Remember how I lurved Audrey Wait!? Needless to say I was pretty excited to pick up Robin Benway’s new novel, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June. Would it be as funny? Would the characters be as real and memorable? Would I laugh out loud and want to shut myself away until every last page was read? I’d say, overall, yes, yes and yes. Benway is still right up there on my list of authors of feel-good, clever, funny YA books, with folks like Maureen Johnson, Ally Carter and E. Lockhart. You’ll want to read it, for sure.
April, May and June are sisters. They have just moved to a new town after their parents’ separation and they are about to begin a challenging year: new school, new friends, new lives. Oh, and the reappearance of special magic powers. That’s right. April can see the future. May can turn invisible. June reads minds. The girls are less than thrilled that their childhood powers have made a comeback, and they prove to wreak a little havoc with their relationships. It turns out, however, that their abilities will bring them together in ways they had never expected.
Benway’s smart humour is back in this book. While I didn’t laugh out loud as much as I did with her first book, there are great laughs to be had here. Each chapter is told in the voice of a different sister, and there were very few moments when I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to double check who was narrating. Their voices are well-differentiated, and their personalities unique without seeming like Benway was trying too hard to make them come off as different. May stood out for me as the most memorable, sharp and hilarious of the girls. I would like a whole book just about May, please and thank you. Her chapters were my favourite. I didn’t feel that the climax was as dramatic as the build-up was suggesting it would be, but things still satisfied me in the end. It’s really all about sisterhood. And not in a sickening way, I promise. Fantastic cover too. I love the bold colours and the simple design. It works. For more on the cover, visit Melissa Walker’s blog for the cover story. Be sure to visit Benway’s daily music blog for all sorts of songs connected to April, May and June.
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June is published by Razorbill.