Thursday, July 29, 2010

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

Grade: Low A

This book will be available September 2010.

What does it mean to be extraordinary? Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school. Soon the two girls are as close as sisters . . . until Mallory’s magnetic older brother, Ryland, appears. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe—but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself.

Soon she’ll discover the shocking, fantastical truth about Ryland and Mallory, and about an age-old debt they expect Phoebe to pay. Will she be strong enough to resist? Will she be special enough to save herself?

In the vein of Nancy Werlin’s previous novel Impossible, Extraordinary is a tale of friendship, romance, and the faerie realm.

Character Development: 7/10
Originality: 7/10
Overall Enjoyment: 6/10
Ending: 9/10
Voice: 7/10
Plot: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Total Score: 52/ 70

Age Appropriate?
Language: A few cuss words here and there
Drugs, Alcohol, etc.: I do not remember any, but I'm writing this review a couple weeks after I've read the book, so don't mark my words on that
Sexual Content: Discussed between a couple, but nothing graphic or bad, just: "to do the deed, or not to" contemplation.
Disturbing Images/ Violence: One bloody, self sacrificing scene

Extraordinary wasn't as extraordinary as I hoped it would be, but it was still a great read. Nancy Werlin's writing is very unique, easy to read, and addicting.

The main character, Pheobe, had a very, very low self esteem, which was a bit obnoxious to me. (But I'm a fan of strong heroines.) She as a character had a tendency to aways lean on other people instead of doing things for herself, and believed everything that other people said about her. Her inner dialogue was a bit like this: "He just called me ordinary. He doesn't mean it though, does he? But he's just so smart... Oh... he must be right. I am worthless." And this happened multiple times. The same tone, the same self pity, basically the same words. Yet at the end, she discovers her strength and stands up to everyone, etc. etc. There was just too much whiny-ness throughout the span of the book for the sudden strength at the end to be fully believable.

The plot was a strong point. The new twist on the faerie realm was interesting and wasn't overdone. Nancy Werlin is talented at making a fast paced, mystery of a novel. Nothing is fully understood until the very end. Pretty fantastic.

The book had a really neat concept, but somehow it missed the mark for me in Pheobe's character. However, I am still a Nancy Werlin fan and am looking forward to the next novels she'll dish out.



  1. I really want to read this book. It sounds good, I like your review.

  2. Yeah. Impossible was amazing! I loved it. :)

  3. I actually wasn't a fan of Impossible, it was just that I couldn't get into the characters, but I was looking forward to reading Extraordinary, so your review helps me see what I will read upon reading this book, so this review was really helpful, still in a way, its a bummer about Phoebe.


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