Thursday, November 19, 2015

Extraordinary Means

By: Robyn Schneider
Location: FIC SCH
Genre: Break your heart- Youth Fiction with illness and some loving!

A bitter-sweet, coming-of-age novel that's perfect for fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky.

Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances.

Tuberculosis is a disease I have seen close up overseas. Most of us in NZ over a certain older age have tattooed scars on our shoulder that informs us we are immunized from TB. New Zealand is now basically clear of this scourge. But back in the day we had plenty of it and as I look out my office window I see a local landmark called Sanatorium Hill  or perhaps correctly now known as Mangakawa. This is where sufferers went to get clean air to rid there bodies of the TB disease. I wonder what it would be like if all the people in that sanatorium were teenagers, suffering, loving, surviving and hoping together.  Extraordinary Means will tell us this story -Robyn Schneider has created a fictional form of tuberculosis that is drug resistant and the story is set in a sanatorium full of teenagers that have contracted it.
Told in Lane's and Sadie's perspectives, we are told how the two first met, how both suffered from a prank then later came together as they shared this awful illness. As they suffer, they both start learning from one another. As the days go by, these two begin a romance, one they didn't see to last forever.

It is interesting to see how one can take different paths when told they have a limited time to live. Unlike many people, Lane took one that many do not take. He took the one that tries to prepare for the future that was not promised. He studied hard and became involved in many school activities. His ambition and goal is to attend Stanford. Yet, he never allows himself to enjoy the little time he has left. Then, we met Sadie. She is completely different from Lane. She loves trouble. Loves to lack school. What is the point? There is no future for her. As they get intimate, they learn that life is worth hoping but most of all it is important to take risk and enjoy the ride. 

“That's all you can do in this world, no matter how strong the current beats against you, or how heavy your burden, or how tragic your love story. You keep going.” 
― Robyn SchneiderExtraordinary Means

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