Monday, April 08, 2013

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

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Owned 
I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn't imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable 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.
I’m not even going to lie: I picked up The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June simply because I needed a light, fun read at the moment. While I had heard a lot about Robin Benway’s debut novel, I had heard next to nothing about this one so I was eager to see how I would like it. Luckily, I had no biased opinion as I went into this book and I have to admit: reading this book has made me a big fan of Robin Benway’s. Sure, this book had it’s flaws but if this is any example of Robin Benway’s writing (which it is of course), I need to get her two other books.

Let’s begin with the writing because really, it’s the best part of this novel. There was so much snark and banter between the three very different sisters that reading this book was great. I laughed at times and other times, I shook my head. This book flew by since the writing was fast and this book is dialogue heavy anyways. Think Gilmore Girls fast. But like many good things, the banter’s enjoyment was limited. After a while, I got tired of the constant arguing between the sisters and the writing began to become tedious. It tied into the lack of development among the characters.

April, May, and June personify the stereotype of the sibling ideas: the oldest is the most cautious and mother like, the second is often forgotten and in constant need of attention, and the youngest is the baby and gets away with everything. While I am usually against stereotypes, I have to admit that this was one I could identify with. I have an older sister but I have a younger brother and because of this, I connected to May a lot more than the other two. May was a cynical and snarky as I am and I loved it. But I was sad to note that April, May, and June didn’t really develop as the book ended. While some development was evident, I didn’t think it was enough for me to care more for any of the sisters than I already did.

The plot also has holes, some more obvious than others. For one, I was sad to note that the ideas of the girls’ powers just came out of nowhere. I wanted a little more depth to how the powers affected their daily lives. For that matter, how did the powers really manifest themselves seemingly out of now where? If there was an explanation given, I don’t remember reading about it. As anyone knows, I am a big fan of romance. Yet, I like romance when it’s done right. For example, no insta love unless the author can pull it off. In The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June, there is romance and romance that made me happy. But it wasn’t as developed as I had hoped it would be. Again, this book had so much going for it but unfortunately, I felt like it lacked in the “depth” aspect.

Overall, though, I was happy with The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June. It was exactly what I needed at the time and even its faults can’t mar that fact that this is a very enjoyable read. I didn’t, in the end, regret reading this book at all. In all essence, I am extremely happy that I read The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June. It introduced me to Robin Benway and has now made me a big fan of hers!
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Ooooh, pretty colors! 
Comments: I actually like it! There are three girls on the cover for each of the sisters and some how, it's so fitting!