Pages (Hardcover): 400 pages
Publisher: Dial Books
Released: September 7, 2010
Quick Thoughts: I've heard many great things about Nancy Werlin's first book, Impossible. And I knew that she was someone whose books I wanted to read. So when I was offered a copy of Extraordinary to review, I jumped at the chance. Plus, the cover is gorgeous!
Review: In 1772, Mayer Rothschild, made a deal with the Faerie Queen. In exchange of giving him five extraordinary sons, he'll give her a daughter as a sacrifice, not his daughter, not his son's daughters, but a daughter from down his line.
Now in the present, the faeries have finally found a daughter of his to sacrifice, Phoebe Gutle Rothschild. The Queen sends Mallory to work on Phoebe and eventually bring her to the faerie realm. There, Phoebe will be killed and the faerie world will be able to flourish. There isn't a lot of time and with each day that passes, the Queen, and her subjects begin to get weaker and weaker. The only way to help bring them back to their glory is for the death of Phoebe.
Mallory seeks out Phoebe and is surprised to find that Phoebe is drawn to her. The two become fast friends and as the years pass, Mallory’s loyalty starts to shift. She has to help her people in order to survive, but she doesn’t want to lose her best friend as well.
Enter, Ryland, Mallory’s brother. When Phoebe meets Ryland she is immediately bewitched. And as their relationship continues, she’ll find herself drawn to him and questioning everything about herself. But Ryland and Mallory have a goal and Ryland is determined to bring Phoebe no matter what.
Final Thoughts: Werlin is a great storyteller and I found myself captivated and sucked into her story. Extraordinary not only deals with issues about self worth and self esteem, which I think is something that many teens will be able to relate to, but it also asks if killing one person to save millions is the right thing to do?
Some of the characters needed to be fleshed out more, but I did find myself loving Mallory. She is in an awkward position. She wants to save her people and if she doesn’t bring Phoebe in soon, she, along with all the faeries, will die. And yet, she doesn’t want to lose her best friend. Someone she loves like a sister. She’s torn and between the life of her and her people vs. life of one person. You want to root for her, but at the same time, you don’t. I loved it. And while, Mallory isn’t the main character in Extraordinary, I found myself drawn to her story and struggle more than Phoebe.
This brings me to the main character of the novel, Phoebe. I didn’t really like her, but I think it was due to her whining nature. Her personality, while it makes sense for the story, was a little too much. She is someone who is needy, constantly needed validation, and had co-dependency issues. She analyzed her own self worth for pretty much the entire novel, which again, makes sense. It makes sense. It really does, but I still didn’t like it.
Her nature also made it very easy for Ryland to take over. The dynamics between the two was a sad to see. I don’t mean this in a bad way. I liked reading about the two. What made it sad was that it screamed emotional abuse.
Overall, this is a fun book. Werlin is a great storyteller and I did get sucked into the story rather quickly. And instead of making the novel entirely from Phoebe’s point of view, which would make the faeries seem like cruel monsters. Werlin let us see why the faeries did what they did, which helped make them sympathetic and understandable. I may not like Phoebe, but I did love Mallory. It’s a good book, not the best, but good and it even mentions Nantucket, which is always a plus!
Grade: 7.5 out of 10
Thank you to Penguin Canada for providing this book for review.
Reader the shorter review at 5 Line Reviews