Book Review: Extraordinary

Narrated By:  Emily Bauer, Jennifer Van Dyck, Kate Reinders, MacLeod Andrews, and Daniel di Tomasso
Published By: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: Audiobook
Audio Length: 9 hours
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Library
Audience: YA

Extraordinary is Nancy Werlin's second journey into the world of the magical. While in the same vein as Impossible, the stories do not share characters or plot points. I sincerely hope that Werlin will continue writing stories in this genre. She is such a strong writer and she brings a fresh new voice to supernatural YA. As with her previous works, Werlin creates an original tale full of intrigue and realistic characters.

Extraordinary tells the story of best friends, Phoebe and Mallory. Phoebe is from a wealthy family whose prominence has dominated society for hundreds of years. Mallory, on the other hand, is the awkward new girl who randomly shows up one day in 7th grade. Mallory's appearance draws Phoebe in and the two become fast friends forming a bond that will stretch across realms. As the story unfolds, Mallory's true identity comes to light. Can Phoebe truly be strong enough to support her friend no matter what?

I loved that this book focused on friendship. There is some romantic elements and the plot is driven by the mystical, but at its core it is the story of how two vastly different girls learn to appreciate one another and encourage each other to be their best selves. Phoebe's transition from start to finish was one of my favorite aspects of the book. I loved watching her come into her own and find her identity. She was so caught up in identifying herself as a member of the Rothschild family that it was nice to finally see her identify herself as Phoebe. I think lots of readers can benefit from watching Phoebe's struggles with self confidence. However, the elements concerning Phoebe's relationship with Ryland were difficult for me. I hated the way he treated her and how she allowed her life to be dictated by his needs and desires.

Overall, Werlin has provided readers with another unique tale filled with realistic voices and a plot that will keep you wanting more. Also, don't you just love this cover?

The audio for this one is by far one of the best I have heard. I loved that instead of just one narrator trying to do all the voices that there were several narrators. It made the listening experience more enjoyable. The narrators also did an excellent job with tone and emotion. My favorite narrator was the one that voiced the queen. She did an amazing job.

One Last Gripe: Phoebe's whining got on my nerves 

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Rothschild Legend

Favorite Character: Mallory

Least Favorite Character: Ryland

Phoebe finds herself 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, appears. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe — but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself.

Soon she’ll discover the shocking, fantastical truth about Ryland and Mallory, and about an age-old debt they expect Phoebe to pay. Will she be strong enough to resist? Will she be special enough to save herself?

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.


  1. I've heard mixed things about this book - glad to know that you loved it! One of these days I'll have time to read it. Thanks for the review!


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