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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781536620306
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 12/01/2016
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About 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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Extraordinary 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.
Nancy_W More than 1 year ago
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
Trebble More than 1 year ago
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.
JBMartin More than 1 year ago
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.
Tawni More than 1 year ago
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!
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
KristinaBarnes More than 1 year ago
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.
macsbrains on LibraryThing 8 months ago
As a big fan of YA lit, and of faeries, I was really looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, it didn't blow me over - and what bothers me most is that it could have if some things were tweaked. I really wanted to like it but I'm left feeling meh.It's a story of girl with an impressive and extraordinary lineage who, for reasons later revealed, has the attention of the denizens of the faerie realm, who need, desperately, for her to be merely ordinary and who will do everything in their power to ensure that she is. Enter, Phoebe, the main protagonist who is completely unaware of any of this.Werlin does a good job at making Phoebe just an ordinary girl - a bit too good of a job because I never found her interesting. I wanted more of Mallory, her faerie friend and her crazy not!mother because they were more complex and sympathetic. Everyone else in the book was pretty 2 dimensional, and as a character, Phoebe didn't even stand out among them! She wasn't ordinary, she was boring.There were good bits in the book - bits about friendship, family, loyalty and tough choices - but they emerged mostly through Mallory and I found I was frustrated experiencing the story from Phoebe's 3rd person limited POV.The novel is interspersed with scenes from the faerie realm, usually about a page long, and I found these to be the weakest parts of the book from a writing and structural standpoint. The language was trying to be formal, but it failed and came out awkward and forced. It didn't even really further the plot very much, it just made the faerie characters' motivations compeletely transparent. The book might have even been more interesting if we were left to discover some of the mystery on our own. Overall, it's certainly not a bad book by any means, but it does not live up to its title. I'm sure some teens will find something to like, but it didn't work for me.
Dewdette on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Are you good enough? Sure, you get good grades, you are nice to people, you get along with your family¿ but that¿s nothing spectacular, is it? It certainly doesn¿t make you extraordinary. Phoebe Rothchild knows the importance of her last name. So does pretty much everyone in town. Descended from a long line of Rothschilds, Phoebe¿s ancestors are legendary for their successes. Her mother is no exception. A Professor of Economics at MIT, Catherine Rothchild is actually ¿at the center of an enormous, intricate global web of money, power and influence¿ fed not only by family wealth and history, but by decades of personal accomplishment and connections.¿ Phoebe, on the other hand, has trouble even finding a bra that fits properly. When the new girl, Mallory (as weird as she is intriguing), and Phoebe become friends, Phoebe finally feels as though she has found someone who sees her as just Poebe¿not Poebe Rothchild. But what Poebe doesn¿t know will hurt her and once Mallory¿s dark and manipulative older brother enters the picture, Phoebe is going to need to find out who she really is¿and fast. I didn¿t expect to enjoy this book. I¿m not a huge fan of romance or of fantasy. Reading the back of the book, I thought that was what I was going to get. Instead, I encountered a book that used romance and fantasy to address how our family can inform our perceptions of ourselves, and how terrifying it can be to have our darkest, most insecure thoughts exploited. It¿s just in my nature to grimace when a female protagonist goes against what she knows is right simply because a charming boy tells her to do so. Unless, of course, the female protagonist is the victim of conspiring faeries, both of whom magically ¿glamor¿ her¿ altering mind into a semi-hypnotized state. In that case, I¿m willing to let it go. Phoebe¿s Jewish heritage also plays a role throughout the book, although this thread is less developed than Extraordinary¿s other themes. The connection Phoebe¿s situation has to her Judaism is both overstated and inconsistent; it disappears and then reappears only when Phoebe blatantly references it, leaving no work for the reader. As a result, the connection, which could otherwise make sense, feels forced. Perhaps the other aspects of the book are so compelling that they overshadow this connection. Either way, the book does not suffer greatly as a result. At its core, Nancy Werlin¿s Extraordinary is about being willing to believe the good things about yourself, even when it¿s easier to believe the bad things. It¿s about learning to trust after being hurt and allowing oneself the appropriate time to heal. More than anything, it¿s about doing what¿s right when it¿s easier not to. These are the battles of ordinary people. When we accomplish them, something extraordinary happens.
maribs on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Phoebe Rothschild is an ordinary girl in a family of extraordinary people. When Mallory, a mysterious new girl starts at school, Phoebe befriends her not knowing that she has been pinpointed by the faeries to save them.An interesting new take on the faerie world and I did like the way it was weaved in with the history of the Rothschild family. I had a hard time with the relationship between Phoebe and Ryland, Mallory's brother. It was hard to read as she abused verbally, emotionally and probably sexually and she takes it all and professes her love for him throughout. I realize there was some faerie glamour at work here, but it still felt wrong to have her so broken down in this way. I am always looking for strong female characters in YA books, and Phoebe just isn't that character for most of this book. As a teacher, as a woman, as a mom-to-be, I worry about young girls being portrayed in this way, as not strong enough to realize that they are being abused, so easily manipulated and brought down. Was really hoping for this book and for the characters to be a little more, well, extraordinary.Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin was released September 7th. 2.5/5
ReDefiningAwesome on LibraryThing 8 months ago
At the start of 7th grade Pheobe finds she is fed up with her mean snobby friends. When a strange new girl comes to school Pheobe decides to dump her friends for the new girl and makes it her mission to become her best friend. Mallory, the new girl, is actually a faerie sent to earth on a mission of her own, and has her own reasons for befriending Pheobe. 4 years later and the girls are like sisters, but the forces behind Mallory are demanding she finish what she was sent to do. Can she betray the only friend she has ever had? - I really enjoyed reading this book. It was original, and kept me guessing all the way through. It wasn't just about the faeries and magic either. It was about the effects that one friend has on another and how they change eachother for better or worse.
booksandwine on LibraryThing 8 months ago
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, this 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 uber 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.
ericajsc on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I¿m not a huge fan of faerie books for some reason. There are very few that I¿ve really enjoyed, some others that I¿ve thought were okay, but most I just didn¿t really like all that much. Even though I know this, I still continue to read them, hoping that *this* book will serve up more than regurgitated folklore. While I can¿t say that Extraordinary features faeries that are so different from the norm that my world was rocked, I did find myself enjoying it more than I thought I would. Here¿s why: although it deals with faeries and all of the folklore that brings with it, the focus was on (somewhat) average Phoebe¿ *mild spoiler alert* who is not secretly the daughter of the faerie king/queen or hopes to be whisked away into the faerie realm to be with the person she loves. *end spoiler* Although it is clearly stated from the beginning that Mallory is not the person she appears to be, the motivation behind that disguise is pretty vague. More and more clues are given throughout the book, but they are subtle enough that there is still a sense of mystery until everything is revealed to Phoebe. Readers are privy to information that Phoebe is not, and even though there are points when she probably should figure out what¿s going on, the reasons that she doesn¿t are easily explained.Some of this book was tough for me, though, because the way that Mallory and Ryland could manipulate Phoebe was painful to see. There were parts when I literally felt nauseated as I read, and I had to take short breaks and breathe deeply so that my desire to step into the pages of the book and throttle Ryland would subside. Knowing Ryland¿s role in the story, it is a testament to Werlin¿s writing abilities that I felt so strongly about him, since I think that was the point. I don¿t believe he was ever intended to come across to the reader as this dreamy older guy, and he never does.I found the friendship between Phoebe and Mallory to be the strongest aspect of the book. The focus on the beginning of their friendship was just a bit on the long side for me, but it does establish that the girls are like sisters by the time Ryland comes into the story. Mallory¿s attempts to protect Phoebe are noble and it is her character development that I found most satisfying.Beautifully written and carefully developed, this book managed to turn my initial skepticism on its head and deliver an emotional tale of one girl discovering her destiny.
lawral on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Yes, 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, even though Phoebe's mom is paying for Mallory's mom to have around the clock care. There is never that you-owe-me sentiment that can sometimes creep into those kinds of relationships. Everything is perfect. Except...This story is broken up by numbered conversations with the Faerie Queen. It seems 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 (everything but these Faerie Queen convos) 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 through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program
kmartin802 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
First off, I thought the book was aptly titled; I did think it was extraordinary. I loved the story and I loved Phoebe. It was wonderful to watch her grow in confidence through the book. The first actions we see already show us a compassionate and kind young lady who is willing to do the right thing even when it is hard. This is a very strong tale of friendship. It is about what friendship means and what friendship costs. Phoebe's relationship with Mallory is not as dependent as Phoebe thinks it is. I felt so very sorry for Mallory. She had some terrible decisions that she had to make. In fact, I felt very sorry for all of faerie. I liked reading the interludes when Mallory and Ryland are reporting to the Queen. It is interesting to watch the Queen second-guess herself but remain strong because she doesn't see another choice. Mallory comments at one point that it is hard to know what action to take when all actions are evil but one action must be chosen.Ryland was an interesting character. I can understand where he was coming from. He needed Phoebe to save his people. He didn't want to see her as a person because that could lead to doubts about his course of action. He is one of those characters who is so focused on the big picture that the collateral damage to people just didn't interest him or effect his choices. But I got so irritated with him as he tried to undermine Phoebe's confidence. I was also irritated with Phoebe for letting him get away with that. The romance was a good example of a bad romance with one controlling and psychologically abusive partner. At least Phoebe had the excuse that he glamored her into it. I highly recommend this for lovers of paranormal and for lovers of stories about friendship and romance.
books_ofa_feather on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I would imagine it is extremely difficult for an author to write a book following great success from their previous work. The attempt to live up to the hype can only be a daunting task to undertake. As a reader it is hard to set the previous book(s) aside and only form opinions of the new rather than focus on comparing the old and new. I found myself doing just that with Extraordinary, comparing it to Nancy Werlin¿s previous work of greatness, Impossible. For a good deal of the book I didn¿t like Extraordinary. I kept whining mentally, ¿Oh I want it to be like Impossible! Why can¿t it be great like that was?¿ I know it was unfair of me. I finally, midway through, had to tell myself to shut up and look for the good in it, let it stand on its own. Lucky for me it did grow to be better than I first let it be. Although I felt, certain portions of the book should have been more entertaining.On Phoebe¿s first day of seventh grade she decides to leave behind her friends (snobby and mean) for the strange and intriguing (a.k.a. social outcast) Mallory. Fast forward a few years and Mallory and Phoebe are as close as sisters. Then Mallory¿s brother comes back and strange things start to come to light about who and what Mallory and her brother are doing there.Phoebe¿s relationship with Mallory was odd to me at various times. I wasn¿t sure of the undertones I was picking up throughout. At times it was hard to believe certain character¿s behavior, Phoebe and her parents especially. It was fairly gag worthy to read how Phoebe abandoned herself to Mallory¿s brother, but on the other hand Werlin did a good job writing these scenes, very convincing.In the end you come to realize that you have to make hard choices and sacrifices for the people you love. Phoebe grows up by the end of the book and really learns what it is to be truly extraordinary even when everyone is telling you aren¿t and can¿t be. The last half of the book was definitely worth sticking with it.
Jacey25 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I was excited to recieve this review copy because I had read Impossible by Nancy Werlin as well and loved the book. Extraordinary was ultimately an enjoyable read as well(though not as good). The story is slow to build and has awkward moments but ultimately hits a good intrigue about a 1/3 of the way in. The ultimate message is truly empowering for the target audience of young adolescent girls but can feel a little trite and in your face for an older reader in my opinion. I must add the disclaimer that I am not 100% crazy about the fae/fairy trend in literature which may have detracted from my overall reading experience. Reccomended for girls 12-16 without reservation, not as highly reccomended for older readers.
ealaindraoi on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I¿ve never read any of Werlin¿s previous work, but I¿ve heard good things about it. I have read tons & tons of YA Fairy stories. (Ah, I resisted calling them Fairy Tales, but just barely!) Some people love vampires, some love werewolves, I love the Fae.One hundred pages in and I was preparing to be disappointed. It was obvious that Mallory and Ryland were fairies that wanted something from Phoebe, but there was no real interaction with The Good People themselves. The book also felt somewhat young, more of a middle grades book than a young adult book. As I read more, my inner critic started thinking that maybe this COULD be going somewhere. And it did.I liked this book. I liked how the Fae acted like Fae. I liked the way that the manipulation of Phoebe felt true to the Fae way of seeing things. I liked the deeper messages about love, family and the responsibility to do the right thing no matter what, that didn¿t become apparent until the end of the book. I think it¿s unfortunate that some readers will put this down before they reach the 100-page mark because the plot moves somewhat predicably in the beginning.(Possibly) Interesting side note: I have two teenage daughters that are addicted to the Canadian teen soap Degrassi. I must be absorbing too much of their viewing, because once Ryland appeared in this book all I could picture for the characters of Ryland and Mallory were Declan and Fiona Coin! Degrassi is even seeping into my reading!!
yhaduong on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A soft sort of urban fantasy, strictly PG feeling to it. I enjoyed the gradual sliding of Mallory, a faerie disguised as the new girl in town, into humanity as she becomes friends with Phoebe. That might have been the most believable aspect of the story. Otherwise the novel is not as full of depth as Werlin's first novel, Impossible. The characters are too simply drawn and do not exhibit much complexity until closer to the end when the dramatic confrontation and conclusion occur. I did like the scenes set in Faerie a bit more than the real world as the sad pall set over the magical land felt more effectively described than our world. All in all I was a bit disappointed, although certainly the book was still a pleasant enough read.
wordnerd213 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I had pretty high expectations for Extraordinary, because I really enjoyed Impossible when I read it a couple of years ago and I think the cover for Extraordinary is beautiful (yes, I judged it by its cover. It happens). Unfortunately, I wasn't particularly impressed.The premise is interesting enough, I guess, although I think the mystery would have been a lot better if not for the prologue and frequent inserts labeled "Conversation with the Faerie Queen" (that's not a spoiler - that's the first chapter heading in the book). The whole thing felt very predictable to me - I knew what was really going on the whole time, so I was just waiting for Phoebe to get it together and figure out what was going on.My main problem with the book was the characters. I thought Phoebe was really annoying throughout most of the novel because she wouldn't stand up for herself. She had the potential to be an excellent, relatable character - her "psychological battle," as Ryland put it, about whether or not she was special, was actually quite well-done - except that she had absolutely no sense of self. She let herself be defined by what other people said. And Ryland, who was supposed to be the love interest, was an utterly detestable character. I hated him and the things he said to Phoebe. Again, because the plot was so predictable I understood why, but I still didn't like him. Mallory was okay, but like Phoebe, she didn't stand up for herself enough. The one character I really did like was Phoebe's Nantucket friend, Benjamin.What saved Extraordinary in my eyes was the ending. In the last fifty pages or so, the plot took a turn that I had not fully expected, which was really nice; also, the characters finally started to seem real instead of a means to a plot-fulfilling end. If not for the last fifty pages, the book probably would not have merited 3 stars, but once I got to those final chapters, I discovered that I actually did not despise the book and actually did want to find out what happened.On the whole, Extraordinary was not a favorite of mine and not one that I would glowingly recommend, but it did have its moments and the ending made it mostly worth reading. It's not one that I'd advise you to go out and buy now - but it might be worth checking out from the library sometime. (And I do recommend Nancy Werlin's other novel, Impossible.)**Originally posted at BookwormBoulevard.blogspot.com**
STACYatUFI on LibraryThing 8 months ago
It wasn't a bad book at all, great story line just a little slow for me. I wish we could give half stars, I would give this book a 2.5
mamzel on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Mallory is not who she appears to be. She is not poor, disturbed Mrs. Tolliver's dutiful daughter. That daughter had died and left Mrs. Tolliver in a depression so deep that she doesn't even notice that this girl who suddenly appeared in her house is not her daughter. Mallory attracts Phoebe's attention in school because of her odd dress. Or was Phoebe enchanted to befriend her?Phoebe is the only child of very rich parents. Her mother is a Rothschild, descended from a family who became a rich family of money lenders in the 1700s. Catherine is still very involved in the financial industry. Phoebe's father produces documentaries. Phoebe leads a priveleged life but is not spoiled. We are not surprised when she leaves her pack of priveleged friends and chooses instead to befriend Mallory, who looks like she is in serious need of a good friend. They become very close and remain so through high school. Mallory's mysterious older brother returns home and Phoebe is drawn to him like a bee to a flower. This is her first serious love and he really seems to be a caring and respectful lover. Things change, however, when Phoebe walks into his room and finds herself in an amazing garden with a throne.This book makes the reader think about who he really is. Everyone has an image of themselves and reacts with those around them based on that. For most of us, something happens to us and we learn that we are something different. Maybe we aren't as beautiful and talented as we thought or maybe we find an inner strength we never dreamed we had. It is usually a traumatic and sudden event we experience but we are a better person for it. Phoebe thought she was a rather ordinary person even though her family was extraordinary and found that she was more special than she thought. I found this book enjoyable to read as a fantasy and also as a coming-of-age story. Phoebe is a wonderful character, generous and brave. The way Mallory and her brother were placed with a woman who had recently lost her real daughter and no one seriously questions this mysterious reappearance is a little disconcerting but one can overlook a lot of mysterious events in a fantasy story.