I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Penguin on 2011-09-06
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange new girl in school, and the two soon become as close as sisters. Then Mallory's magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate hold on Phoebe - but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon Phoebe discovers the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that they are from the faerie realm, here to collect on an age-old debt. And the price of that debt could cost Phoebe everything. But with the help of her friend Ben, Phoebe ultimately learns her own worth and breaks the generations-old curse.
The fey are mean little bastards. No, really. They are! Or so I learned while reading Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin. Phoebe is a member of an extraordinary family. You may have heard of them. The Rothchilds, is that ringing any bells? One of the richest families ever. So, Phoebe has a pretty great family, but she battles some personal inadequacy issues. Phoebe is also a kind-hearted individual, so she decides to make friends with the weird girl in class. What do you know, the weird girl is a FEY named, of course, Mallory, since that is totally a name you have when you are a fairy.
The story unfolds exactly as you would expect a fairy tale to. If I was to get all wordy, I would say the prose flows with the gentle cadence of a tale from the old country. Yet, Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin is set in modern day. Werlin, however, has a way with words that I can appreciate. I never felt info-dumped. Plus, the progression of how the story unfolds was very natural. I was immediately sucked into the world of Extraordinary and invested in Phoebe.
Phoebe is a great sympathetic character. Yes, she has all the money in the world and many privileges I will never ever have. Yet, I actually felt bad for her. This is a character whom I should not care about at all, but I did. I think this is because she is never a snob. She is intelligent and LOVES books. She is generous. Oh, and she is actually a great friend. Of course, when things went down, I cringed. How could I not? Nobody likes it when bad things happen to good people.
ALSO oh my gosh. The fey. They are not nice at all! They are manipulative. They are seductive. They are self-serving. I never ever want to be friends with a fey. I swear, if I see a fairy I am either hiding or I will punch it. No way will I trust or bargain with one of those.
Here is where I do the happy family dance, too. Phoebe’s mom, Catherine is SO awesome. She cares about her kid. She is über intelligent. I picture her in a business suit telling people what to do. She runs her town, like in that song by Jay Z. Did I mention that Phoebe and Catherine actually get along? There’s no turbulent relationship between them. I love that. Way to break cliches, Nancy Werlin. Please go pat yourself on your back.
I did quite enjoy Extraordinary, it was just what the doctor ordered. This book is perfect if you want to harken back to fairy tales of old, while residing in modern times.
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