Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

  Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

My Review:

The Beginning of Everything is a great story about love and the loss of that love.  I would have read this one quicker if I hadn't chosen to read it at a busy time.  I didn't have as much time to read it, so it took me longer.  I really liked the characters in this book, even if some of their pasts - especially Cassidy's - were hard to figure out.


Ezra is a great male POV protagonist who's dealing with the aftermath of tragedy.  He feels defined by the car accident that shattered his knee, making it so he'll be able to really play tennis again.  All the things that have defined him before in high school are suddenly gone.  Right before he got into the car accident, he had seen his girlfriend cheating on him at a party.  When he was in the hospital after the accident, his friends sent him a card and didn't come to visit.  When he goes back to school for his senior year, he starts hanging out with his old friend, Toby, a boy who was defined by a tragedy that happened to him in middle school.  He sits with Toby and Toby's friends at lunch, and he doesn't know then how much this year is going to change him forever.

One of the people Ezra sits with at lunch is Cassidy Thorpe, a girl who is new to the school and is in several of his classes.  She has came here from her old school for a reason that nobody knows.  Toby already knows her from debate tournaments since she was a champion debater.  Cassidy and Ezra become friends and then they become more than friends.  I was rooting for them to end up together, despite having read reviews that said this is a book where the couple doesn't end up together.  Cassidy seems to be afraid of getting too close to people and letting them know all of her secrets.  She doesn't want Ezra to know the one big thing that affects both her and Ezra.  Some things she says to him make me possibly not want to like her, but then I still do like her despite all this.

I liked the parts about the debate tournament.  Ezra ends up joining the debate team because Toby signs him up for it, and Ezra signs Cassidy up for it, which probably wasn't a good idea once you see how she reacts to this.  It was fun to read about the debate parties in the hotel, and how they have pretend debate tournaments there on silly subjects.  The night in the debate hotel room in when Cassidy and Ezra's relationship really begins.  They sleep in the same bed that night, but nothing romantic happens, aside from them cuddling close to each other in their sleep.  Afterwards, Ezra knows he likes Cassidy, and he hopes that she returns his feelings.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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