Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review #101: The Extraordinary Lives of April, May, and June by Robin Benway

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June is by Robin Benway. Sisters April, May, and June (oh the punny goodness, it's also a self-aware joke in the book which is awesometastic ^^) have recently moved to a new town, after their parents divorce and an incident that occurred in their old hometown. Suddenly, they develop strange powers: April, the eldest and bossiest, can now see the future. May, the middle child who feels invisible, can now disappear. And finally June, the baby sister that struggles to be heard, can now read minds. As the sisters try to contain their powers, attempt to go on with their lives, April gets a vision of an upcoming incident, these siblings will learn nothing is stronger than sisterhood.

Dayum, this book was effing amazing. One of the best books I have ever read. It's just a good, solid contemporary YA book, with a hint of paranormal. And I know that the paranormal aspect is integral to the novel, but it doesn't take over and lets the non-paranormal issues come take precedence. Each sister had their own story arc, all of which had good, satisfying endings and intertwined in a beautiful way. The stories were great, from love to friendship, all ending in a wonderful message about sisterhood. Another thing is I love how each sister's powers had to do with their birth order, and the powers were awesome to boot! How April, May, and June handled these abilities made me smile, cringe, all the good stuff. The romances were great to read, and in general this book was a fun ride that dealt with some serious issues in a tasteful way.

I loved each sister. All three of them had their own unique voices, distinct and clear. Which is good when you have three narrators. April, the eldest, was the typical bossy eldest sister. As the story goes on, she learns to let loose and not be as uptight. June, the cynical middle child, was no doubt my favorite sister. I related to her the most, even though I'm an only child. When I'm out with my aunt, uncle, cousins and our family friends, I get ignored a lot and feel alone in the filled room, even though I'm with people I love. I loved her journey and her relationship with Henry. Her arc moved me the most for sure. Then there's June, who was also awesome. Her journey seemed kind of like Mean Girls, but cleaner in a way. She also had some funny lines, and I loved how she matured at the end. April and May's love interests, Julian and Henry, damn both are swoon-worthy. Both were sweet and caring, with Henry having to overcome some issues in order to mature and get to the ending. In general, all of the awesome side characters had great development and were not pushed out.

I haven't read Ms. Benway's other book, Audrey Wait!, but dang, the woman knows how to write. Like I said, she made each sister have a clear, distinct voice and none of them blended together. She made the paranormal aspect seem realistic (I know, I know, you know what I mean), and just another aspect of their lives. She writes great characters and knows how to craft a good story. I am definitely a fan of hers now.

I'll next be reviewing Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook

Until next time, viva la literature!

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