Hello and welcome back!
If you hadn’t known, 24th March is World Tuberculosis Day. So to commemorate this day, I would like to recommend a great book that centers around Tuberculosis, also known as TB. The book in question is Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider. ”A darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances.” [Young Adult Fiction]
But first; what is TB? It is a contagious infection caused by bacteria that mainly affects the lungs but also can affect any other organ. It often requires lab tests or imaging to diagnose a person. This disease can last for several months or years and may be preventable by vaccine. It is contagious because it can be transmitted through direct contact just like Covid-19. TB can be dangerous and life threatening if left untreated therefore urgent medical attention is very, very much recommended. Symptoms include persistent cough (which lasts for more than 2 – 3 weeks), cough with blood in sputum, fever for more than 2 -3 weeks, sudden weight loss, night sweats and loss of appetite. You can learn more about TB by clicking here.
So let’s get back to the book. Extraordinary Means is about Lane, after being diagnosed with TB, was sent to a sanatorium for teens with a similar fate. It’s like a boarding school but since it’s also a quarantine center, the only way to leave is when you have fully recovered. Some teens never do.
There he meets Sadie and her friends, an eccentric group of troublemakers who, after a while, makes Lane realize that there’s more to life than giving in when you get sick. That illness doesn’t have to define you and falling in love is its own cure.
The author writes about how they dealt with personal and social obstacles caused by TB. She shed light on the medical, psychological and physical aspects as well, giving insight to readers who may not be familiar with TB like me. As an author, I can imagine the amount of research she did prior to writing the book and I appreciate that very much.
Plot-wise, I was embracing for a Fault In Our Stars type of ending but I was caught off-guard at the plot twist and I actually cried. Or maybe I’m just too emotional? I don’t know. But what I do know is that these characters share a handful of valuable lessons; one of them is not letting your circumstances stop you from doing anything you want. Just like Sadie.
Overall it’s a great book that also highlights TB, hence contributing in raising public awareness on this contagious and fatal disease. I’d rate 9/10.
See you in my next post 🙂