Extraordinary

( 37 )

Overview

For fans of Beautiful Creatures and Wicked Lovely,New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Werlin delivers a captivating novel of friendship and trust, where the past determines the future and a generations-old curse requires the ultimate sacrifice.
 
 
Phoebe is drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new girl at school. Soon the two become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory’s magnetic older...

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Overview

For fans of Beautiful Creatures and Wicked Lovely,New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Werlin delivers a captivating novel of friendship and trust, where the past determines the future and a generations-old curse requires the ultimate sacrifice.
 
 
Phoebe is drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new girl at school. Soon the two become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory’s magnetic older brother, Ryland, arrives. Ryland has an immediate hold on Phoebe — but it turns into something dangerous, as she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon Phoebe discovers the shocking, fantastical truth about Ryland and Mallory, and about an age-old debt she’s meant to pay. Will she be strong enough to save herself from the curse? Intensely page-turning, this follow-up to Nancy Werlin’s acclaimed novel Impossible links the real and the otherworldly in a story that is suspenseful, conversation-starting, and utterly alluring. Continue reading about the Fairy Realm in Werlin’s Unthinkable.

“Werlin raises interesting questions about honesty, love, and what it truly means to be extraordinary” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Werlin crafts her characters so deftly and unrolls the story so cleverly that...readers will be under the spell till the end.” —Booklist
 
“As she did in Impossible Werlin smoothly blends contemporary realism and fantasy.” —The Horn Book

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Phoebe Rothschild is a descendant of Mayer Rothschild, the 18th-century founder of a banking dynasty. In seventh grade, she befriends Mallory, and the two become close as sisters. But Mallory has a secret: she is a faerie, and her mission is to sabotage Phoebe’s self-worth. Mallory is unable to get the job done, so years later her handsome brother, Ryland, arrives and uses glamour to get Phoebe to fall for him. The plot rests, shakily, on backstory about a bargain Mayer Rothschild struck with the faerie queen two centuries earlier: she would give him five extraordinary sons in exchange for one ordinary female heir to be sacrificed to the faerie kingdom. The passages in which Ryland verbally attacks the stout, plain Phoebe are painful reading: “There’s just something really wrong with you,” Ryland tells her. “Phoebe had been absolutely naked when he’d said this.” Though Werlin (Impossible) raises interesting questions about honesty, love, and what it truly means to be “extraordinary,” those topics get lost amid the slow pace and dialogue that sacrifices realism for emotional heft. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
New student Mallory is unlike anyone seventh-grader Phoebe has ever known. She seems mysterious, she acts strange, and she dresses haphazardly. Phoebe feels compelled to help. In an impulsive move, she reaches out to the newcomer and the two become fast friends. Only-child Phoebe suddenly has the "sister" she's always wanted. Four years pass. Mallory continues to hide the fact that she is a Faerie who has entered Phoebe's life for a purpose: to remove Phoebe's sense of self-worth and convince her that she is just an ordinary girl. If Mallory fails at her task, the Faerie world she left behind will perish. In her absence, the Faerie world has been degrading. Time is of the essence and so the Faerie Queen sends Mallory's brother Ryland to succeed where Mallory has failed. The risk to Phoebe and her parents is almost palpable, for Ryland is a no-holds-barred fully committed to his destructive task. Why are the Faeries after Phoebe? Generations ago, her ancestor struck a bargain. In exchange for five extraordinary sons, the Faerie folk could have one ordinary female heir as a human sacrifice. The family line has produced no one meeting that criteria, and the Faerie world has been deteriorating as its magic dwindled. Now, the Faeries have decided to force the issue, create a sense of "ordinariness" in an heir, and take their sacrifice. Or will they? This emotionally wrought novel evokes the sense of an extended, modern Grimm tale. Werlin's evocative text will draw in many readers. Teachers and children's librarians should be aware that the book does include some sexual content. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
VOYA - Courtney Huse Wika
Phoebe is a privileged child, the daughter of the powerful and wealthy Catherine Rothschild and descendent of the great businessman Mayer Rothschild. With her heritage, she certainly belongs in the popular clique at school, which is why no one can fathom why she befriends the peculiar and socially-awkward new girl, Mallory Tolliver. Despite their differences, their friendship soon blossoms into a sisterly bond, with Phoebe's family helping to care for Mallory and her ill mother. Something is not quite right with Mallory, however, and this mysteriousness is compounded when her previously unheard-of older brother, Ryland, surfaces. Phoebe is dangerously drawn to him, despite his mistreatment of her. When Mallory ends the friendship, Phoebe, vulnerable and heartbroken, is left with only Ryland to turn to, but the worst is yet to come, for Mallory and Ryland are drawing Phoebe into a terrible trap, one from which she may not be able to escape. This novel is wrought with tension and suspense, and keeps readers guessing until the end. Phoebe and Mallory's friendship is well-developed, and both are believable, dynamic characters; however, the relationship between Ryland and Phoebe is an uncomfortable one, as it often crosses the line into mental and emotional abuse. These passages are difficult to read, especially since this aspect is not completely resolved by the end of the novel. Phoebe's willingness to let Ryland influence her self-perception and decimate her confidence will frustrate some readers, though most will still find the novel and its fae mythology intriguing. Reviewer: Courtney Huse Wika
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Phoebe Rothschild meets Mallory Tolliver when they are in seventh grade. Mallory, a pariah among the popular set, is saved by Phoebe, who rejects the clique and embraces the new girl as her best friend. Four years later, when the girls are juniors in high school, Mallory reveals the existence of her half-brother, Ryland, who is 24 and irresistible. He is one of the fey, as is Mallory, and he uses fairy glamour for diabolical ends; dialogues between the Faerie Queen and Mallory and the Faerie Queen and Ryland reveal that the fey have deadly plans for the unsuspecting Phoebe. Ryland informs the Queen that Phoebe will be easy to seduce but Phoebe, even though bound by magic, still manages to resist submitting fully. Real-world conversations and settings are distinctly rendered, as are Phoebe's glimpses of Faerie, and although the intermittent dialogues with the Faerie Queen sometimes feel stilted, they provide critical backstory. The denouement flounders ever so slightly in overexplanation, but the carefully nuanced, often sensual prose delivers a highly effective narrative. Characterizations are arresting and complex: Phoebe, thoughtful and loyal, is bravely compassionate; Mallory, divided and determined, elicits reluctant sympathy; and Ryland, controlling and manipulative, is scarily realistic. Werlin's intricately constructed plot combines fairy lore, family history, and coming of age in an engrossing, often suspenseful story that moves smoothly to its inevitable end. Phoebe's intellectual and emotional transformation from ordinary to extraordinary is of her own volition, which makes her the compelling force of this bittersweet fairy tale.—Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Phoebe Rothschild—yes, of those Rothschilds—dumps her toxic friends for new girl Mallory in seventh grade. After four years of best friendship, Mallory is gorgeous and stylish—and, unbeknownst to Phoebe, she's also not human. In brief snippets between chapters, readers learn that Mallory has been sent by the faerie queene to manipulate Phoebe for some dark purpose. When Mallory fails (or refuses) to bring Phoebe into line, the faeries send Mallory's brother Ryland, who glamours Phoebe into dazed, romantic compliance. This is no typical paranormal romance: Phoebe's conviction of Ryland's shimmering worth and her belief that she is unworthy are portrayed as uncannily dreadful. This proudly Jewish fantasy offers a compelling tale of friendship and a refreshing antidote to faerie stories about that one special girl deserving of supernatural love. Beguiling as it is, though, this modern fairy tale isn't quite up to the standards of Werlin's thrillers and darker fare. Can we enjoy this while hoping future fantastic outings share the taut construction of The Killer's Cousin (1998), Double Helix (2004) and The Rules of Survival (2006)? (Fantasy. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142419748
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 484,797
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

NANCY WERLIN was born in Massachusetts, where she still lives. In writing for teenagers, she always strives to combine the emotional intensity of a coming-of-age story with the page-turning tension of a suspense thriller. Nancy’s books have won numerous awards and accolades, including the Edgar award for The Killer’s Cousin, which was also named one of the “100 Best of the Best for the 21st Century” by the American Library Association. Her most recent book, The Rules of Survival, was a National Book Award Finalist. Visit her web site at www.nancywerlin.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    "Soon the two girls are as close as sisters...until"

    This is another faerie book, but instead of a human protagonist being plagues by faeries or sucked into their world, most of this book is story about two girls who are the best kind of best friends. They share everything, build each other up, and act like sisters from a fairytale rather than like siblings in real life. Phoebe is loaded and Mallory has almost nothing, but that never seems to come in the way of their friendship. There is never that you-owe-me sentiment that can sometimes creep into those kinds of relationships. Everything is perfect. Except...

    Their story is broken up by conversations with the Faerie Queen. It turns out that Phoebe is very important. She is needed desperately by an ailing Faerie Court, and it is Mallory's job to prepare Phoebe for whatever it is that she must do. Though we see most of the story from Phoebe's point of view, it is Mallory's conflicting loyalties that are the real meat of this story. She loves Phoebe in that intense way that teenage girls have, where your best friend is your whole world, but she knows that if she doesn't do what she's been sent into the human world to do, the Faerie Queen and her Court will fade away, along with Mallory and all of her people. Mallory struggles with this for years, putting off her choice between her family and her best friend. In the mean time, she hides her assignment and helps Phoebe come into her own, not as a Rothschild, but as Phoebe. But that's not what Mallory was sent to do. Seeing Mallory's struggle, the Faerie Queen sends in the one person who can break up Mallory and Phoebe's all encompassing girl world: a smokin' hot guy who just happens to be Mallory's older brother.

    With the addition of Ryland, Phoebe has her own conflicting loyalties to contend with. She's drawn to him inexplicably, but she knows it would hurt Mallory SO MUCH to find out that she's in love with him. Let me take a moment to say that this never strayed into the paranormal romance trope of intense, surprising (only to the character), and irrational tru lurv at first sight. Ryland is an ass. He really is a horrible guy. But he's a faerie, and a pretty powerful one at that. He glamours Phoebe. So even though smart, funny, confident Phoebe knows that she shouldn't date a guy who treats her like a child, constantly tells her she could stand to lose a few pounds, and whose whims make him either enchanting or incredibly hurtful, she can't seem to stop seeking him out. When he's not there, she knows he's bad for her; when she sees him, no matter what comes out of his mouth and how much it wounds her, she's convinced that she can't survive without him. You can almost see the magic that Ryland is throwing at Phoebe drown out her rational self, a self that used to be supported by Mallory. Except that Mallory can't seem to forgive Phoebe for dating her brother. And no matter how cruel Ryland is to her, it is Mallory's abandonment that breaks Phoebe's heart.

    In the end, this is a story about an amazing friendship that is so convincing and alive. Werlin's portrayal of both girls and their relationship is what makes this story great; the faeries are simply a fascinating and (amazingly) original plot device to show how far each girl is willing to go for the other. Phoebe and Mallory have the kind of friendship where you say I love you and mean it; the kind that you would sacrifice anything for. And in the end, one of them has to.


    Book source: ARC provided by publisher via LibraryT

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2010

    Could barely finish it!

    I had to force myself to finish this, thinking that it would have to get better eventually. I was wrong, I found the writing style was hard to follow and the way the main characters of the book communicate is absurd. I have never heard anyone talk like that! The characters are supposed to be in there late teens but act and talk like 12 yr. olds! Maybe being 25 I found nothing relatable in it, however I typically love books in this genre! So many other good books out there definitely not worth the money I spent on it!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    From the Author, Nancy Werlin

    ABOUT WRITING THIS BOOK:

    So, there I was, watching the musical Wicked (from the novel by Gregory Maguire, musical adaptation by Stephen Schwartz, with book by Winnie Holzman), and we'd gotten to the final scene where the two witches sing their goodbye duet to each other:

    Like a stream that meets a boulder

    Halfway through the wood

    Who can say if I've been changed for the better?

    By the time they got to "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good," I was in tears. In my life, I too have experienced that hugely important friendship, and so I knew that I was witnessing that aim of all art: emotional truth.

    Wicked and "For Good" made me want to try to write a novel that would go to that same core place. It would be about an enormously important friendship between two teenage girls, one more pivotal than a romantic love affair. This friendship would test both girls to their limits, and would force them to grow, not just into maturity, but into better selves than they could ever have imagined becoming alone.

    (For more on "about writing this book," go here:
    http://nancywerlin.com/extraordinary.htm#gpm1_2

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for Teens Read Too

    Phoebe was raised by two loving parents who told her constantly she was an extraordinary girl, but now Phoebe's life may depend on her ability to admit she is simply ordinary. In seventh grade, Phoebe made a big decision. She decided it was time to make some new friends. Inspired by the arrival of a strange, new girl, Phoebe made it her goal to befriend Mallory. The more she got to know Mallory, the more she knew the new girl needed her. What she didn't realize was that it was a friendship controlled by forces far beyond anything Phoebe could ever imagine. The years passed quickly as the friendship between Phoebe and Mallory grew. The two became inseparable. Phoebe learned about Mallory's ailing mother, and with her own mother's help, arranged for daily care and medication so Mallory could live a more normal teenage life. Mallory even had her own room across the hall from Phoebe's so she could get away when necessary. The two were almost like sisters. Phoebe wasn't totally surprised when Mallory mentioned her brother was planning a visit. Mallory's mother's condition meant she was forced to live a rather secretive life sometimes. This mysterious older brother had been living in Australia for years, but a career change made it possible for him to return. Ryland has a strange magnetism that attracts Phoebe instantly. He exhibits a quiet maturity that has Phoebe wanting to know more and more about him. However, when opportunities present themselves for private moments, Ryland makes it crystal clear that Phoebe must not let Mallory know about their relationship. When frustration drives Phoebe to sneak a peek into Ryland's bedroom, she finds something that she cannot begin to understand or explain. Author Nancy Werlin takes readers into the fairy realm once again in EXTRAORDINARY. She weaves a fascinating family history into a tale of friendship, romance, and personal sacrifice. The story of friendship is carefully constructed in the here and now, and then it is creatively mixed into the fantastic world of the fairy kingdom complete with a dying queen and her quest for a source of renewing power. Fans of Werlin's IMPOSSIBLE will be rushing to grab this one off the shelf.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Coming of Age Book!

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    Yesterday I finished reading Extraordinary . I was sitting at their kitchen table in my sister's house in Maine, all by myself, except for Izzie the dog, tears all over my face as I read the last page. Phoebe has endured so much to get to where she is at the end.

    Another reviewer mentioned that this is a "gracefully written" book. I agree. We see enough details of the friendship between Mallory and Phoebe that it is real for us. We are in the fitting room of the department store with them; we are in Mallory's blue bedroom "home away from home" at Phoebe's house. Werlin has skillfully built a world of characters we care about: Phoebe's mother a remarkable, "extraordinary" Rothschild woman; her Dad who doesn't care what other people think about his marriage to a woman fifteen years older than he; Phoebe's friend Ben, who loves birds, loves fairness, and would go anywhere for Phoebe. These characters are more than stage setting. They are key players in Phoebe's growing understanding of herself and her world.

    Some readers have mentioned that the relationship between Ryland and Phoebe is uncomfortable reading, but to stop there would be stopping too soon. As Mallory said, Ryland has the glamour. There is nothing Phoebe could have done. It had nothing to do with her "willingness." And she never totally loses her core of strength.
    And, because it's hard to read, it's easy to miss is how well Werlin has captured that kind of abuse. She uses the faerie world and the "glamour" to show us how girls can be trapped (by glamour, or sports stardom, or whatever) into accepting someone else's opinion of them, someone else's judgment and treatment. It's good to read of it happening. It's good to feel uncomfortable for this fictional character. It's good to root for Phoebe to fight back because we are actually rooting for ourselves (and all those we care about, as we do about Phoebe) to fight back.

    We have to feel uncomfortable for Phoebe, we have to feel her being beaten down to some extent, if we are really going to care about how she finally responds to the very difficult decision she has to make at the end of the book.

    And I did care. I cared so much that I knew Phoebe, Mallory, Ben would be my friends, too, long after my morning at the kitchen table in Maine.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely unique!

    First, I'll just say I loved everything about this book. From the writing to the design of the book! There wasn't a character I didn't like and the way it was written was beautiful.

    Extraordinary's main character, Phoebe Rothschild, comes from a wealthy and extraordinary family. Phoebe doesn't think much of herself. Although she tries to believe in herself she still is very doubtful. Phoebe is someone everyone can relate to, in some point of your life, which I really liked!

    Phoebe meets Mallory, the odd new girl and faerie, in seventh grade and they are best friends from there on out. Little did Phoebe know that Mallory had a duty to make Phoebe believe how ordinary she really was. Four years later, things begin to fall apart for Phoebe and Mallory when Ryland, Mallory's brother, comes into the human world to complete the mission Mallory failed to finish. Phoebe is instantly drawn to Ryland and her relationship with Mallory begins to dwindle.

    Ryland really treats Phoebe awful and although she realizes this, she's so drawn to him she just acts like it doesn't matter, which made me a bit angry, but she finds strength in her when its needed and that's all that matters. By the end it all comes together.

    The only thing I have to complain about is that we don't get to venture more into the faerie world. I would have loved to learn more about its people earlier in the book. There are conversations with the faerie queen throughout the book, but I felt like I was missing something, because I didn't know much about it!

    Enough with the complaining! Now something amazing! Nancy Werlin describes the faerie people wonderfully. I'm a very visual person. I love really detailed descriptions and she did such a great job doing just that!

    I had read a few bad things about the ending of this book, which I must disagree with. After I had finished the book, I felt happy with the ending! Overall, Extraordinary was a great read and I recommend it to everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    book is weird

    Let me just say, that this book is um, weird. While I enjoyed Ms. Werlin other book Impossible, this one was nothing like it and in fact left me sad.

    Phoebe comes from a family that has some serious history. A faerie is sent to befiend then trick her, forcing her into an agreement that a family ancestor made in part for her. The deal was to take a girl was is ordinary. But is she?

    It doesn't take me long to get into a book. Pretty much if it is in my genre that I read, I will most likely, like it. But this one, just left me confused and hard to get into. I found myself re-read passages and just not liking it at all. Some things were just too strange and weird.

    I even find myself having a hard time writing this review. While this book was enjoyable after a while. It was a slow start with different POV's going back and forth. I, personally, this book was just not for me. I wish I could of enjoyed more but I could not.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Leave it on the Shelf...

    When I first went to read this book I was very intriqued by the cover art and the little synopsis. When I actually went to read it I was very dissapointed. Without giving too much away, the main character was poorly developed, the "love interest" was just annoying and made me want him to become a real person so i could slap him across the face, and the ending left me less than satissfied. This is the type of book you rent for free from the library if even the encyclopedias are checked out. Don't waste your money. Save it for something better like a book with an actual plot line or new shoes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Extraordinary writing, but ordinary novel

    The statement "Don't judge a book by its cover" can definitely be applied here. While Extraordinary was a quick, nice read, it didn't meet my expectations for it.

    I do have to start out by applauding Werlin's writing - it's unbelievably gorgeous and elegant. I haven't been that impressed by someone's writing style for ages.

    As for Extraordinary itself, it fell short for me. It started off great - we're introduced to the faeries and Phoebe, and we're intensely curious about this big plan the faeries need Phoebe for. But then the plan actually succeeds (sort of), and I just thought... They made a huge, huge deal about breaking someone's spirit just for... well, pretty much nothing. I assumed, with all the fuss the faeries were making, that something monumental was going to happen. It doesn't.

    The faerie folklore in this novel was quite interesting, and I wish we had more of a chance to experience it. I found myself more interested in Mallory's final role rather than Phoebe's story. I also wanted to know what types of faeries there were, their "history", rituals, etc. It was all so fascinating and aside from the glamour, it was also new (from other faerie stories I've read). But we never go deeper than touching the slightest basics of this books folklore.

    The characters were well-written. Phoebe was... well, she was annoying at times, but she was glamoured so I couldn't fault her. I just wished she could have used her wits more than just at the end. Mallory... now there's a character I loved. Torn between her people/duty and her best friend. I enjoyed that she wasn't completely heartless and that she eventually came to love Phoebe. Unlike Ryland, who was pretty much the definition of heartless. Even towards the end, I was holding on to the hope that he developed some sort of feelings (even brotherly) towards Phoebe but I was seriously stopped short.

    While the plot was unique (this story is based off a real family, but the characters in the book are fictional), I thought it could have been better. I wasn't too impressed with the plot. The only thing that kept me reading this novel was the constant question: what did the faeries want Phoebe for? I mean, sure, we get the gist of it through conversations with the Queen, but we don't really know what is going on until the end.

    Also, I have to mention... The conversations with the faerie queen are stunning. Why? On the pages where we have conversations with the faerie queen, there are vines coming down the pages. It's really pretty. And the chapter titles? Such a pretty font. I'm a nut for aesthetics.

    Extraordinary had a lot of promise, but it wasn't exactly an extraordinary novel. While it was well-written and had some decent characters, the plot wasn't all that interesting and the read was rather slow. Still, I liked it - it was a decent read. But I'd recommend checking this one out at a library rather than buying it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2014

    Extraordinary was enchanting and written well enough to keep me

    Extraordinary was enchanting and written well enough to keep me engaged, but the novel was just not really to my taste. Even though I could relate to certain aspects of both Phoebe and Mallory, I couldn’t really connect to the actual plot. It felt more like I was watching an image in a crystal ball than actual feeling like I’m living the character’s life.

    Also, I became very lost when it came to understanding the ‘Faerie Realm’ and their plans for using Phoebe. The fairies’ motivations seemed unclear throughout most of the book and when they began to use the mental abuse as part of their methods, I become really confused and frustrated. I didn’t understand why such measures were necessary or how it even related to the fairies’ goals.

    The ending of this novel, however, does bring out a good message and it was definitely an interesting concept. The execution just didn’t grab me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Extraordinary!

    Definetly an interesting book. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend to anyone who has a great imagination. I hope you will try and enjoy it as much as I did!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Extraordinarily extraordinary

    I will start out saying this. This is my favorite book. Ever. Do not leave it because of these other people saying it was weird and hard to understand. I honestly think its jst because they jst arent the best readers. I found a few parts confusing too. So i dont suggest tthis to those looking for an easy read. It is an amazing book and i highly reccomend you read it. When i was reading it i found myself looking at the clock and finding it was five hours later than when i started. Best book i have ever read.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I will give Nancy Werlin one thing - girl can plot. It was, in m

    I will give Nancy Werlin one thing - girl can plot. It was, in my opinion, the saving grace of this novel. I was DYING to know what happened to Phoebe. What did the world of Faerie want with her? Who was Mallory, really? Why were they so intent on manipulating her?

    But besides that, there was nothing spectacular about the book. I never connected to Phoebe - she was a dull character, easily manipulated (despite the fairy mesmer) who only redeemed herself at the very end. Mallory was interesting enough, what with being torn between the world of Fey and her friendship with Phoebe, and the rest of the characters I've already forgotten, Benjamin aside. (He's a pretty ordinary nerd.) And I'm writing this review five minutes after finishing the book.

    The writing style wasn't bad. It just didn't fit what I normally enjoy. I loved the flashes into the world of Fey - that did a lot for keeping me on edge throughout the rest of it. But it was the plot, not the way the plot was written, that kept me reading. The writing itself just didn't spark or hold my attention for too long.

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  • Posted October 9, 2012

    Good

    When I first read Extraordinary, I enjoyed every word of it. When you look back at it, it's a novel about two friends who despite their differences and the fact that one of them is a fae, canstick together in situations.

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    'm going to start off by saying that I did enjoy this tale that

    'm going to start off by saying that I did enjoy this tale that Werlin weaved for her readers, but also must add that it equally frustrated me along the way. I think I've come to expect and appreciate all of the strong female leading characters in so many books out on the shelves today that watching this character struggle throughout the story left me a little disappointed. Werlin's writing style and pace made up for my frustrations over Phoebe, but not enough that I can rave about the story as a whole.

    I did enjoy the details surrounding the deal made between the queen of fairies and Phoebe's ancestors, and the little bits of historical fiction thrown in to the mix as well. I wasn't sure what to expect from Werlin's ending, but I was pleasantly surprised when all was said and done.

    If you're looking for a light read and a standalone novel, this one might be just what you're looking for.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    Four years ago Phoebe Rothschild knew she wanted Mallory Tolliver as a friend--as her best friend. She was not sure why but she knew that Mallory with her tawdry, unsuitable clothes and her strange behavior would be a good friend to have, much better certainly than the friends Phoebe had previously found.

    And Phoebe was right. For those four years at least.

    Mallory always knew she needed to befriend the Rothschild girl. She knew what was required and expected of her by the Faerie Queen and the rest of her people. But still, for just a little while, she wanted what Phoebe had; she wanted the chance to be a normal teenaged girl.

    Which is exactly what Mallory got. For those four years at least.

    But time is running out: A debt must be repaid by an ordinary girl, a dangerously magnetic man will draw Phoebe to a perilous choice, and a friendship will be tested in Extraordinary (2010) by Nancy Werlin.

    Extraordinary is quite impressive. Well-written, clever, and compelling this story will leave readers enchanted. Werlin's looping prose and melodic tone are masterful and work wonderfully with this fairy tale styled story. The book combines a delightful plot with very arresting characters and, as the title might suggest, also offers an interesting commentary on what it really means to be ordinary (or extraordinary).

    Phoebe is a really unique narrator. She has asthma and comes from a prominent Jewish family--both of which are important elements of the story. But the great thing is neither of those things are the main event in the story, they are just facets of Phoebe's complex character. Phoebe also spends a lot of the story being beguiled or out and out tricked by other characters. The interesting thing about Werlin's writing is that she conveys that while simultaneously evoking Phoebe's own (often confusing) emotions.

    This story is also unique in that, at its center, readers will find two friends instead of the romantic threads that are becoming so prevalent in fantasy books (and of course also spawned their own genre called "paranormal romance").

    There is definitely nothing ordinary about this book. In short, Extraordinary is a remarkable story about the transformative power of friendship.

    Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, The Blue Girl by Charles De Lint, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver, The Last of the High Kings by Kate Thompson, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    just say no....

    this book was drivel... pointless .. infuriating.. drivel. everything i dislike in a story happened in this one. it was predictable , especially the ending i just weren't sure how it would get there but it was still very predictable, the main character was a brainless twit and everybody else was shallow. im just soooo disappointed, there were parts of the last book that i didnt like but i loved the story, this one gets a triple razzy lol

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    WONDERFUL!

    I absolutely LOVED this book! It was great! I enjoyed reading every moment of it and I loved how everything all fits together in the end. This is a wonderful book and I recommend others to read it too! You'll love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    HELP!

    This book has an amazing cover but by looking at the reviews im not so sure that it is a book for me please help me with further information!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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