Extraordinary-- Nancy Werlin

Release Date: September 7th, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Faeries
Pages: 400
Goodreads Page: Click here
Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory's magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. 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 truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe's ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn't been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself?
Review: Extraordinary started out AWESOME! I found the idea so, so interesting: a faerie sent to befriend a human girl. However, the goal of the faerie was to make the girl (Pheobe) say that she was ordinary. Is Pheobe ordinary? Who knows? What I know is that she was sweet and kind, had strong self-esteem, and she just wanted to be loved. That is, until the fairies show up.

In order to finally get Pheobe to admit that she is ordinary, Mallory (the faerie) and her brother set about DESTROYING Pheobe. They bring her down to the depths of despair in every way possible. Mallory gains her trust only to spurn and spite her, Ryland (the brother) magicks Pheobe into loving him and then attacks her mentally, emotionally, and sexually. Until I was HONESTLY expecting her to commit suicide.

I kept thinking, surely this has got to come back around. The faeries will join forces with Pheobe to stop this evil. Surely they can't keep breaking her like this. She trusts them wholeheartedly. Surely they must have some kind of empathy towards her.

But they don't.

There is a payoff in the end, where we learn what it truly means to be "extraordinary," and see that at least SOME of the faeries do care, but it came too late. At some point this book passed the point of no return, and there was nothing the characters could do to redeem themselves.

It just made me sick.

It was still wonderfully written (if completely sickening and heartbreaking), and I do intend to pick up IMPOSSIBLE by the same author.

So for writing style, I give this book a perfect 5. But for plot, I can barely give it a 1. I just can't stomach that much pure cruelty, no matter what the purpose.

I just couldn't handle how they were abusing this poor girl. They attacked her very soul until it shattered. And even though she managed to pick up the pieces afterwards, I felt a little broken too.


  1. Wow, even your review is scary. I don't think I will be able to read this one. I don't like it when the characters are so abused that they have trouble fighting back. Give me a war any day, at least that way the main characters know whose on their side and who isn't.

  2. Ya... I wasn't a fan of this one. I agree that it was well written, although I thought it was a bit slow, but it made me beyond sick to my stomach and I really thought that there needed to have been more of a... cummupence. I have a copy of Impossible, and I want to read one of her Contemporary books, but... meh.


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