Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

(See! I promised I would do a book that isn't a sequel!)
Release Date: September 7, 2010

Amazon 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 hasnÕt 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?

What I think:
First off, this picture doesn't do the real cover justice. 
It's beautiful. It's eye catching and shiny and kind of entrancing. Which, by the by, is a good way to describe Extraordinary.
Nancy Werlin writes fluidly. You don't really notice that you're halfway through the story until you glance down at the page number. She doesn't overstuff her pages with flowery words or phrases, but there's still something beautiful about it all the same.
It was interesting to me, though, about her characters. I ended up loving Phoebe's mom. I even liked Mallory, Phoebe's best friend. The only character that I wasn't so fond of was the main character herself.
Which, actually, wasn't such a bad thing.
Through the entire story, I found myself thinking 'Come on, girl, get a grip.' You know how you scream at the horror movie? Yeah, that's kind of what I was doing to Phoebe. And yet I didn't want to stop  reading. I've seen a couple of people saying that they disliked the ending to this novel; I completely disagree.
See, it goes back to me not being so fond of Phoebe. The ending changed that opinion. You watch her grow and gain something that she's never had before; a backbone, a sense of self esteem, courage, pride, and a realization that maybe, it's okay NOT to be as extraordinary as they come.
And in the end, I really liked that. I finished the book with a kind of pleased feeling about how it all turned out.
Phoebe isn't an Amazon warrior, or a wizard, or a shadow hunter, or really anything super duper important. But watching her realize why she still does matter is, in a way, kind of uplifting. So many kids feel the same way as Phoebe that it was nice seeing a realistic painting of her scenario (you know, minus the fairies) and getting a kind of happy ending.
Oddly enough, I loved Mallory, the somewhat corrupted best friend. You get to see her point of view throughout the story in snatches of conversation between herself and the Queen of the Fey.
She, like Phoebe, changes and develops through the story and that was fun to watch.
The descriptions of the Fey and of the growing characters made the story worth reading. Plus, you know, the really, really pretty cover.
More later.


Maggie said...

I'm in love with this cover. Like, seriously.

Also, I'm fond of this review :)
I want this book. I shall have to steal it.
-nods happily-

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I love this cover-so beautiful! I can't wait to read this one-I loved Impossible. And Maggie, steal away!:)

Maggie said...

Sarah: (I loved Impossible too.) Thanks! I have it now. :)