“Extraordinary Means” By Robyn Schneider 

23149153Extraordinary Means
By: Robyn Schneider
Narrated by: Khristine Hvam, James Fouhey
Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
Release date: 05-26-15
Publisher: HarperAudio

Once again Audiobook SYNC’s YA summer of free audiobooks delivered another YA treasure.  Every Summer they pair up a classic book with a fairly new book in audiobook form for the young adult audience.  I started downloading these for my son and I to enjoy, but I’ve found I’m enjoying them just by myself.  This past summer this was one of the books offered and it intrigued me, the publisher’s summary described it as darkly funny and that it takes place in a tuberculosis sanatorium.

Darkly Funny?  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but in the listening of this audiobook I found that the humor was in each of the characters dealing with the possibility of dying from a fatal disease.  So most of the humor was just regular teen humor and being called dark by the publisher because they were all dying.  Picture “Breakfast Club,” but with tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis sanitorium?  Those are a thing of the past, this must be a period piece.  Nope, not at all.  Robyn Schneider brings back tuberculosis in a form that is drug resistant, that means even the childhood vaccines no longer work.  So now the kids from the Breakfast Club, have to try to get better as much as modern science can help with a drug resistant strain.  Many times the kids in Latham House (the sanitorium) hear rumors of cures but most turn out to be hoaxes.

This book follows Lane and Sadie for the most part as these two high school seniors cope with not having a potential future.  Lane is new to Latham House and meets up with an old friend, Sadie, who he knew from one summer at camp.  Sadie has a bad memory of that summer thinking Lane intentionally dissed her.  That story plays out to be a big mix up as a result of mean girls playing a trick on her in camp.

Sadie seems to be the “leader” of a group of kids that fight the system and sneak out to the woods to drink alcohol and steal internet from the library.  Lane soon becomes a part of the group and the two fall in love (after clearing up that summer camp debacle).

All the time the promise of death from the disease looms over the group and they try to do the best they can.  I will warn you there is no happy ending, but the ending is something worth fighting through.

The narrators do a great job representing the story from the two teens in love points of view.  The male and female voices capture the characters emotional states throughout the book.

Get this book, share this book, and most of all enjoy this book.

Publisher’s Summary
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in this darkly funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Beginning of Everything.

Up until his diagnosis, Lane lived a fairly predictable life. But when he finds himself at a tuberculosis sanatorium called Latham House, he discovers an insular world with paradoxical rules, med sensors, and an eccentric yet utterly compelling confidante named Sadie – and life as Lane knows it will never be the same.

Robyn Schneider’s Extraordinary Means is a heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about the miracles of first love and second chances.

This production includes a bonus excerpt from Robyn Schneider’s next audiobook, Invisible Ghosts, performed by Caitlin Kelly.

©2015 Robyn Schneider (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers