The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published: August 27th, 2013 by Katherine Tegan Books
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.
This book has a lot of things I really love. A male narrator, a quirky love interest and a whole cast of great characters. I also love that its a sort of in-between novel. It's not super heavy reading, but it's not fluff either. There are plenty of 'issues' in the book without it being an 'issue' book. It had funny parts, sad parts and parts that made me angry. It brought out a full range of emotions and I enjoyed that.
I really liked Ezra a lot and it's amazing that a female author has created such a realistic (feeling) male character. He felt very real to me and very genuine. We see some before stuff right at the beginning of the book, and then we see when he's become the most popular boy in school, and then we see him after his accident and when he starts to realize he's someone else (not literally). We watch as he struggles to find himself, but there's not really any crazy epiphany or dramatic scenes. Ezra is a pretty calm guy and kind of a go with the flow sort of person. He did okay with the popular kids so he had stuck with them, but now he's kind of seeing that that's not him and he doesn't really even like them that much.
The characters in this book were all great. I love a full cast of well crafted secondary characters and this book definitely had it. Cassidy was a quirky girl that we knew was full of secrets. I found myself trying to figure it all out and while I had a decent idea of a twist, that twist had a twist. So I didn't exactly predict, but I was close. Cassidy was someone that was fun to read about but in real life girls like her are really stressful. They put out this exterior persona to hide themselves and you just never really know them. For that reason I felt very bad for Ezra because I knew there was going to be some drama at some point (and what kind of story would it be without any conflicts or drama?). The ending was a sort of in between one, it was kind of a HEA, but yet kind of not. I felt pretty satisfied with it though and I feel like it was realistic, which is what this book needed.
The book felt a tad slow in parts, but I was never bored. It's kind of 'quiet' story I guess, with just a few 'louder' scenes. But it's a fun journey and I enjoyed taking it very much!