Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

Author: Nancy Werlin
Publication: Dial (September 7, 2010)

Description: 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, shows up during their junior year. 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 truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe's ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn't been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself?

My Thoughts: First off, I thought the book was aptly titled; I did think it was extraordinary. I loved the story and I loved Phoebe. It was wonderful to watch her grow in confidence through the book. The first actions we see already show us a compassionate and kind young lady who is willing to do the right thing even when it is hard. This is a very strong tale of friendship. It is about what friendship means and what friendship costs. Phoebe's relationship with Mallory is not as dependent as Phoebe thinks it is. 

I felt so very sorry for Mallory. She had some terrible decisions that she had to make. In fact, I felt very sorry for all of faerie. I liked reading the interludes when Mallory and Ryland are reporting to the Queen. It is interesting to watch the Queen second-guess herself but remain strong because she doesn't see another choice. Mallory comments at one point that it is hard to know what action to take when all actions are evil but one action must be chosen.

Ryland was an interesting character. I can understand where he was coming from. He needed Phoebe to save his people. He didn't want to see her as a person because that could lead to doubts about his course of action. He is one of those characters who is so focused on the big picture that the collateral damage to people just didn't interest him or effect his choices. But I got so irritated with him as he tried to undermine Phoebe's confidence. I was also irritated with Phoebe for letting him get away with that. The romance was a good example of a bad romance with one controlling and psychologically abusive partner. At least Phoebe had the excuse that he glamored her into it. 

I highly recommend this for lovers of paranormal and for lovers of stories about friendship and romance. 

Favorite Quote:
She never remembered going to him. She was simply there, standing before him, reaching out her own arms, moving--awkward, untried--onto his lap. His arms wrapped around her, a dragon whipping its muscular tail around small prey--no, what a weird vision! Another stupid hallucination. Phoebe closed her eyes--
Challenges: 2010 YA Reading Challenge, Paranormal Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge


  1. I don't think I'd like the romance in this book but the story does sound good. I loved Impossible but I'm not sure that this would measure up for me. I will have to read it to see for myself. I liked the quote you included. Good review!

  2. I've read mixed reviews for this novel. Some people really like it, others say it disappointed them. I'm of the mindset that I'd like it, especially after what you said in your review. Thanks so much!


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