by Robyn Schneider
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Publication Date: May 26th 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
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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. (Goodreads)
While all the characters in the novel had the one thing in common, their reason for being at Lantham House, that’s the only thing this group of teens have in common. Lane was an overachiever who has to learn to let it all go in order to just survive, and watching him learn to relax with help from Sadie and her friends was really interesting. Sadie was probably the most interesting character in the story for me. She took something bad, being at Lantham House, and made the absolute best she could of the situation. No longer was she the shy girl that Lane knew from before, instead she was snarky and confident, a totally different girl. The secondary characters in the novel were all interesting as well, and I loved that they were all so different in their own ways. Together, these kids really were an awesome group.
I’ve read quite a few books lately that deal with illness, so I figured this book would be really similar to those, but it still managed to stand apart from the rest. I thought the storyline was really creative, and while the illness plays a huge part in the storyline, it doesn’t completely overwhelm the rest of the story. It was interesting to see how these kids had to live with the illness, and what they had to face on a daily basis because of it.
Overall; I really enjoyed Extraordinary Means. This is the first book that I’ve read by Robyn Schneider, but it definitely won’t be my last. I have her previous release, The Beginning of Everything, sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be read. I’ll definitely be moving it up on my to-read list!