Review: Extraordinary October

Thursday, October 6, 2016
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Title: Extraordinary October
Author: Diana Wagman
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: IG Publishing
Purchase Links: 

October is an ordinary girl. From her plain looks to her average grades, there seems to be nothing special about her. Then, three days before her eighteenth birthday, she develops a strange itch that won’t go away, and her life is turned upside down. Suddenly, she can hear dogs talk, make crows fly, and two new and very handsome boys at school are vying for her affections. After she starts “transplanting” herself through solid rock, October learns that she is not ordinary at all, but the daughter of a troll princess and a fairy prince, and a pawn in a deadly war between the trolls and the fairies. Now October will have to use all of her growing powers to save her family, and stop a mysterious evil that threatens to destroy the fairy world.

In the fantastical vein of authors such as Julie Kagawa and Holly Black, Extraordinary October takes us on a magical journey from the streets of Los Angeles to the beautiful and mythical underground fairy kingdom.

Extraordinary October reminds me of Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series with all the feel of fairies and magical kingdoms. However, there were less magic involved and it was a surge of emotions from all the characters. I’ve read some books with plots involving fairies and other mythical creatures, but it’s the first time I’ve read something like this, and I really like the idea of October being half-fairy, half-troll. While the plot seemed predictable for me, I still liked its idea and I think that it’s a good light read. Extraordinary October may be full of action and several things happening at the same time, but it’s easy to keep up and doesn’t feel hurried.

Wagman did a great job in portraying high school, and the feeling of not being able to belong anywhere or being the subject of meanness from others. However, it became hard for me to like October’s character since I found her to be very insecure and at one point, I just found myself being slightly annoyed with her decisions. I kept on anticipating for the time where October will transform to a more confident person, but I just found myself not liking her even more as the story went on. Also, it seemed like October’s lack of reactions to what is happening around her made me also feel harder to connect with her, since it felt a little bit unbelievable.

Also, I feel like the ending is something that is appreciated by others, but I felt a little bit of unsatisfied since I was hoping for something else. In the end, Extraordinary October started with an introduction of how October sees herself as someone very ordinary, and it seemed like this notion of hers didn’t change a lot. Because of this, I found myself a little bit put off by it since she mentioned it often. For me, it didn’t seem like the case and I wanted to see how October would have arrived to the conclusion that she can also be extraordinary in her own way, too.

Despite this, I like how Extraordinary October has a touch of romance, but did not really dwell on it very much. I like how the story leaned towards dealing with growing up and learning how to accept oneself instead, which felt more heartwarming to see how the characters grow as individuals and how the relationships transform. In the end, while Extraordinary October may be something different than other books with fairies and mythical creatures, I think that this one is probably for a younger reader than me.

I have always written and always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t think I could make a living at it. So I became a mime. (You can imagine what my father had to say about that.) I worked on the streets of NYC with two partners, stopping traffic in front of the Met and annoying tourists. When, to my great surprise, that didn’t work out, I returned to school in film–thinking screenwriters made a living. And when I had ten scripts and my agent had stopped returning my calls, I wrote a novel. I did it just because I wanted to love writing again and not think about selling or casting or marketability. That novel was Skin Deep, and it’s a testament to writing from your heart that the first person to read it, bought it. I’ve been trying to write from the heart ever since.


Giselle said...

Great review, Pauline! This sounds like a fun read overall! :)

Tanya Florencio said...

Sounds like it could be a light, fluffy and cutesy read :) I am glad you liked this book!

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