Tuesday, July 21, 2015


"Life goes on until it doesn't"
TITLEExtraordinary Means
AUTHOR/s: Robyn Schneider
PUBLICATION DATE: 26th of May, 2015
Ahh! The much hyped Robyn Schneider book, Extraordinary Means. I haven't really read anything from the author (The Beginning of Everything has been stuck on my TBR for as long as I could remember) but since she recently came here in PH (#KMRinPH ?) I thought maybe I should finally give her a try.

My friends, both in the blogosphere and in real life, have been raving about how awesomesauce Extraordinary Means was. This made me excited and nervous at the same time. I'm not sure the book would live up to my expectations. I usually try to not get with the hype but the reviews of some of my trusted bloggers are so enthusiastic that I just couldn't help but be swept with it. 

I've been delaying writing this review for a couple of days now because I don't exactly know what to write. I feel so conflicted but nevertheless, I'll try my best haha :)

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.

I know it's wrong to compare, much less compare books. But I'm sure at least some will agree that Extraordinary Means has John Green written all over it. From its characters to its setting and even to its impressive use of metaphors. If I were to write an equation, it would look somewhat like this:

An Abundance of Katherines' hero + Looking For Alaska's heroine + The Fault in Our Stars' set-up = Extraordinary Means

I just couldn't shake the feeling off that I was reading the same stories I've read before, only with a slightly more interesting tone. *whispers* I liked EM a little bit more than the other three.

Schneider's writing is more relaxed and laid-back despite the heaviness of its theme which made me enjoy it a little bit better. Occasionally, some random things would make me go "Awww..." or "Wait, what?" but I never really felt heartstring tugging scenes. Maybe it has something to do with me already knowing what will happen in the end (curse you spoilersssss!) 

What I did love (yes, I did love something in it) was the Harry Potter references that pops out once in a while and the fact that Lane reminded me of someone I know in real life haha :) Random fun thing I noticed with the character names: Sadie and Lane snapped at my Rick Riordan fangirlness, reminding me of Sadie Kane from The Kane Chronicles lol

Speaking of Sadie and Lane, I didn't really feel their chemistry. Like a review I've read before mentioned, "it was just...there." Despite being a sucker for romance with histories, Sadie and Lane's back story was something that didn't really hook me.

While the romance in the book isn't exactly the best thing for me, I liked the plot and message about friendship. I liked it so much more than the romance that if Sadie and Lane just became plain friends, I wouldn't really mind. Their little group was made up of really cool characters, each with their own distinctive and diverse personalities which I enjoyed a lot. 

Overall, the concept of an incurable TB epidemic and how teenagers would deal with it was intriguing. Though bittersweet, I actually liked how it concluded. It wasn't actually a big tearjerker but it was enough to get me reflecting on certain things.

Extraordinary Means weaved a story of friendships, love, and chances that we should all learn to take at some point in our lives.

"There's a difference between being dead and dying. We're all dying. Some of us die for ninety years, and some of us die for nineteen. But each morning everyone on this planet wakes up one day closer to their death. Everyone. So living and dying are actually different words for the same thing, if you think about it" -Sadie

"Because the thing about miracles is that they're not answers, no matter how much we want them to be." -Sadie

"We mourn the future because it's easier than admitting that we're miserable in the present." -Lane

"Someone always gets hurt. But what no one ever tells you is that you can get hurt more than once." -Sadie

"My miracle wasn’t a cure. It was a second chance. But second chances aren’t forever. And even miracles have an expiration date." -Sadie

"...the thing about trying to cheat death is that, in the end, you still lose." -Sadie

I wanted to like this book so much. It's not that I hated it but it just didn't grasp me in the way that I though it would. Sure, I loved the dialogues and the quotes but maybe it's just not for me. Highly recommended for John Green fans, though :)

Three out of five rating for Robyn Schneider's Extraordinary Means

3/5 Rating! :)


  1. I'm glad despite some reservations you had, you still enjoyed reading this book. It was one of the best books I've read last year and I was totally waiting for it to come out just so I could fangirl with everyone. Keeping my emotions for like 5 months was a complete torture! Hahaha!

    Great review, Ailla! <3

    1. Hey Inah!

      Thanks for dropping by :)

      Yeah, your review was actually one of the reasons why I was encouraged to read EM haha! I value my trusted book bloggers' opinions on this kind of things.

      Anyway, it was an okay read for me. I wanted to love it but I just couldn't shake off the John Green vibes. I liked the quotations and its overall message so I'd probably give Robyn another chance on The Beginning of Everything :)


Thoughts? :)