The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

4.5 44
by Robin Benway
     
 

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April, the oldest, can see the future. May, the middle sister, can disappear. And June, the youngest, can read minds. At the time of their parents' divorce, the three sisters recover these strange and magical powers from their childhood, powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls must come

Overview

April, the oldest, can see the future. May, the middle sister, can disappear. And June, the youngest, can read minds. At the time of their parents' divorce, the three sisters recover these strange and magical powers from their childhood, powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls must come together to save the day-and their family. But in the process they learn that there's one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In an uproarious novel that slots somewhere between Charmed and The Powerpuff Girls in terms of sibling dynamics, three sisters cope with their parents' divorce, a new school--and sudden magical powers that allow overserious April to see the future, surly May to disappear, and bubbly June to read minds. April urges them "to use these things for good, not evil," but their lives and relationships grow complicated when June uses her ability to gain popularity, and April, after a vague vision, convinces May to spy on June's first party. Benway (Audrey, Wait!) proves that her own extraordinary ability is her sense of humor; if secondary characters feel contrived to move the plot along, Benway otherwise executes her premise with panache, such as the way the sisters' powers pair with their personalities ("ow that I could read minds? I'd be able to get an honest opinion about my entire wardrobe," thinks June). The sisters take turns narrating, and their distinct personalities and extremely funny, often barbed dialogue will keep readers laughing as each sibling learns to trust another amazing power: the strength of sisterhood. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Lona Trulove
Today's adolescents face many difficult situations, ranging from such personal issues as bullying and divorce to global issues like terrorism and global warming. These situations can be overwhelming and hard to navigate, so any help they can get is usually welcome. In The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June, three sisters get some unusual help when they realize that they have superpowers. April has the ability to see the future, while May can literally disappear, and June can hear people's thoughts. Benway does a wonderful job portraying the voices of these young girls. The dialogue captures the essence of April, the overachieving oldest; May, the girl who hates school and uses sarcasm as a defense; and June, the "OMG I am going to be popular!" youngest. The first few pages have readers laughing out loud, feeling like they are in the car on the way to school with them while listening to typical high school sister banter. This is a story that captures the difficulty of high school and growing up, but in a fun, lighthearted way. The characters are well-developed and easy to relate to regardless of the reader's age. This is a quick weekend read that won't disappoint. Reviewer: Lona Trulove
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
Most of the problems the Stephenson sisters face are normal problems; their parents just got divorced, and they've had to move and begin again at a new school. But soon after the school year starts, their problems suddenly become extraordinary. On the way to school one morning, each girl realizes she has a unique power. Told in alternating viewpoints, April, May, and June have strong individual voices. Their powers creatively reflect their personalities. April, a junior and an oldest child used to being in charge, can see the future. May, the middle child who prefers to fade into the background, can become invisible. June, a freshman who feels she's never listened to, can read minds. While trying to manage the difficulties that come with these abilities, the girls begin to use them to navigate their own lives. The plot takes its time focusing in on the climactic event that brings the abilities and the girls' new friends together, and leaves a few things unexplained. Why did all the powers reveal themselves at the same time and at that instant? What is the connection to their grandmother's generation and the possibility of similar powers then? These are not, however, questions that impede the telling of this story or the authentic characters and setting. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—With the divorce of their parents, the move to a new community, and starting a new high school, sisters April, May, and June are undoubtedly under a lot of stress. The manifestation of this pressure is the re-emergence from childhood of some special powers: April is suddenly seeing visions of the future, May can turn herself invisible, and June can hear people's thoughts. These abilities could give them the chance to do something important, but instead April tries to micromanage everyone's lives, May tries to escape her troubles, and June uses her abilities to be popular. Things come to a head when April sends May to spy on June during an unchaperoned party. The dialogue is sharp and witty (and often includes profanity), the characters are mostly likable, and the personality of each sister is clearly delineated (the first-person narration alternates among them) as is the strength of their relationship. Why these special powers have surfaced is never fully explained. This novel will appeal to teens looking for a light read.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Prince Georges County Memorial Library System, New Carrollton, MD
Kirkus Reviews

Emotionally bruised by their parents' divorce, three California sisters move from Orange County to the Valley with their mother. In chapters narrated alternately by each sister, the girls discover and exercise their magical gifts while coming to terms with the family breakup. Risk-averse April, a high-school junior, sees the future; sophomore-rebel May can disappear; status-hungry freshman June reads minds. April's visions of impending catastrophe and the girls' efforts to prevent it drive the plot, but the breezy, chick-lit tone works against depth, and too much tiresome sibling bickering slows the pace. The gifts' provenance and purpose are unclear; the rules governing them shift. May's tendency to disappear inadvertently when stressed is supposed to tell readers something about her, but because she disappears volitionally whenever the plot requires it, that message is lost. Lurking in this half-baked paranormal romance are ingredients for a first-rate fantasy with engaging characters. Weak plot infrastructure and slapdash execution prevent them from coalescing into a satisfying whole. Mature elements include teen drinking, drug use, impaired driving and casual sex. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595142863
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
08/03/2010
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 8.64(h) x 0.99(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Robin Benway grew up in Orange County, California and attended college at both NYU & UCLA. At NYU, she won the Seth Barkas Prize for Best Fiction by an Undergraduate. She has worked at Ballantine, Knopf, Borders, and Book Soup in West Hollywood. Robin currently lives in Santa Monica. To the best of her knowledge, no one has written a song about her. Yet.

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The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS SOOOOOOO AWESOME AND INTENSE!!!!!!!!! IT IS SO GOOD!!!! a must reade by far
SylvereApLeanan More than 1 year ago
Is there anything more disconcerting for a teenaged girl than enduring her parents' divorce only to move out of her childhood home, away from her friends, and have to learn her way around a new house, a new town, and a new school? April, May, and June Stephenson would say "yes." If typical adolescent angst weren't enough, each of these sisters has a new psychic ability she must learn to control while maintaining the appearance of a normal life. Talk about pressure! April is the studious, responsible, and family-oriented oldest sister who can see the future. It's perfect for helping keep her sisters out of trouble. May, the middle sister, is the angst-ridden teen who feels overlooked in her family and life in general. It's no surprise when her gift turns out to be the ability to turn invisible in more than a metaphoric sense. June is determined to be everything her sisters are not - fashionable, popular, and "cool." The power to read the minds of those around her is June's dream come true. Now she will know exactly what people think about her style and adjust as needed to fit in with the kids who rule the school. Robin Benway's The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June is clever and fun, packed with laugh-out-loud funny moments. Each chapter is from the perspective of a different sister and Benway has succeeded in giving each girl a distinct voice. The major drawback of the book is that the characters are too typical. Throughout the book, I kept wanting to slap the vapid, superficial June and tell her to grow up and get over herself. Likewise, May makes the gloomiest emo kid seem bright and shiny as a new iPod full of Justin Bieber tunes, and April is so invested in the role of mother hen I felt like she was going to lay an egg any minute. Despite the occasional flatness of the main characters, I enjoyed The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June enough to forget I was reading a Young Adult novel. The only other criticism I had was the use of adult language. Extraordinary Secrets is billed as suitable for readers age 12 and up but, as a mother, I'm not sure I want my kids reading so much swearing. Maybe I'm old-fashioned to think young teens are exposed to enough cursing at school and on the street; they don't need to be innundated with it in media too. This book seems better suited to readers 15 and up. Robin Benway attempts to set The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June within the ranks of (and poke a bit of fun at) paranormal young adult genre powerhouses by having her characters draw comparisons between themselves and predecessors such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter. While I don't foresee Benway's book rising to the juggernaut status of Joss Whedon's or J. K. Rowling's creations, Extraordinary Secrets is still a worthy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Would reccomend for kids between the ages of 7-11.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome like "Audrey, wait!" Which is also by Robin Benway. I read this book in four days, thats just how amazing it is.
sheila bender More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome except the language and adult content. It talked about teen stuff. And lots of dringing. Ages 13 and up
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
From a brilliant premise to spectacular writing to relatable and witty main characters, there leaves no doubt in my voice when I say that The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June is hands down one of the best books of the year. Each character is crafted in a way that makes them jump right of the page from the start and became a part of you as you see their story unravel in front of you. I really liked the fact that each stood on their own with their unique personalities. Since, I hate nothing more but when characters in a book, especially one that jumps from narrator to narrator like The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June, all sound the same. Though that was far from the case in this book. April is the smart one, whoever feels the need to be her sister's protector, even if it sometimes get in the way of her own life, while May is the sarcastic and witty loner that forever has you awed by her charm to turn something normal into being something slyly funny. And June? Well, she's basically a girl who wants nothing more to fit and be part of the popular crowd, though there's more than meets the surface to this girl who seemed a bit selfish at the beginning. All three constantly had me and giggles and relating my own life to theirs. The premise, as mentioned above, in The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June was brilliant, and the execution was even more so. I loved seeing all three girls come to terms with their powers all while trying to find themselves in the new life they have been given. In turn, it provided a page-turning read that was extremely hard to put down, even for a second. In all, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June is a book that you should definitely check out this upcoming summer, because I have no worries when saying that I'm sure that you'll love and adore it as much as I did. And Robin Benway, if you're reading this, I'm really, really looking forward to reading more by you! Grade: A+
Anonymous 11 months ago
I loved it but whoever wrote the smiley face it shouldnt be for 7-11 it should be for 13-up because of the curse words but I definitly recommend this book my favorite character was May he was layed back that is why I love here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome:) reccomended for ages 11 and up keep writing more robin!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book brought me o a wild eventure!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome its my fav book u should totally read if havent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was VERY good! I go into the teen section of my library to find funny yet very cool books like this! I started reading it and whenever I put it down, I felt sad not reading it and grabbed it again and again till I was done! I really want to join them as March or July! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read this book three times and I laugh harder each time. You'll really like this.
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Its a must read!!!!!!! Plz robin benaway more books
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