Parents' Guide to

Extraordinary Means

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Charming, if not too original, sick-teens love story.

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Kids say (8 ):

Teens cope with illness, create diversions, wrestle with self-doubt, and fall in love in this charming, light read. Author Robyn Schneider creates an interesting urgency to the characters' lives by putting normal teens into extraordinary circumstances at a sanatorium for teens who have a (fictional) strain of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The dialogue among the kids is authentic and witty; it's the best part of the book. The characters all are likable, and Lane's growth is believable and well realized. The possibility of a cure creates excitement and a race against the clock for some of the patients.

The chapters alternate between Lane and Sadie's narrations. However, even though they have different points of view (Lane is new and grappling with having his academic dreams derailed; Sadie has been at Latham for a long time and has become jaded, her rule-breaking veneer hiding her health fears and self-doubt), their voices are not as distinct as readers would expect. And most of the other characters and plot seem generic, with the drug-resistant TB and sanatorium being the only twists, making it difficult to get emotionally invested in the story.

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