Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider


An amusing novel, that honestly, fell a little flat.

Lane has never done anything but work for his future; he has high academic goals, and all that matters to him is achieving them. But his future is put on hold when he is diagosed with a new strain of tuberculosis, and is sent to Latham House, a sanatorium for teens with the same disease. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is only in Lane's way, and he is counting down the days until he could possibly get out.

Then, Lane runs into a girl he knew years ago. But Sadie isn't the unique loner he remembers; she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling, and the a part of the "cool group" at Latham--troublemakers that don't see this place as a prison or a deathbed, but a means to an end. 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 buy booze. But it's not all fun and games at with his new friends. The more Lane fits it, the sicker his friends become, as they wait for a cure that may never come.

First things first, this is not a John Green remake. I repeat, this is not a John Green remake. And honestly guys, let's stop calling every book about sick teenagers Fault in Our Stars meets god-knows-what. People have been writing about disease for hundreds of years--not just since that book came out. So relax. Moving on, I love boarding school novels, and that was the thing that really attracted me to this book in the first place. But this book, even though it was interesting and amusing to read, wasn't fantastic. It was missing something. I don't know what exactly, but I wasn't emotionally attached to any of the characters, or really eager to find out what was going to happen. It's also a book written in dual narrative, where you could not tell the difference between them. And that is a huge no-no for me.

I liked Lane. He was interesting to read about, and I loved watching him fall in love with Sadie. And I liked Sadie, too. She was spunky and tough. But like I said before, I wasn't in love with either of them. I didn't really care what happened to them; I wasn't emotionally attached to their stories. It felt like a romance novel where you just want to see the two people get together, but you don't really care how or why; you just want the romance. It felt like that, except I wanted to learn about their boarding school and their friends, but I didn't really care where they ended up.

Their relationship was cute, but like everything else in this book, it didn't make me swoon. But Sadie did something that I hate: she pushed Lane away because she was scared and to protect him. I despise that. Especially because in this book, it only lasted twenty-ish pages. Was that really necessary? No. It was drama for drama sake, and it's a writer's crutch that any reader can see from a mile away.

I liked the writing, besides the fact that I couldn't tell the narrators apart. It was simple, but very moving. I wrote down two quotes in my quote book--which is always a good sign.

In the end, this book was good, but it's definitely not a book I feel the need to reread ever again, or really recommend it to others.

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