From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.
At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.
There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.
But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down.
Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.
AWWW MAN THAT WAS SAD!!! But I loved it.
I was instantly attracted to the illness part of this book, which sounded really interesting and futuristic to me (even though I know it isn't). It's scary, but I like to think about living such a sad life and being in this world, as similar as it is to ours, except for the illness. The sadness of these kids' destiny hit me really hard, with all the similarities to summer camp that their quarantine camp has. Comparing to opposite things like that makes the whole situation even more weird, desperate and tragic, which is why I could basically not sleep until I finished this book.
Although it wasn't the most important point in this novel for me, I really liked the romance in this book. I loved how Sadie and Lane pretty much always liked each other, which sounds very fairy-tale-like to me (I'm aware that it's pretty much the opposite). Their love provided them with comfort when they needed it the most, which is one of the reasons why their relationship worked so well, in my opinion. Their late-night phone calls are the most adorable thing ever, especially to me, who's basically a phone calls lover. It sounds really romantic and if a guy ever did that with me, you can be assured he'd be the one I'd want to marry.
I think the most important theme in this book is probably growing up, in general. Lane represents those of us who live for good grades and won't have a moment to rest until we've done everything we could to succeed, which is really useless if you want to have a happy life, like Lane realized. This character development is amazing, because he went from someone who'd die instead of not applying to college to someone who spends hours on the phone with his girlfriend instead of studying. Also, making good friends and sticking with them is another lesson learned by Lane and the new friends he makes, especially for them, who never know when their last day might be. This tragic way to live reinforced their friendships, in my opinion, because they were forced to see how much their friends matter to them and spend as much quality time as they can. It's a nice philosophy, even though it's created by a sad situation.
I pretty much enjoyed everything in this book, so I'd highly recommend it.