Title: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
Author: Robin Benway
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Source/Format: Library / Hardcover, 282 pages
Opening Sentence: “I hate being the oldest.”
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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.
Well, what to say about this book…. I can’t say I had high hopes for The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway, because I didn’t. I didn’t have any expectations at all, really, for two reasons: 1) It was the first book I’ve read by Robin Benway. 2) I didn’t really read the synopsis, so I was almost clueless about the story from the beginning. I know Audrey, Wait! is, like, the bomb-diggity… or so I hear, so I was excited to read anything by Benway. (Don’t ask why I didn’t just read that one. I don’t know.)
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June fell short for me. I liked it well enough to finish it, but I don’t know that I would ever read it again. The plot was interesting, but it didn’t read like anything new to me. My sentiments can be largely described in one sentence: “Oh, another story with people that have mysterious powers….” That was something I basically ignored because story ideas are being recycled all the time and there are more important things to consider in the case of this book. (And honestly, I have no problem with stories about people who have powers. It all depends on how the story is presented.)
I found myself a little perturbed with various plot holes throughout the book. I feel like I have so many questions that haven’t been answered. Why do the powers seem so inconsistent? Is this character supposed to be important, because she shows up a lot? Why is this girl acting like that again? It almost felt like The Process was rushed through. This is a short book (not even 300 pages), so it’s not like there wasn’t room to explain things more fully. I definitely would have liked it more if there weren’t so many strings left untied.
I was sort of lukewarm about the characters too. I was on a rollercoaster with them… liking them sometimes and having trouble standing them other times. I like the dynamics of the three sisters. Having siblings myself, I know sometimes you’re fighting nonstop and other times you’re the best of friends. I wish April, May, and June would have gotten along more often than they did. I feel like there was fighting all. the. time. Again, that’s true to life with siblings, but the fighting does subside sometimes, and it just… didn’t in the book until the very end. Though, I was able to see the love all three sisters had for each other. If there was one thing that was unwavering in Benway’s novel, it’s the love the family had for each other at all times. They were a very realistic unit in that sense.
All in all, I didn’t love The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June, but it wasn’t completely terrible either. It had what it took to keep me reading, but it was also very patchy and seemingly incomplete. I think the story could have been improved upon, therefore I think I would only recommend it to Benway fans or, maybe, really fast readers and/or people with a lot of time to read.