Review: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Modern Lovers

Author: Emma Straub

Publication Date: May 31, 2016

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit, Romance

Note: I received an ARC from Riverheads Books via Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times‒bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college—their own kids now going to college—and what it means to finally grow up well after adulthood has set in.

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adults’ lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.

Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.


  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


If I had to describe Modern Lovers in one word it would be lackluster. Emma Straub’s writing was excellent, but the story was lacking excitement.

First, the pace of the book was really slow. There was a lot of conflict brewing between the characters, but nothing big happened until about 50% of the way through the book. Even then, that problem resolved quickly. The story went back to wading through the characters’ everyday lives until approximately 75% when the most interesting and exciting events took place.

Second, I had a hard time connecting to the characters. I empathized with their struggle to find their places in the world post kids, but their personalities drove me nuts. I didn’t like most of them. Elizabeth was so self-centered and could only see situations as they pertained to herself. Andrew loved her, but had no true direction in life. Zoe’s perspective lacked real emotion. Her relationship with Jane was frustrating because there wasn’t much communication between them. Ruby was kind of a mess and it felt like she was just using Harry. Harry was the only one I kind of liked, but he was naïve for a seventeen-year-old.

The only parts of Modern Lovers that I found myself truly interested in reading were the ones about the history of Lydia and Kitty’s Mustache. I wish more of the group’s college days would have been detailed in the book. I think that would have added some of the excitement the book was missing. It may have also helped me like the characters more.

So, would I suggest reading Modern Lovers? Yes and no. If you’re an Emma Straub fan, don’t mind books with a slower pace, or like stories about people with interconnected relationships this one is for you. If you can’t handle a slow-paced book with lots of complex relationships, skip this one.

 

 

 

Review: The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

The Neverland Wars

Author: Audrey Greathouse

Publication Date: May 9, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling 

Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.


  ★ ★ ★ 


The Neverland Wars takes the reader on a return journey to Peter Pan‘s Neverland. Gwen, a teenager who would rather spend time telling her younger sister stories than wearing makeup, isn’t aware magic exists in the world. When her sister goes missing, their parents are forced to tell Gwen that magic rules the world and her sister has been abducted by none other than the mythical Peter Pan. Gwen is completely shocked and extremely worried about her sister.

Gwen doesn’t have much time to wallow in her fear because soon Peter and her sister have returned to fly Gwen back to Neverland with them. Gwen only goes to keep an eye on her sister, but finds herself enchanted with Neverland. But Neverland isn’t the safe, happy place it should be. There’s a war brewing between Gwen’s world and Peter’s Neverland. Soon, she’s forced to make the decision to grow up in her world or stay eternally young in Peter’s.

My favorite thing about The Neverland Wars was Audrey Greathouse’s writing style. I was enchanted by her vision of Neverland. I could easily imagine what it looked like through Gwen’s eyes. The descriptions were very vivid and really cool. The characters fit perfectly in this setting, especially Gwen with her hesitance to leave childhood behind. I also loved the way magic was woven into the real world setting. It was fun to read.

My least favorite thing about it was the war plot. With it being part of the title, it wasn’t included in as much of the story as I expected. When it was, it just felt kind of thrown in. I never felt like the war was explained well enough. I also felt a little confused by Gwen’s return trip home and the party at the end of the book. I couldn’t tell if it was setting things up for a sequel or if Gwen’s decision at the end was the end. That being said, The Neverland Wars was still a fun read.

Teenage fans of Peter Pan will like returning to Neverland in Audrey Greathouse’s The Neverland Wars. It’s a good, “clean” fairy tale retelling that can be enjoyed by ages.

 

Review: Fractured Faith by Jasmine Denton

Fractured Faith

Series: Glass Houses, #1

Author: Jasmine Denton

Publication Date: March 25, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Note: I received an electronic copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When her sophomore year of high school began, all Faith cared about was fitting in. She’d made up her mind that this was the year—she’d be the most stylish girl in school, finally catch the eye of hottie athlete Tyler. All of that changed with a class assignment. The project was simple enough: write an autobiography.
When Faith looks into her past, she realizes her history isn’t as clear as she thought was. Driven by the nagging feeling that her parents are hiding something sinister and an ever growing pile of questions, Faith enlists the help of her cousins (and best friends) to uncover the truth. Faith is about to discover that some secrets are kept for a reason….
As she pokes at the past, she unleashes a hidden danger that could put her–and everyone she loves–in the ground.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Oh my goodness. I think it’s going to take me a bit to recover from reading Fractured Faith.

Fractured Faith felt like a wild ride. It captivated me and kept me wanting to know the answers to all of Faith’s questions. It was so intense! I kept having to take little breaks while reading it because I couldn’t handle the suspense at times. I thought I knew where the story was headed but the twist and turns it took surprised me.

I felt bad for Faith. The truths she found weren’t something anyone would ever want to know. The way she acted out after learning her history made complete sense. I wish her parents would have been open and honest with her about it all. It might have saved Faith from being so self-destructive.

The only thing that kept me from giving Fractured Faith 5 stars was the major twist at the end. While it shocked me, part of it just didn’t feel like it could happen in real life…

**SPOILERS**

…I could see the Carver still being alive, but having multiple children with his victims? That seemed a little out there. Up to that point, it was a believable situation.

**END SPOILERS**

Fractured Faith was a dark and intense Young Adult novel that readers who like thrillers will enjoy.

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

22846823Title: Defending Taylor

Series: Hundred Oaks

Author: Miranda Kenneally

Publication Date: July 5, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Fiction

Note: I received an  ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I am in love with the Hundred Oaks series. Seriously. Could it be any more adorable while tackling realistic teen issues?

In Defending Taylor, Taylor has just been kicked out of private school. She took the blame for her boyfriend and banked on her father’s Senate position saving her from getting in trouble. Taylor never thought she would actually get in trouble. Now she’s stuck at a new school, on a new soccer team where no one likes her. If that wasn’t bad enough, the guilt she feels over putting her father’s re-election campaign at risk makes matters even worse.

The one good surprise in Taylor’s new life is her brother’s best friend, Ezra. His support and understanding are the only things keeping Taylor from completely falling apart. Taylor knows she shouldn’t trust him after all she’s been through, but she’s having a hard time forgetting about the crush she’s had on him for years.

As Taylor’s problems become the focus of her father’s campaign, Taylor has to fight to stand up for herself and restore her family’s faith in her.

I adored Defending Taylor. It had Miranda Kenneally’s brilliant writing, relatable characters and a maturity we haven’t seen in the previous Hundred Oaks novels. Taylor’s actions in this story felt very real, like something I would have done as a teenager. The way Taylor learned from her mistakes and took control of her future is a great example for the teenagers who will read this book.

I can’t say enough how much I love this series. I would highly recommend Defending Taylor and any of the other books in the Hundred Oaks series. They’re teen fiction at it’s best.

Review: Jerkbait by Mia Siegert

Title: Jerkbait

Author: Mia Siegert

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Fiction

Note: I received an ARC from Mia Siegert through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


The minute I picked up Jerkbait, I could tell it was going to be an emotional read. The thoughts and feelings going through Tristan’s head weren’t happy ones. He was a self-absorbed teenager who believed his family didn’t truly see him. I could understand why he would feel this way, even though I was frustrated by his inability to see the whole picture at times. His parents were horrible and didn’t support his dreams. They may just be some of the worst YA parents I’ve ever read.

Tristan’s relationship with Robbie complicated things even more. His resentment of his brother was made even greater by their parents’ reaction to the suicide attempts. They would rather focus on hockey than Robbie’s mental health. They took away what little freedom Tristan had and put him in charge of watching  Robbie.

Meanwhile, Robbie was a mess. It was painful to read what he was going through. He was fearful of what coming out would do to his future hockey career and his friendships with his teammates. I felt so bad that the only place Robbie felt excepted was an online chat room with other gay teens.

Jerkbait was relevant, smart and boldly honest. It touched on so many issues important to today’s society. I was transfixed by the story and read it in one sitting. The only little complaint I had with Jerkbait was the extra paranormal aspect added in at the end. It distracted from the reality of the rest of the story for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Title: Open Road Summer

Author: Emery Lord

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.


 ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


This will probably sound weird, but I wish I would have read Open Road Summer before reading The Start of Me and You. The Start of Me and You is one of my favorite YA books of all time. It was a 5 star review. Open Road Summer was really, really good, but it wasn’t as amazing as The Start of Me and You. If I would have read Open Road Summer first, I most likely would have given it 5 stars. I kind of hate that I’m giving it 4 stars because it doesn’t show off Emery Lord’s spectacular writing as well as The Start of Me and You did. That being said, Open Road Summer is definitely a YA novel I would highly recommend reading.

Reagan was a very easy character to relate to. She did what so many teenagers do, she let rumors about her shape her perception of herself. Reagan became the rumors. Luckily, through some tough times, she figured out she didn’t want to be the rumors and set about changing herself. I loved this aspect of the story, especially that she got to work on herself while touring with her famous best friend, Dee.

Dee was such a sweet character. She had Reagan’s back when no one else did. She was experiencing a different kind of heartbreak than Reagan, and my own heart broke for her. Her relationship with Jimmy had shaped her entire teenage life. She was trying to be so strong without him, which was hard with the whole world watching. Reagan touring with her and the addition of singer-songwriter Matt helped her find herself.

Matt. That guy was so dreamy: a hot musician and amazing friend. He was the total package. His friendship with Dee was so sweet and nurturing. The way he brought out the best in Reagan and pushed her to her limits was fun to read.

This coming of age story was such a fun read. I really enjoyed the great message it shared and the reminder of the drama of being a teenager. If you’re looking for a fun summer road trip read, you’ve found it.

Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Title: The Beginning of Everything

Author: Robyn Schneider

Publication Date: January 1, 2013

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Goodreads Synopsis:

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I started reading The Beginning of Everything when I was on a Disneyland vacation last week. It was perfect timing because this book is set in California and actually begins with a look back to an outing to Disneyland for Ezra and his best friend, Toby. I couldn’t have planned it better! It made it so easy to imagine the setting.

The Disneyland trip marked the end of twelve-year-old Ezra’s childhood friendship with Toby and began the rise of Ezra’s popularity. Due to a tragic accident, high school senior Ezra has lost what made him popular and the friends who were along for the ride. Now, Ezra feels alone in his crippled body. He has to learn how to navigate his last year of high school with everyone watching him. I immediately felt bad for the Ezra. High school isn’t easy and his personal tragedy made things even harder for him. I did love that his loss enabled him to reconnect with Toby, who was a really awesome friend. I also liked how his change is social status had him reevaluating his thoughts on who he was and who he wanted to be.

Ezra’s new social circle also enabled him to get to know the new girl, Cassidy. She was different from anyone else at school. Cassidy was beautiful and smart. She helped Ezra figure out some very important things about life. But Cassidy was a little mysterious. She had her own demons, and she wasn’t willing to share them with Ezra. I immediately liked her, but was weary of her because of this. I could easily guess what Cassidy’s demons were, but I didn’t expect them to have the effect they did.

I loved every minute of reading The Beginning of Everything. Robyn Schneider’s writing style is amazing and so beautiful. She took a story that could have been depressing and somehow made it uplifting and humorous. Her characters were so easy to connect and empathize with. I loved Ezra and truly enjoyed getting to know his friends. I really didn’t want the story to end.

 

Review: Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

22055480Title: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

Author: Jenny Manzer

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father?

Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go.

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.


★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


As a Washingtonian who was a teenager in the Kurt Cobain era, I couldn’t wait to read Save Me, Kurt Cobain. While I was never obsessed with them, Nirvana (and several other grunge bands of the time) was the soundtrack to a special time in my life. I was looking forward to see how the author was going to craft a story around Cobain.

I’m shocked that Save Me, Kurt Cobain is Jenny Manzer’s debut novel. It definitely didn’t feel like it when reading. Her story flowed smoothly and her characters were expertly crafted. Each chapter was titled with a perfectly corresponding Nirvana song title. I really enjoyed all of her nods to the rock history, local landmarks of Seattle and the long lost Sonics. Oh, and I especially loved her perfect description of Aberdeen.

My problem with Save Me, Kurt Cobain was Nico. While everything about the set up of Save Me, Kurt Cobain was outstanding, I became annoyed with Nico fairly early on. Her obsession with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain got old fast. I empathized with the mysterious loss of her mother and loved that she felt close to her through Nirvana’s music, but the unsafe things she did based on that drove me nuts.  I agree with her father’s idea that music can influence mood. Nirvana’s had a negative affect on Nico for sure. I wanted to give her a good shake and send her to therapy. Her actions made the majority of the book hard to read. I did enjoy the way the story wrapped up and brought everything full circle, though.

So. Would I suggest reading Save Me, Kurt Cobain? Maybe. It might just depend on how much you love(d) Nirvana or if you’re interested in finding out more about them.

And now for a random fact…

My favorite version of Nico’s favorite Nirvana song Sliver is actually performed by another famous musician: Caspar Babypants. You haven’t heard of him? Well, maybe you’ve heard of Presidents of the United States? Caspar Babypants is PUSA singer, Chris Ballew. He makes awesome kids’ music now. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Review: All of It by Kim Holden

Title: All of It

Author: Kim Holden

Publication Date: November 24, 2013

Publisher: Do Epic, LLC

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old VERONICA SMITH has it all: a loving family, a funky car named Jezebel, and a plan to go to college after graduation. On the first day of senior year, she meets DIMITRI GLENN–a mysterious transfer student with gray eyes and a mischievous smile who seems determined to win her heart. But there’s something odd about Dimitri, leading Veronica to wonder if there’s more to him than meets the eye. Before long, she finds herself in a whirlwind romance that seems too good to be true–until a series of devastating events leaves her questioning everything. It’s not until she chooses to think with her heart instead of her mind that she can rise from the ashes to learn the truth of their connection.


 ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


I’m really struggling with my feelings about All of It. It was written by one of my favorite authors, Beth Flynn. Her novel Bright Side is one of my all-time favorite books. I loved the follow up to it, Gus. I wanted to enjoy All of It just as much. I didn’t.

All of It was a struggle for me to read from the beginning. I had a hard time getting into the story. (I even set it aside for a couple of months.) I just didn’t connect with the main characters, Ronnie and Dimitri. Ronnie was annoying. The way she spoke and acted didn’t remind me of a high school senior at all. Dimitri was kind of creepy at first. He was way too forward, and Ronnie was way too accepting of it for having basically no experience with guys. If a guy talked to me the way Dimitri talked to Ronnie after only knowing me for a week, I would be avoiding him. I didn’t get their insta-love. I also didn’t get the way they talked to each other. They sounded way too mature and formal for teenagers.

Somewhere around the sixth or seventh chapter, I began to get into the story. As Ronnie and Dimitri’s relationship progressed, I began to like them more. It lasted like a minute because the story moves forward in time and Ronnie’s making really dumb decisions. Decisions we have take her word on because we didn’t see any of it happen. She just tells us. When she finally comes to her senses and I start liking the story again, not one, not two, not three but FOUR deaths take place. That was pretty crazy. Of course, Ronnie can’t handle it (Who could?) and Dimitri has to save her.

Through all the depressing craziness, the bright light in the story is Dimitri. He has her back. He stands by her when he probably shouldn’t. It was sweet and I loved how he got Ronnie back on track.

But then the story jumps time again. Now, it’s 20 years in the future. Ronnie catches us up on what’s happened and where she is now in her life. This is when the biggest mystery of the book is revealed. It’s also my favorite part of the book. Ronnie and Dimitri’s connection was so cool. I wish the rest of the story would have been as cool. I want to say the journey was worth it to get to the ending, but I’m not sure it was.

Obviously, I didn’t love All of It. I wanted to because, hello, it’s Kim Holden’s. It had a couple of amazing parts, but the rest was just so-so. I had to remind myself that it was her first book. If I put it in that perspective, it’s a pretty good debut novel. It just wasn’t phenomenal like Bright Side. So, it falls somewhere around 3 stars for me.

 

Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

23149128Title: Extraordinary Means

Author: Robyn Schneider

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

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.

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


★★★★★


I just finished Extraordinary Means and I’m feeling so much right now. (I may or may not have shed a few tears recently.) This book was simply beautiful in all ways. The writing was phenomenal and had me hooked from the first page. Robyn Schneider somehow managed to show the reader the severity of Lane and Sadie’s illness and situation, while giving it a touch of humor. She was also able to take a really crappy situation for Lane, Sadie and their friends and make it fun…until it wasn’t. But even then, it was brilliantly beautiful.

Extraordinary Means was inspirational, heartbreaking and joyous all wrapped up in one incredible package. I would recommend it to YA readers who enjoy novels such as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. I think I found another new favorite author.