July 2015 Wrap Up + REVIEW: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

by - 3:28 PM

Hey everyone! I just posted my July 2015 wrap up! Enjoy. :) 

Now, we have a review!

“Because that’s all you can do in this world, no matter how strong the current beats against you, or how heavy your burden, or how tragic your love story. You keep going.”

Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062217165

Available for Purchase:

Back of the book blurb:

At seventeen, 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 from alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

A message from the cosmos:

My rating:

First off, what a cover. It is so gorgeous! Honestly, The Beginning of Everything’s cover was gorgeous, too, but damn, this one is just… wow! I can’t get over it. Plus there are actually shooting stars under the dust jacket, which is so cool.

Next, there will be spoilers in this review just because I need to talk about a problem that surrounds the spoiler. It’ll be at the end, though, so I’ll warn you before you read it!
Why do I keep giving every book 4 stars? I’m not sure. I used to give like every book 5 stars unless I hated it. I guess I want to wait for a book to really wow me to give it 5 stars now. Either way, all the books I’ve reviewed have earned their 4 stars! This one might be more of a 3.8 but let’s not get that fucking technical.

Hmm, where to start? Ah, I know. I read where everyone kept saying that this book wasn’t depressing because of the dark humor that was potent throughout the novel. I disagree wholeheartedly. This was one of the most depressing novels I had ever read. It’s one thing to be depressing outright, but it is so, so completely heartbreaking that these kids are joking about their death and their disease. Covering their sadness up with humor and sarcasm is so much more depressing than just being outright sad. So while, yes, this novel had many funny moments, for me, I couldn’t help but see how sad they were under that thick coating of sarcasm. We got how scared Sadie and Lane were from their POVs, but Charlie was desperate for his music to be finished before anything happened to him, Nick was constantly getting pain meds or drinking himself numb, and Marina was so stuck in other worlds because her own was too depressing to bear. I was left numb by the end of this novel.

I absolutely loved Sadie. I thought she was hilarious, and beautiful, and carefree. Those are my favorite kinds of girls in novels: the ones who just don’t give a fuck. I love girls who are secure in their own skin. Not that there is anything wrong with not being comfortable in your own skin. It takes work and I understand that. HBICs are just my favorite!!! And Sadie is definitely up there in my favorite badasses!

Lane was okay. I’m not a big fan of guys like him. He sort of seemed like a pushover. Not exactly a neckbeard, nor a “nice guy,” but he wasn’t as… strong, I guess, as I like guys to be. And I honestly rolled my eyes when Robyn Schneider used the line “I don’t accept your breakup” because that’s definitely a text post from Tumblr… There were actually a few Tumblr text post references throughout the novel which was kind of… bleh. Like she’s trying too hard to be quirky and unique which never turns out the way you want it to.

OKAY, TIME FOR SPOILERS!!! Please do not read ahead if you don’t want any spoilers. There won’t be anymore to the review after these spoilers, so you don’t need to skip ahead or anything.

The biggest problem I had with this novel was that Schneider forced Sadie’s friends on us, but we didn’t care about them at all because Sadie and Lane’s love story overshadowed everything. The friends were so minor, at least to me, that when Charlie died, I didn’t care because we barely got to know them since for one, Sadie’s and Lane’s diseases were the main thing about the book as well as their love story. Sadie barely talked about her friends in her chapters even though she’d known them for quite some time. I get what it’s like to be wrapped up in a boy but if Schneider wanted us to feel something when Charlie died, she should’ve made the friends a bigger part in the story.

However, I did cry when Sadie died. Not as hard as when Augustus or Tris or even Rue or Prim died, but nonetheless, I cried. It was sad, but I don’t think it was true to Sadie’s character. I don’t feel like she would take the medicine. I figured she would make it the three weeks until the cure came out of sheer stubbornness. I don’t think she needed to die to make it a satisfying book. I get that Schneider probably didn’t want to leave it open-ended with Lane and Sadie’s relationship, but I think that open-ended ending would’ve been much more satisfying than Sadie dying.

To wrap it up, Robyn Schneider’s sophomore novel was dark and funny, yet extremely depressing. This novel was more of a miss for me, which sucks because I loved her first novel, The Beginning of Everything. You win some, you lose some!

Happy Reading!

The Cosmic Reader


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