Friday, September 17, 2010

Review: Extraordinary

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

publisher: Penguin/NAL

released: September 7, 2010

hardcover, 393 pages

intended audience: Young adult

source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers


Description from back of book: (the goodreads description was way to spoilery!!)
Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become 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?

Review: This book was enchanting. Beautifully written---Werlin is without a doubt, an extraordinary writer. Piece by piece, this book had a lot of ups and downs for me, but as a whole, I did really enjoy the journey.

The main character, Phoebe, was fascinating. She is a Rothchild, a family that throughout history has been influential and powerful. One moment I was inspired by her bravery and kindness, the next I was ready to throw the book across the room with frustration at her weakness! In the beginning of the story, she meets Mallory in the seventh grade and decides to leave behind her popular crowd to befriend this odd girl that everyone else is laughing at. I was so glad that the story started here, it really gave a sense of the girls' friendship, how it all began. They stay friends for years, ---the story jumps forward to the girls at seventh and they have become as clost as sisters. But from the beginning, where you get glimpses of "Mallory" talking with the faerie queen, you know there is more to Mallory than what she seems. Trying to discover what this mystery quest of hers was definitely had me quickly turning the pages.

Somewhere in the middle, I felt the story start to drag a little. There would moments of intrigue, and then moments of slowness. I did also get frustrated with Phoebe's weakness when it came to dealing with Ryland, Mallory's brother, who becomes Phoebe's boyfriend. She inexplicably lets him walk all over her. She would have flashes of integrity where she would almost stand up to him, and then she would crumble. I had a hard time with her lack of strength and self worth, but it was there for a reason and brought the story where it needed to go.

About a hundred pages to the end, this story took off like a shot for me. Once it was revealed what the faeries were really up to, it brought all those ups and downs I mentioned before together and completely redeemed the whole book for me (which is funny because I've read the opposite of that in some reviews! I've read some where people loved the whole book but the ending!). It was magical and exciting and Phoebe's brave and noble side showed its lovely face once more!

A great book about friendship, family, bravery and love, and finding the "extraordinary" in each of us!

Visit the author's website here!


  1. Great review!

    I haven't read my copy yet, I'm scared haha I don't know what to expect!

  2. Nice review! I've been waiting to read this, because I liked Nancy Werlin's other book. Looking forward to this one!