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About the Book

How far will you go for a second chance at life? Extraordinary Means is
a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare
miracle of second chances.
Seventeen year-old Lane finds himself at Latham House, part hospital
and part boarding school for teens suffering from an incurable strain of
tuberculosis. Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where
its easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.
But when Lane encounters Sadie, a shy loner girl he knew from summer
camp, he realizes that she has transformed into a sarcastic, fearless and
utterly compelling young woman. Joining Sadies group of eccentric
troublemakers, Lane finally steps out of his linear, boring one-track life,
gradually becoming one of them. Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal
internet, and sneak into town, and disable the med sensors they must wear
at all times. But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at
Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group
begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down.

Discussion Questions


1. C
 ompare and contrast the atmosphere vs. the physical
environment at Latham House.

7. D
 escribe Charlie. Was his obsession and dedication to finishing
his music was a foreshadowing of his future?

2. E
 xplain Sadies stunt during her and Lanes French class
exercise. Why did Mr. Finnegan get upset?

8. W
 ould you argue that Lane and Sadie were given a second
chance during their stay at Latham? Explain.

3. W
 hat are your thoughts about Hannahs college application
topic? Do you agree with Lanes reaction?

9. C
 ould Sadies outcome have been different? How so? What
series of events would had to have changed?

4. S
 adies group is considered to be the troublemakers and outcasts
within a world of outcasts. Do you agree with their approach to
their sickness? Is it a positive or negative one?
5. D
 o you think that the groups rebellious antics (the drinking,
escaping into town, etc.), although detrimental to their physical
health, is somehow beneficial? Why and in what way?
6. A
 re peoples preconceived notions and fears (like the men
outside the bar at the Halloween carnival or Michael) of TB
accurate? Why are they so scared? Do you agree when people
say that it is the infecteds fault and not the infections? Discuss.

10. C
 ompare and contrast the groups dynamic in the beginning
and at the end of the book. Did they all realize that TB was
a bigger threat to them than they ever could have imagined?
Do you think they werent taking their illness seriously or with
precautionary measures?
11. W
 ere their attempts at trying to live normal, teenage life their
biggest mistake? Why or why not?
12. I f you were in Lanes position, how would you live your future?
What would you do?

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