He is a straight A student who spends his life studying to keep his GPA up and working his way towards admission at an Ivy League college. It is a major inconvenience for him to be sent to Latham House, a sanatorium for sick kids, to deal with his incurable strain of TB. Lane's character development was immense. He realises that by focusing so much of his time on school and the future, he has forgotten to live. He has missed out on so much fun and so many opportunities that he didn't think were important until it was too late. Seeing him start to live his life, even if it's a restricted life, was so nice to see.

Our second point of view is in the form of Sadie. She has been at Latham House for over a year and is sort of drifting as she isn't getting any better or worse. She doesn't know when she'll get to go home but she is fitting in at Latham in a way that she never did at home. She is cool, has a great group of friends and is a sneaky rule-breaker.

The romance in the book is between Sadie and Lane who actually met before at summer camp when they were thirteen. Sadie thinks that Lane is responsible for something bad that happened to her at camp but that is quickly resolved and they begin to fall for each other. I thought they were really cute together and having the two view points was great as we got an insight into both of their thoughts and feelings. Whilst loving their relationship I couldn't help but dread how things would turn out given that they are both suffering from TB (and the fact there are two view points for two people in a relationship is always suspicious!). I really couldn't help but hope for them at the same time though which I guess is one of the messages here: however dark things seem, there is always hope.

This could have been extremely depressing but there is a lot of humour which lightens the story just enough whilst also keeping enough gloom for you to keep wondering what the outcome is going to be. It's a book about hope, second chances and living in the moment.

“There’s a difference between being dead and dying. We’re all dying. Some of us die for ninety years, and some of us die for nineteen. But each morning everyone on this planet wakes up one day closer to their death. Everyone. So living and dying are actually different words for the same thing, if you think about it.”

I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.