I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
on 4th June 2015
A bitter-sweet, coming-of-age novel that's perfect for fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky.
When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.
Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances
As I write this review, I’m sitting on my lunch break. I finished Extraordinary Means an hour ago, and I still feel like someone’s punched me very hard in the stomach. When I started reading this, I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with Extraordinary Means. I didn’t think I would connect with the characters. I underestimated Schneider’s ability to make me fall in love with them.
It’s not difficult to imagine such a thing as total drug resistant TB. And Schneider did such a fantastic job at making it seem so real. I can imagine somewhere like Latham House existing. And I can imagine how society would react to those staying there. And Schneider captures this perfectly. It could be easy to forget what these teens are going through, but Schneider makes sure that we don’t. And that’s important. It’s remembering why these teens are at Latham that makes Extraordinary Means so powerful.
I flitted between liking Sadie and Lane and not feeling much towards them at all. I’ve read books with characters similar to these two, and despite their individualities that set them apart, it was difficult to shake that feeling. I loved how Sadie changed Lane and stopped him from living out the life he thought he should be living. However cliche it is, she did breathe life into Lane’s character, which instantly made me connect to him more. I loved Charlie, so the ending tore me into shreds, but it kind of had to be done. It brought the horrors of their reality back to the forefront of my mind, but it still hurt to read. I loved that whilst the thought of a happy ending was there, Schneider didn’t give it to us all neatly wrapped in a bow. A story like this one shouldn’t end with everyone getting their happily ever after, it’s not realistic.
Extraordinary Means is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read this year, and certainly a story that will stay with me for a long, long time.