Review: The Extraordinaries

Book: The Extraordinaries

Series: The Extraordinaries #1

Source: I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: July 14, 2020

Pages: 405

Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository // Barnes & Noble // Indie

It has been quite some time since my last review (is this due to me completely ignoring my NetGalley books? Maybe), but now I come to you with a review of an upcoming book from one of my favorite authors! I love TJ Klune’s books, so when I saw that he was publishing his first YA novel I requested it immediately! A series about a gay fanfiction writing superhero nerd and other super powered individuals? Sounds like a dream come true! Unfortunately, I ended up being a little bit disappointed with this book. 

One thing I love about TJ Klune is how different his writing style seems to be in each of his books that I’ve read. The House in the Cerulean Sea is totally different from Wolfsong, which is completely different from the Tales from Verania series. With The Extraordinaries though, I felt like I was reading a PG version of The Tales of Verania. 

Nick, the main character in The Extraordinaries, is incredibly similar to Sam from The Tales from Verania. Not in any plot or backstory related way, but character and personality wise, it was like I was reading about the same person. Their mannerisms to run their mouths and say everything on their minds was the same, and they even had similar turns of phrases, which I understand is to be expected when the same author writes both characters, but the similarities were too striking for me to ignore. 

Me the second Nick started going on tangents

Also, much like Sam, Nick is the densest, most oblivious character in existence. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be endearing or not, but it’s just so cringey how everything goes over Nick’s head no matter what’s happening. It’s especially ironic that Nick isn’t able to figure out the most obvious of things being that he wants to be a detective when he graduates high school. 

Now I know that it seems like I didn’t enjoy this book at all, but that’s not the case. For the first 50% of the book, I wasn’t really enjoying myself. The plotline was obvious, the characters were cringey and awkward, and I felt like there was nothing really special about the book. I also have a personal pet peeve for when books reference pop culture, and there were lots of superhero references in this, so it was really not going well. 


However, towards the end, I started enjoying it a lot more mostly because the book recognized its “issues”. One criticism I had was the stark comparison that could be drawn between Nick and his friend/ex Owen, and the infamous Harry Osborne from the Spiderman comics, but this was brought up and addressed! I enjoyed the ending because it didn’t take itself too seriously, and what I thought was super obvious from the beginning ended up being less obvious. 

A few other things I enjoyed about the book were Nick’s relationship with his dad and with his friends. His father is super supportive, and it’s clear that he really cares about Nick no matter what happens. I also loved his friends, Jazz and Gibby, mostly because they have honest conversations about issues they have with each other in order to solve conflict, which I find is pretty rare in YA books.

Overall, I don’t think this is the most creative of books, and I’m personally not a fan of oblivious characters, but I think that it was okay. The ending was nice, and the epilogue got me excited for the next book! (Even though the “twist” in the epilogue was incredibly obvious from chapter 1, but oh well). 

I ended up giving this book 3.5 stars. I can tell that a lot of people will end up loving it, but it just wasn’t for me. 

Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository // Barnes & Noble // Indie

Do you like books with pop culture references? Have you read anything by TJ Klune? Are you looking forward to this book?


20 thoughts on “Review: The Extraordinaries

    1. Thank you!! That’s a good outlook to have! It annoys me sometimes because I feel like the author is putting the fact that the character references pop culture in place of an actual personality for the character. But it’s always different in every book.

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  1. Aww I’m sorry you were disappointed! I just started this last night. I haven’t read his other books yet so maybe that will work in my favour re: the similar characters making it less enjoyable! Oblivious characters aggravate me too, but it depends on whether their other traits make me love them enough to groan in frustration/facepalm…and then keep turning the page to see what they do next 😂

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    1. Aah, that’s true! I hope you enjoy it! One reason why the obliviousness really got to me was less because Nick was oblivious and more because of the fact that his friends *knew* how oblivious he was and just elected not to tell him 😂

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  2. I’m currently reading this – I totally feel the same about the oblivious characters! It’s so frustrating to watch Nick be absolutely clueless, and while I like his dialogue most of the time, sometimes I find myself thinking “who actually talks like that?”. Hoping it picks up though, because I’d had to DNF it!! Thanks for the review  🥰

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    1. The ending was definitely more enjoyable for me! Omgg, Nick’s cluelessness really hurt at times, but I guess it’s just a part of his character 😅

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  3. depending on how much pop culture i’m okay with it… but not an overload haha. i think my library got a copy of this and so i might pick it up since i like the sound of it, but i’m less certain after this review. thank you for a great post chana!!

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    1. You should definitely try it out! I think this may have been a case of just not for me, specifically because the pop culture thing is a personal pet peeve of mine. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it!

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  4. I haven’t read The Tales from Verania yet but Nick reminded me a lot of Stiles from Teen Woolf? The ADHD, the dead mother, the cop father, the ‘unavailable crush makes me crazy’ thing…
    I don’t mind pop culture references — I liked how meta it was but I can see how someone can find it cringy 🙂

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    1. Ooh, I’ve never watched Teen Wolf, but those similarities definitely check out. At some points, I didn’t mind the pop culture bits, and I did love how meta it was especially when it pointed out how Owen was just like a knock-off Harry Osborn! I think I just have this thing that makes me cringe when I see pop culture in books, mostly because of how some authors use references as a cheap way to characterize their characters.

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  5. sorry this was a disappointment, chana! i’ve been hearing more negative things about it lately (including that it had some cop propaganda in it) so i don’t think i’ll be reading it haha. but also i relate so much to hating pop culture references, like what’s the reason 😭 great review!!

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    1. Aah, the copaganda was so 😬😬 Especially because at the beginning of the book one of the characters mentions a BLM march but then spends the rest of the book glorifying cops. Omgg, yesss a kindred spirit!! I find pop culture references to be *so annoying*, like no, a character liking this piece of popular media is not a personality trait. Thank you!! 💕💕

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  6. i was slightly interested in this book before, but i just… hate oblivious characters/characters you won’t like in general, so I think I have to give this one a pass 😭 plus, pop culture references in books do nothing for me lmao. and to top it all off, i heard that this book glorifies cops & it even makes a joke about police brutality, so… yeah, not about that. i loved reading this review though, and I’m glad that you still somewhat enjoyed this!

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    1. Oblivious characters are the worsssttt. Especially when things can just be solved by having a conversation. I hate when I have to beg characters for just a little bit of communication 😭 Yeah the cop stuff was not great. At first, it was all subtle because the main characters dad’s a cop, but then there were very iffy rants about how cops are underpaid and God’s greatest gift to mankind?

      Thank you!! 💕

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  7. I’ve never had the chance to read any of Klune’s works (and I’ve been eyeing Wolfsong for the past two years now). As for the pop culture reference, I don’t mind it if the author uses it sparingly but I might miss jokes related to that pop culture since I’m not really well-versed with stuff like this.

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    1. Ooh, definitely read Wolfsong!! It’s probably my favorite book of his! Yeah, that’s one of the reasons why I don’t like pop-culture references in books so much. Because if the character’s whole character is based on pop-culture references, what happens to the readers who don’t know the reference? And how will readers let’s say, 10 years from now, understand what exactly the author is referencing in their book?

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      1. I’ll keep that in mind to read Wolfsong first 😆 // I agree with you. Readers in the future might not understand the pop culture reference. It’ll be hard to fully enjoy the reading experience.

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