Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Posted June 3, 2015 by lockhartbecca in Reviews / 4 Comments

Extraordinary Means

Author: Robyn Schneider
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: ebook
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 4 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***

 

 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

 

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.
 

My Review:

 

I loved Robyn’s first book, The Beginning of Everything, so I had a feeling I would enjoy this one. And while I didn’t like it quite as much as her other one, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Robyn has beautiful writing. I highlighted so many sections of this book in my kindle because it was just so quotable. Quotes about life and the importance of living your life. Because that’s really what this book examines. It’s all good to be determined to get what you want in life and work really hard, but you have to stop and enjoy your time on this earth, because who knows how long you might have?

 

And that’s something that one of our main characters, Lane learns during his stay at Latham, a sanatorium where he’s sent due to contracting an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Basically everyone who gets TB is sent to sanatoriums to wait out a cure as scientists work furiously to discover it. Lane is furious. He doesn’t want to be at Latham. He has AP classes to study for and the SAT to retake. He has to get into Stanford; it’s been his plan for years. But he can’t do any of that at Latham because the truth is he’s sick and needs to rest.

 

Enter Sadie, a fun, enigmatic girl who breaks all the rules and lives life to the fullest. Sadie has been at Latham for a long time. She’s reinvented herself there. No longer the quiet girl who keeps to herself, Sadie is now the popular one that all the kids are watching. She’s the girl who sneaks into the woods to take pictures. She’s the girl who gets contraband items and gives them out to other students. She’s the girl who stands in front of a French class and pretends to teach when the teacher leaves the room. Sadie is full of life.

 

I loved both these main characters. Lane learns a lot from Sadie in his time at Latham. He learns how to let go and have fun and how to truly enjoy life. I loved watching them grow together. The romance was cute and perfectly paced.

 

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the alternating POVs. I normally don’t mind it and it wasn’t all bad with this book, but there were a few times when I got their voices mixed up because they sounded very similar to me.

 

But other than that, I loved this book. It was an excellent story about life and what it means to live. It shows that even if you’re dying, you can still live life to the fullest. It teaches you to relax and have fun with life because if you don’t you’re not really living at all. Beautifully written with fully fleshed out characters, if you’re a fan of contemporary I think you’re really going to enjoy this book.
 
Have you read this one yet? What did you think? Did you love Lane and Sadie together? 

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4 responses to “Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

  1. I really liked The Beginning of Everything so I want to read this one but if everyone's dying, is it depressing? I just have to be in the mood for that sort of thing and make sure I bookend it with happy and fluffy reads. Also, how realistic is this? Going to a sanitorium for this? I admit I know absolutely nothing about it, but that just sounds weird. Anyway, glad you liked this one…great review! ~Pam

    • It's sad, but not super depressing. Definitely not one of the heaviest books I've ever read. I think you would be okay, just like you said, have a happy book ready to go after it. I think the whole sanitorium thing is realistic. TB is highly contagious and if a strain broke out that was incurable I would imagine they would want to somehow quarantine them. I hope you like it if you end up reading it!

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