Posted in The 12 Books of Christmas Break

12 Books of Christmas Break: Extraordinary Means

“…the thing about being a disaster in middle school is that the shame of it never fully goes away. Even after your braces are off and your hair is exactly the way girls wear it on Tumblr, underneath it all, you’re still just as unsure whether someone actually likes you, or is only talking to you so they can laugh about it afterward.” – Extraordinary Means, pg. 37


Title: Extraordinary Means
Author: Robyn Schneider
Genre: Young Adult fiction
Erin’s teaser synopsis: Don’t mistake this book for one of those feel-good pieces about some sick teenagers. It is, in fact, about Lane (a kid on track to go to his dream college of Stanford) contracting a new strain of drug-resistant TB and being sent to a sanitarium, where he reunites with old camp buddy Sadie, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all about them waxing poetic about the meaning of life and what death means. As Lane adapts to his new future, we find them figuring out how to truly be alive – essentially, growing up. And what’s most interesting is that they’re doing it just like normal, non-ill children.
Why I relate to it: I originally picked this up because I like Schneider’s writing, for the most part, and the fact that it was about kids with TB piqued my interest, considering that a friend’s contraction of TB is the reason I win most arguments about healthcare in politics.
Judgement call: I liked it more than I thought I would, and most people probably will, as well…at least, they will if you like realistic characters and scenarios. Do you like sappy teenage romances with a little bit of drama but aren’t a huge fan of the over-done John Green and Nicholas Sparks storylines? You’ll like this one, then. Robyn Schneider has completely redeemed herself in my eyes (I had a big problem with one plot point in The Beginning of Everything) with this next effort. When I find myself nodding along with the lines from multiple characters, you know it’s going to get a good review. But then, I usually like the books on the TAYSHAS list, anyway.

If you’d like to recognize me in those same characters, you can find this book at the local library, or at Amazon.



We seek to learn, and when academics do not present the answers, we look inside our own beautiful imaginations for the key.

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