Tuesday, December 28, 2010

YA review: Extraordinary

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?(summary from goodreads)

My thoughts...While Extraordinary had some strong points, it did not make my favorite list. 

The pros...The concept behind Extraordinary was very creative.  The story was very well thought out, organized and written in a way that evoked curiosity in the reader.  Nancy Werlin did a great job of writing characters, so much that you will either love them or hate them.  Mallory, the friend of the heroine, really stood out in my mind.  Despite her loyalty to her family, I could tell she had strong values and morals.  Another character, Ryland, gave me the creeps.  He immediately evoked strong feelings of dislike as soon as he entered the storyline.

The author also did a brilliant job on several other aspects.  The settings were beautifully described. On several occasions, readers get a peek into the land of the faeries.  The world seemed breathtaking and magical.  Another great part of the story was the story behind the story. The history of the characters and the events that lead to Phoebe's story were very well organized and creative.

The cons...My main frustration with the story came from our heroine.  While she was being influenced by the wishes of others, I felt her character was weak. I felt there was a strong person in there somewhere, but she just did not emerge until the end of the story. I found myself questioning her actions and judgements.  Her moments of clarity still left her feeble and lacking any real individualism. Overall, I found her to be a tough character to read, and unfortunately for me, the heroine is usually what makes the story worth reading.

For more information, including purchase links, visit Nancy Werlin at her website.

4 comments:

FICTION STATE OF MIND said...

thanks for such an honest review i was on the fence about this but many of the things that bugged you would definitely bug me about the story too! :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O good review! I love when you outline what did and didn't work.

Bookish in a Box said...

Thanks for the honest review! I prefer my heroines strong too, so I'm pretty sure that would be a sore point.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Great review. I agree with you. She was weak but feigned strength. I think she could have been stronger before the ending.

 
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