ARC Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Wise, unique, and bedazzling story that will make you cry and laugh and feel every raw emotion. It is poignant in its own way and the love being born from the star-crossed lovers is as real as it can get. I love it to bits!

Extraordinary Means
Author: Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date of Publication: 26 May 2015
Source: Review Copy from Publisher via Edelweiss
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.

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Publisher
Robyn Schneider is a writer, actor, and online personality who misspent her youth in a town coincidentally similar to Eastwood. Robyn is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she studied medical ethics. She is also the author of the middle grade Knightley Academy books, written as Violet Haberdasher. She lives in Los Angeles, California, but also on the internet. You can watch her vlogs at and follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram.

*I received an Advance Reader's Copy (ARC) from the Publisher in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are mine and I am not compensated nor associated with the author and/or publisher.

I have read various books that has the characters associated with various illnesses and diseases such as cancers, leukemia, and the like. And to add up Tuberculosis to the list is actually a fresh environment for starters.
“When I first came to Latham, I thought this place existed to protect the outside world from us, but now I know it’s the other way around. Latham protects us from them.”
Lane only focused on one thing. His future. Actually, his life is perfect. That's how he sees it. He's got the girlfriend, the future ahead of him, the family, and the brain. But the untimely moment tuberculosis hit him, all else came crashing down. He is then forced to be isolated in Latham House, a sanatorium for people with TB. He reunites with Sadie, the girl from summer camp, and joins her company. Together, they broke rules, skip their meds, eat contraband foods, and live life to the extremes. But then, they knew the TB consumes them and nobody knows what happens next. There are two doors to exit Latham, they just hope they end up with the right door.

I have never been so enthralled about reading a book but when I got this, I was so into reading it and was lost in the sea of words. One thing I liked about reading this book is because I can relate. No, I don't have TB. It's because I frequented on studying the scenario. I am a degree holder of Medical Technology, or what most call it, Clinical Laboratory Science. Yep, one step closer to being a scientist. I know. I can relate with the terms, the MDR-TB and TDR-TB (also, this one, as mentioned in the acknowledgement, is fiction). My knowledge about the matter is limited, but thank you Robyn, for the in-deoth information you have shared. TB isn't just an illness we ignore. Nowadays, as I have read, we can cure them with the help of first- and second-line treatments.
“Here’s something I know because I’m a nerd: up until the middle of the twentieth century, dice were made out of cellulose nitrate. It’s a material that remains stable for decades but, in a flash, can decompose. The chemical compound breaks down, releasing nitric acid. So every time you roll a die, there’s a small chance that it won’t give you a result at all, that instead it will cleave, crumble, and explode.”
So, anyway, enough of that. Lane. Although, I love the picture, Lane lives a boring life. I've been that person and  I never liked it. Not once. But he managed to fix that and thank God Almighty, for the transformation because if he didn't, I don't know what's next for him. But he's made himself again by joining the squad, do things he doesn't know he could do, be the soul he never thought existed in him. He falls in love with Sadie and I think that was the greatest part that happened in this novel. It was magical.

Sadie, on the other hand, is the carefree girl she wasn't before. I loved her personality because she managed to move out of her box. She's the kind of girl that lives life to the fullest. What I like about her the most is her strength, her extreme personality, and the things she could do. Just imagine. She's a girl of one word and when she wants something that she thinks she can have, she will make a way to have it. Sadie is an epitome of pure courage and strength and these are her strong points.
“Here’s a secret,” I said. “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.”
While I enjoyed watching everything happening in my head, there are certain parts that YOU. JUST. CAN'T. HANDLE. BECAUSE. FEELS. That moment was my weakness and omygod I literally cried myself because there are scenes that are just too much to handle. It's funny because while I tweeted with Robyn about it, she called it the "Sad Part". It was definitely the understatement of the year. Well, saying that part gives you a clue. This is book is actually the best example of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars combined!

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