Review: The Beginning of Everything

Posted September 8, 2014 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Review: The Beginning of EverythingThe Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Harper Collins on August 27th 2013
Format: Audiobook Goodreadsfour-stars

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.

Review: Dang. Sometimes it’s good going into a book without any expectations. I barely even remembered the synopsis of this book when I started it and never even bothered to check it out. I vaguely remembered that it was about a jock who becomes injured and is forced away to the “misfit” table. Frankly, this wouldn’t be the type of book I would like. I’m a strong believer in hanging out with whoever you want and being friends with people for reasons other than social standing. The summary is a little misleading because Ezra is much more than a golden boy. He was similar to his popular, asshole friends, while also being more intelligent and hating a lot of what they stood for. The beginning of the book is very powerful as it describes how everyone has a tragedy waiting for them that impacts the rest of their lives. It was very well-written and I was interested from the start. As far as characters go, I really liked coming to know the main players in this book. Ezra was an enjoyable character overall who grew a lot through the book. I loved Toby, who he was friends with as a child and reconnects with over at the misfit table. The one character I really didn’t like (aside from the asshole popular kids) was Cassidy. I didn’t like the way nothing was good enough for her, no matter how hard Ezra tried, and how he was constantly trying to be interesting enough for her. She seemed like this weird shell of a person, who constantly quoted authors or poets and recited information from textbooks. What even did Ezra like about her? She didn’t have a lot of unique qualities. The reader eventually finds out why she acts the way she does, but I didn’t think it was a good enough excuse for her somewhat lack of a personality. I loved the humor between the characters: the bad puns, the jokes, and their easy friendship. I wish there was a little more information about the other people at the so-called misfit table. They were discussed enough and involved in the plot, but aside from a few basic points we didn’t know too much about them. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this book overall. The novel was was so refreshing because it wasn’t like other predictable contemporaries. I had a feeling I knew how the book was going to end throughout the novel but it ended up being very different than what I expected. It was really nice. I wasn’t a fan of a certain event towards the end of the book, but there were some clues that it was going to happen anyways unfortunately. I didn’t exactly see the point behind it, though. I enjoyed the writing style of Robyn Schneider and felt like the book flowed pretty seamlessly together. I absolutely loved the “old sport” references in regards to Ezra’s dog, because my friends and I always called each other that after seeing the Gatsby movie. I would highly recommend this thoughtful book because it will make you think, surprise you, and make you smile.

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