This book is a wonderful YA read. It's really about finding out who you are and finding the courage to then stand up for yourself. In other words, letting yourself be who you really are deep down inside. It's not an easy thing for a young teen to do let alone adults. In fact, I know several adults that would benefit from this message. She finds herself several times in this book. At the beginning with selfish and bullish type of "friends" and then later with Mallory and Ryland and even later the queen.
Perhaps, it's better if I just stay silent and let someone else say what I'm trying to say:
"To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity." ~ Irving Wallace
To me, that is it in a nutshell. Thanks Mr. Wallace! :)
It is also a story to say that if things were easy in our lives. we may never truly find out who we are. We may not like the struggles in our lives, but sometimes they are necessary to push us further along with ourselves and find out who we can become. There is also a subject brought on with her boyfriend, Ryland. I think it was an interesting and unusual way of dealing with the subject of boyfriend abuse. Not the physical kind, but the more insidious type of verbal abuse.
So, while I do find the messages within this story important, I should note that the story itself is well written and the pages go fast. Phoebe's story is as fun and you do root for her especially in the end. I give this book 4 stars and recommend it to every young person or really anyone beginning their journey on finding themselves.
With its beautiful cover, I really wanted to like EXTRAORDINARY. But it didnt turn out as I had hoped. Choppy writing and distance from the characters marred my reading experience of EXTRAORDINARY.
If Nancy Werlin was going for a fairy tale-like narrative style, then she succeeds. The narration feels distant from the characters: oftentimes, the characters thoughts and peculiarities are told rather than shown us. Fine for a fairy tale (have you ever read the Grimm brothers works?), but I couldnt be sure if that was what the author intended. It is a book featuring fairies, but whether the narration was supposed to match the ethereal quality of its fantasy aspect, or it was simply clunky and emotionally ineffectual writing, I couldnt tell.
There was definitely a forced quality to both the writing and the story. I understand that Mallory and Ryland manipulate Phoebebut I remained unconvinced that Phoebe was so easily convinced by their machinations. Phoebe falling in love with Ryland, who is so vague in the performance of his supposed attentions toward her? I didnt necessarily have to like RylandI dont think thats the intentbut I at least had to believe that Phoebe would really like him. Which I didnt.
EXTRAORDINARY was an interesting attempt to meld together the formalities of fairie court life with the concerns of contemporary human beings. However, it was missing the connection between story and reader that I desire in the books I read. As a result, this is a hard one for me to recommend.