Review: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway

Title: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: 10.3.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Sisters, Love, Family, Powers
Pages: 282
Description (from GoodReads):
Three sisters share a magical, unshakable 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.

Robin Benway set the bar incredibly high with her debut novel AUDREY, WAIT!, but, as expected, THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE doesn’t disappoint.


Having two sisters myself, I can attest to the realistic portrayal of April, May, and June’s interactions and individual voices. I couldn’t help but compare them to my own family and imagine how my sisters or I would react to discovering that we had special powers, as the sisters in the novel discover. I’ve come to the conclusion that our reaction would be much the same, which prompts me to give Benway kudos! Her ability to write sisters so convincingly, given the fact that she doesn’t have any sisters herself, only further demonstrates her talent.


Each sister has a dominant trait that manifests as a special power, which is an extremely interesting concept. I most closely related to April, the eldest sister and worrier graced with precognition. Likewise, I also saw many similarities between the middle sister in my family and May. I found myself wondering if certain traits are dominant in relation to birth order? Would the majority of eldest sisters have similar special powers? Middle? Youngest? Benway’s sophmore novel inspired a bout of deep thinking regarding sibling roles… and some light hearted thinking about special powers.


I was expecting a romantic plot line when I began the novel and was pleased to find not one, but two! The two eldest sisters embark on romantic (mis)adventures, both having unique experiences with boys they never thought they’d fall for! Well, I suppose April, with her ability to see the future, knew what was coming, but she definitely didn’t want to admit it!


One of the reasons I count Benway as a favorite author is the genuine dialogue and humor present in her novels. To me, her writing is almost like a friend recounting a story – comfortable and filled with laughter. As a reader, it’s unbelievabely easy to find commonalities with her characters, and, for the duration of the novel, they almost feel like friends.


Grade: A-

Review copy provided by publisher.
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