If I had to sum up the entire book with just one quote it definitely would be the one above, because it’s so accurate and describes the vibe and energy of “The Extraordinaries” so well. I mean the entire book lives of Nicky trying to become an Extraoridinary and his friends trying to keep him out of trouble during this endeavour. And let me tell you this: It was hilarious to read this book! I so rarely laugh when I read a story because I usually tend to read about more serious topics and have a deep love for morally grey and problematic broken boys. So I guess it’s safe to say that my books are mostly pretty sad, thought-provoking and tough to read.
“The Extraordinaries” however had me gasping for air and wheezing from laughter. Seriously at some parts my hubby gave me a raised eyebrow because I was chuckling so hard he couldn’t help but wonder about my reactions. But honestly, I just couldn’t with Nicky and his antics! That boy was so, so, so damn funny and I loved to explore that side of T.J. Klune’s books. “The House in the Cerulean Sea” already hinted at Klune’s great humour but it excels in this series and takes it to an entirely different level. I legit laughed tears!
Despite all those hilarious scenes Klune still managed to bring in his typical brand of serious topics and thought-provoking issues and I really love this about his books. No matter how funny they are, they always have a solid core and it wasn’t any different with “The Extraordinaries”. The plot might have been less intense than the story line of “The House in the Cerulean Sea”, this doesn’t mean that it wasn’t fun to read about Nicky and his friends, though. I really loved them all and I can’t wait to dive into my character section! I have lots of things to discuss so come along for the ride! ;-P
Welcome to Nova City! One of the few cities that actually has two Extraordinaries fighting against each other! To live here can be dangerous and there might lurk spoilers at every corner. I wouldn’t count on Shadow Star or Pyro Storm to save you so if you can’t handle spoilers you better leave our nice city asap! Consider yourself warned!
”His dad had been a cop for longer than Nick was alive and had instilled in him a sense of duty. Of honor. You protected those who needed it. And not that Gibby needed it, exactly, but the principle was the same.”
Oh, Nicky! Where do I even start with him? *lol* That boy is chaos walking on two legs and I loved him so much for it! Like, he has a heart of gold and all the right intentions but the way he goes about reaching his goal to become an Extraordinary… it was so. I have no words. Nicky is such a chaotic, precious, endearing, naive, reckless, fierce, oblivious and iconic character! Honestly, I’d love to be friends with him just to see what he’s going to do next. Haha! AND to try to save him from himself because boy, does he need it. XD I’m just glad he already has Gibby, Jazz and Seth. Also I totally liked how Klune tackled the ADHD and grief rep through Nicky’s character. I don’t have ADHD so I don’t know if this rep was accurate but the way he described how Nicky felt was very understandable and I got a good impression of how it might feel to have ADHD. So for me it was a good rep. As for the grief rep: Amazingly done! And this says a person who just recently got a degree as a grief counsellor. Nicky’s grief after losing his mother, him missing her and trying to fill that void that was left after she died. It was on point and I really felt for him and his dad. I always like it when grief is explored in books and Klune definitely knows what he’s writing about. Kinda makes me wonder if he experienced grief like this too or if he’s just amazing at doing research. Either way Nicky’s character was so realistic and multi-layered that I couldn’t help but be charmed by him. I love Nicky and I really hope to see lots of fluff for him in the next book. He deserves it!
”But that doesn’t mean you still can’t be a good person, right? Just because you did something wrong doesn’t mean that’s who you are. And even if you keep doing the wrong thing, you can still be saved. Maybe they just need someone to listen to them, to hear the storm in their heads.”
”I can do this,” he told her. “You don’t have to help me if you don’t want to. And that’s okay. But I can be more than I am. I can become something better. Something more.”
She looked troubled. “Why do you have to be an Extraordinary to be better? Why can’t you just be extraordinary with what you already have?”
„It was the look. Like Nick had spoken too much. Or had gone too far. Or had said something so stupid and crazy and out there that it was impossible to understand how such words could have come out of a normal, sane person. Yeah, Nick had gotten that look from many, many people in his life, but never from those he loved.
Dad. Seth. The two people he counted on most.“
”There were days when everything felt like it was dialed up to eleven, and he didn’t know how to stop it, no matter how hard he tried. For the most part, he’d accepted that some people were born to be Extraordinaries, and some people were born to be medicated so they didn’t spin out of control. Fair? Not really, but Nick was learning that his brain could do things that others couldn’t. In a way, he had his own superpower, even if it was called a disorder.”
”It’s not a game,” Seth snapped, slamming his hands on the table. Nick struggled not to move away. “And even when you try your hardest to do good, there are always going to be people suspicious of your motives. Wondering what you’re really trying to do. And it doesn’t help that there’s going to be some jerk who appears out of nowhere and thinks he’s your archnemesis, and does his best to make everything worse.”
I think the first thing I have to say about Seth is that he is so damn PRECIOUS I can’t even!!! The way he was looking after Nicky and tried to help Owen even though he basically did everything possible in order to antagonize him. And then the entire world thinking that he’s the baddie in this story?! My poor, poor baby! I gotta be honest here: I always knew that Pyro Storm and Shadow Star were Seth and Owen. I mean it was so obvious! How couldn’t Nicky see that? *lol* The plot twist however kinda threw me, because just like I was supposed to I actually thought that Seth is Shadow Star. So kudos to T.J. Klune for misleading me like that. Also I can’t believe Seth just watched Nicky moon over Shadow Star for so long and even helped him with his fanfic?! Like OMG! That man is so altruistic and good! Still, in retrospective it was extremely hilarious to think of all those tidbits when Nicky admired Pyro Storms thighs in his fanfic. Haha! I can’t wait to see in which kind of direction the second book will go with him.
Nicky & his dad:
Nick barely stopped himself from throwing his fork at Dad’s head. “Why are you like this?”
Dad grinned at him. “Because your adolescent angst brings me joy as a parent.”
THOSE TWO!!! I swear their father-son relationship gave me life! *LOL* I burst into laughter whenever they were on page together and I had chuckle attacks that just wouldn’t stop and lasted for minutes! Minutes! Their interactions were so hilarious, yet extremely wholesome at the same time. You could see how much they loved each other and how hard Nicky’s dad tried to be a good parent for him. His job as a cop didn’t make it easy to be there for him but he really did everything possible to make it work. Also Nicky seemed to be a pretty challenging son at times (alone the things he did in this book. *lol*) and it couldn’t have been easy to raise a child alone after his mother died. After all his dad had lost his wife too, so he wasn’t only grieving as well but also had the responsibility for a young child that depended on him. If you ask me Nicky’s dad is a hero! Truth be told, I so rarely read about good parent-children relationships in YA books and books in general so this was amazing and I was a happy camper. Nicky’s dad tried, he really did and that’s more than most of the parents in other books do. Most of the time they are just standing on the sidelines and not even an active part of the story. In Klune’s books they always play an important part for the MCs though and I just love this! Can’t wait to see more of their hilarious interactions in the next book, now that Nicky and Seth are a thing it will be fun to watch them. But I’m not gonna lie, I’m also worried because sooner or later Nicky will find out that his father didn’t just lie to him but also suppressed his superpowers and I’m really afraid of how this will turn out. It’s such a breach of trust that it will be more than just tough to swallow. T_T His dad might have the best intentions but still…
”I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment to you,” Nick said bitterly, wiping his eyes.
“Dammit, kid. First it was Owen, and I let it go. And then it’s this – this Shadow Star, and this weird obsession you have with him. I just don’t – why do you have to be this way? Why do you have to be the way you are?”
Nick knew the power of words. He knew that sometimes when they landed, they exploded with the force of a carelessly tossed grenade.
„Nick knew his dad loved him, and oh, did he love him fiercely in return. When Before became After, when he went from two parents to only having one, he’d become almost obsessive about keeping his dad safe and healthy and whole. Losing one had almost destroyed him. Losing another would finish the job.“
”Yes, Dad, oh my – I mean no, I’m not having sex, why would you even say that?”
“If it were with a girl, I’d be telling you the same thing. Wrap it, Nicky. Always wrap it before you stick it anywhere.“ He tilted his head and squinted at his only son. “Or if it’s stuck in you. It don’t matter to me one way or another. What’s that called? Bottoming?”
Nicky & Seth:
”Sometimes, Seth worried too much about nothing at all, and it frustrated Nick to no end, because it meant there was something making Seth feel bad that Nick couldn’t tear apart with his bare hands.”
I’ve rarely seen such a love disaster! *LMAO* But boy did it entertain me! I just couldn’t with them! Nicky’s brain is so hilarious when he’s flustered and I can’t believe he didn’t realize Seth’s love for him. That boy would have done anything for him and vice versa. The way they both watched out for each other and how their world seemed to revolve around each other! HOW COULDN’T THEY SEE IT?! I think everyone in the book already knew and yet Nicky was so damn oblivious. Haha! It takes a special brand of obliviousness not to realize how besotted Seth was with Nick so I was extremely frustrated with our adorable moron! *lol* And I have to give special thanks to Bob Gray here because without him spelling it out for Nicky that boy probably would have never gotten it! XD Still not over Bromeo and Dudeliet! I laughed so much I cried tears. ARGH! My babies were so awkward but bless them and their feelings for each other. Their relationship only started at the ending of “The Extraordinaries” though so I’m ready to see how they are going to act in “Flash Fire”. Some part of me is secretly hoping for even more cringy moments because I just love them too much. T_T
”Seth was what he needed, though, and he’d been late, but then the door had burst open, and he’d stood there, cheeks flushed, chest heaving, eyes wide as he searched the living room until he found Nick. Nick made a wounded sound, wanting to get to Seth as soon as possible, but unable to move his arms.
Seth knew, though.
Somehow, he’d gotten Nick upstairs and put him to bed, climbing in behind him and curling around him protectively. Nick remembered thinking that he was safe, then. He was safe, and though everything Before would now be After, Seth was there with him.”
”And then the most extraordinary thing happened, something that caused all Nick’s thoughts to come to a screeching halt.
Seth leaned down and kissed his cheek. Nick felt the quick, hot pulse of breath against his skin, the scrape of lips and then- He turned slowly to look up at Seth.
Seth, who looked horrified by what he’d just done. “I- uh- Holy crap, I’ve got to go.”
Nick stared at him in horror. “That’s not going to happen. I’m going to be with Seth forever.”
Bob’s lips twitched. “How… expected. And if he said the same to you?”
Nick blushed furiously. “I. Um. That would be. Neat?”
“Oh, so I guess the fact that he’s in love with you would –“
”O … kay,” Seth said. “Thanks. I think.”
Nick nodded so hard, he felt bones crack. That probably wasn’t good. “Yep. Just looking out for my best bud. My bro. My brotato chip. My pot-broast. We’re just Bromeo and Dudeliet.” Nick actively forced his mouth shut before he could make things worse.
Jazz & Gibby:
”Now, here’s how this is going to go,” Jazz said, apparently able to ignore the fact that everyone in the cafeteria was staring at her. You didn’t mess with Jasmine Kensington, especially not during lunch. And if you did, you certainly didn’t insult her friends at the same time. “You’re going to apologize. And after you apologize, I will let you go. If any of that sounds too much for you, we’ll see how far your fingers can bend before they snap.”
Gosh, I loved those two so much! ❤ First of all I’ve to point out how nice it is to see an f/f couple as side-characters that actually are an ACTUAL part of the plot. I’m so tired of authors using LGBTQIA+ quota side characters to be able to claim that their books are diverse. *looking at a very particular author here* So to have Gibby and Jazz in this book was so refreshing and extremely satisfying. They are real characters that have their quirks and own thoughts and I lived and breathed for it. Plus their relationship dynamic was amazing. They weren’t just a great couple but also always there for Nicky and I really appreciated this. Also Jazz is such a badass! How could you not love that girl? I can understand why Gibby fell so hard for her because this girl is a freaking QUEEN!!! <333 The way she handled this tragic loser at lunch break? Well, Gibby wasn’t the only one who felt some heat. Okay, let’s stop here before it gets uncomfortable. Haha!
„Aside from the emotional trauma that will probably rear its head when I’m thirty-seven and working at my cubicle in a dead-end job that I hate, just fine,” Nick babbled, unsure why the words coming out of his mouth were the ones his brain deemed necessary to speak out loud.
„I’m fine,“ Gibby said mildly. „Any trauma I might have had is being washed away by the tragic comedy occuring right in front of me.“
Nick shrugged. “A lot beat up.” He swallowed thickly, trying to stay in control. “I didn’t mean to leave.”
“I don’t think anyone’s mad at you for that,” Gibby said. “And if they are, they’ll have to get through Jazz and me first.”
“I can beat up men twice my size,” Jazz said. “I got your back. And your front.”
Owen & Nicky:
”Who punched you?”
Owen smirked at him. “Careful, Nicky. You’re beginning to sound like you care, and we can’t have that, can we? I already broke your heart once. Don’t think we need to do it again.”
Okay, Owen was an ass in many ways but he still was a very intriguing boy and I found it so interesting how Klune played with his character. When you read about Owen in his real life you automatically know that he’s the baddie but as an Extraordinary you thought he was the hero? That was such a good plot twist and I can’t help but admire Klune for what he did there. Good vs. bad and bad vs. good. So well-done. Owen’s relationship with Nicky is pretty fascinating as well and I’m fairly certain that Owen actually loves Nicky in his own weird and twisted way. I mean he wanted him to become an Extraordinary and tried to help him with reaching his goal and I doubt he did it out of pure malice. No, Owen is more complex than that and there are more ulterior motives at work. Very curious where his story will head.
Owen threw his head back and laughed. “Oh, Nicky. Never change. I’m sure it was painfully awkward and so, so sweet. But why in the hell would you want to be an Extraordinary? It seems like such a big responsibility.” He reached out and traced his finger along the back of Nick’s hand. “Think you could handle it?”
I loved this book so much and after reading my second T.J. Klune book I can say that he’s becoming one of my favourite authors pretty fast. At this point I’ll just auto-buy every Klune book ever and be happy with it because I know he won’t disappoint. “The Extraordinaries” was an extremely hilarious book that still didn’t shy away from serious topics and themes. For me Klune is legit one of the best authors out there and the fact his books always have wholesome friendships and relationships only makes me love them even more. Not to mention a really healthy dose of LGBTQIA+ reps which I’m always so grateful for. Highly recommended if you want to have a good laugh! I can’t wait to pick up “Flash Fire” next year!