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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

*Psst* Click the picture to find a copy

I thought my next book post would be for Go Set a Watchman, but things change, book slumps happen and attention has to shift to get back on track. Basically, I hit a book wall after re-reading one of my all-time favorites, To Kill a Mockingbird. After closing the cover and putting it back on the shelf I just wasn't ready to start the new one. I needed something different to shake things up a little bit first. I needed to dive into a different world for a while, and the book that did it for me was Robyn Schneider's Extraordinary Means.

To be honest, I only bought this book because Robyn Schneider has an amazing YouTube Channel, although she's been gone for about a month. Come back Robyn, I miss you! (I mean it's not like you're out on a book tour doing awesome things or anything...) This isn't her first book, but I picked this one up because they made a great book trailer for it and I was hooked by the idea.

I'm not much of a YA reader anymore, but I found the concept of a drug-resistant TB pandemic (and how society would deal with something like that) really interesting. And the cover design is so great! If you didn't click the link to watch the trailer, and have no idea what this book is about, then let me summarize (no spoilers):

The book follows two teenagers, a boy and a girl (duh, it's YA), who have Tuberculosis and are sent to live in a sanatorium until a cure is found. It's basically a boarding school, but with doctors, nurses and wristbands that track their vitals. There's friendships, adventures, rule breaking, and, of course, romance. You follow them as they deal with their illness, seeing how people treat them like they're broken and the grim reality of death. It gets pretty deep at times, but is still a fun and fast read. And if you're a crazy overachiever like I am, you'll learn an important lesson from Lane, no matter your age.

My only complaint was the romance (and this isn't a complaint about this book, just YA fiction in general). Maybe I am a cynic, and maybe I can't relate because I didn't date in high school, but I have never been a fan of young, head-over-heels love that blossoms in less than a month. I don't think it's realistic and frankly makes me a little sick. I prefer love stories that take time to evolve because that's how it is in real life. I think if someone told me they were in love with their significant other three weeks after their first date, we'd have to have a reality check. And these characters are pretty romantically dramatic.

I understand that when writing a novel you only have so many pages to work with and things need to happen pretty fast, so I get it. I'm just the kind of person who loved (500) Days of Summer BECAUSE they didn't end up together. (That's a spoiler, but it's an old movie.) So if you love young love and think Romeo and Juliet was super romantic then you'll probably adore these star-crossed lovers.

The book really wasn't very long and read extremely fast (I read the first half in one sitting before bed). If you're into YA or looking to get a gift for someone who likes YA, this one is pretty good. And now that I've read the book, if they turn it into a movie, I'll definitely go see it. I will also probably pick up some of Schneider's other books to see what they're all about.

Hope you are able to spread some sunlight today!

Love you lots,

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