Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

It’s been a week since I last updated! I’ve had four books on the go after getting slightly over zealous about my Netgalley approvals and then got sick at the weekend which meant I was in no mode to do anything other than sleep the days away.

But in any case, speaking of sick, I finished Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider this evening and loved it even thigh it made me sad. The story revolves around a fictional boarding house for teenagers that have contracted a drug resistant strain of tuberculosis, with the insinuation that the disease has now made a devastating reprisal in the US.

I think any YA novel about sick teens is going to draw automatic comparisons with John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars but I think in this case that’s not a fair comparison. To me it felt a lot more like an American high school take on Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (the film version of which I incidentally watched today). Robyn Schneider even cites Hailsham as inspiration in her notes.

One of my favourite things about the book is the fact that the two points of view (Lane and Sadie) turn a lot of YA tropes on their heads. They view each other as cute and almost too cool for them… Yet they view themselves as awkward and uncool. I liked seeing both sides and not being left with the two dimensional pixie girl/boy love interest trap that I think some YA stories fall in to.

I really enjoyed it. It was sad in a way that YA fiction can be; showing young loss and hope and love and tragedy. Lane and Sadie’s stories are sweetly ordinary until we’re reminded that they’re dying and even they don’t know how much time they have left.


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