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Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June by Robin Benway

Age: 12+
Publication Date: August 2010
Tags: sisters, family, supernatural powers
Pages: 288
Series: no
Book Acquisition: ARC from the publisher
My Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Book Summary:
Three sisters share a magical, unshakable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?
April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.
Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood. (from Goodreads)

Quick Thoughts:
A pretty good read, the personalities of the characters were a little stereotypical for my taste but April, May and June really do care for each other and it was nice seeing them figure this out for themselves.

My Review:
A mixed bag for me here. There were a lot of things I really liked, and a lot that I didn't.

April, May and June - three sisters with vastly different personalities. Unfortunately, they all got on my nerves a little. April is very much the oldest sister - a bossy, pushy, know-it-all who is contently telling her sisters what she thinks they should do, what they've done wrong and what she would do if she were them. May is the stereotypical middle child - ignored or forgotten about. Everything she says to everyone is sarcastic and it gets old quick. June is the youngest, and I have to say, one of the shallowest young adult characters I have come across in a very long time. More shallow then any 14 year old I have ever met. For a large part of the book, the sisters do nothing but argue, bicker and complain about absolutely everything. Really not my cup of tea.

It wasn't until about halfway through the book that I really felt invested in the story and it's characters. The sisters start to realize how important they are to each other and the book takes a turn. It starts to be less paranormal tale and more about the sister's relationships with each other. That really struck a cord with me.

The way the narrative was told was also a bit of a mix for me. In each chapter we get a different sister's point of view and narrative. A bit confusing for me at first keeping track of who each "I", "she" and "her" was since every sister almost exclusively talks about, thinks about and interacts with, her other sisters.

Overall? A good read. By the end, I was happy I had stuck with it. April, May, and June aren't perfect people but they are sisters and their love and bonds shine throughout this story.

Who Would Enjoy It:
Fans of young adult paranormal fiction who enjoy a hearty dose of real life family dynamics. The paranormal elements aren't that strong so I think readers who normally shy away from this genre would still really enjoy this one.

Linkage Love:
Publisher's website
Author's Website

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