This is my first of Robyn Schneider’s books and I really wasn’t disappointed. It reminded me of Looking for Alaska but with the added element of having an incurable disease from The Fault in Our Stars. Don’t get me wrong, though, Extraordinary Means is not a copycat and has its own, separate, world to immerse yourself in.
There’s a difference between being dead and dying.
This is a sad and painful story but one that didn’t make me feel that way because the honest and charming writing simply told a believable story and because the characters weren’t trying to romanticize anything-not sickness, not life nor death. They’re plainly accepting things for what they are.
The plot isn’t much. If anything, it was a bit predictable but in a pleasant way, in a way that is true to life. But what made this story special is the most inspiring message it suggests which eased its way through my heart like a favorite lullaby. I didn’t have to wrestle so hard with interpreting symbols to find meaning because the story isn’t trying to be overdramatic or too intellectual. It’s simple and genuine, exactly how I like most things.
Living and dying aren’t all that different. The story reminded me that. The former is simply looking at a glass half full while the latter is looking at it half empty. For some of us, it has to take a tragedy, a phenomenon, a strong force or some sort of EXTRAORDINARY MEANS to realize life started its countdown the moment we took our very first breath but somehow, mundane things, plans and thinking too much of the future make us forget to actually live the moment. I appreciate the story for reminding me these things.
Life as we know it rarely goes as planned. Who really knows what happens tomorrow or just a few hours later? There is very little in life we can control except the time we have now and while we have this moment, the story enjoins us to make meaning out of it, make room for people who really matter, laugh more, seize the day or whatever you may want to call it, take a detour, do anything fun- anything that makes you happy, anything that isn’t always planned out. The novel is a swift page turner. It is wild giggles and bitter sobs at the same time.
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Happy Reading! 😊