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 was the second book I’ve read from Robyn Schneider, the first one being Extraordinary Means which won’t come out until May 2015, and I’m really amazed by the way she writes. When I read the ARC of Extraordinary Means last year, I told myself Robyn has to be an auto-buy author for me. This novel just solidified that fact more.
This book tells the story of Ezra Faulkner, one of the most popular boys in their school and how he fell in love with Cassidy Thorpe, the new girl.
This book hit me just right in the feels. Robyn Schneider writes amazingly realistic fiction. It’s very relatable, funny and heartwarming. It’s as if she really understand teenagers, which is really a good thing.
“Oscar Wilde once said that to live is the rarest thing in the world, because most people just exist, and that’s all. I don’t know if he’s right, but I do know that I spend a long time existing, and now, I intend to live.”
Ezra was a very likeable and relatable character, despite his flaws and I’m not talking about his physical flaws. He might be an asshole but he really was kind and funny most of the time. He’s got an awesome sense of humor, especially the puns. His relationships with most people were unpredictable but once he realized who his true friends were, it solidifies. I also love the fact that he has a dog, Cooper, because I love dogs. I really enjoyed it when it seemed like Cooper was communicating to him with his eyes and Ezra’s trying to voice it into his head with Cooper sounding like Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. And no, I so did not imagine Leo DiCaprio as a dog. Okay… maybe a little…
Cassidy was the kind of girl that could easily be my best friend. I love her to pieces. She was really interesting, especially during the first parts of the book where Ezra got to meet her. She seemed weird and awkward but I think it’s pretty normal for someone who just transferred school. I love her wits and her sense of humor as well. The kind of friendship she had with Toby and the others, including Ezra, was really great.
“If everything really does get better, the way everyone claims, then happiness should be graphable. But that’s crap, because better isn’t quantifiable.”
The other characters weren’t flat. I love that they’re given enough dimension and exposure to not be considered as minor. Toby, Ezra’s best friend, was pretty funny as well. So were Austin, Phoebe and Luke. Their gang actually reminded me of my high school friends. I also love the fact that they’re on the debate team and the fact that they do love to geek out. I loved the Harry Potter and Doctor Who references, and possibly a huge Vampire Weekend one because the band was mentioned twice and the main character shares the same name as the band’s frontman. AND I DO LOVE VAMPIRE WEEKEND.
I loathed Charlotte’s character because I do HATE bitches with all my pure heart. She’s unnerving and I want to poke her eyes out with her own fingernails. Really, props to Robyn for effective writing. As for the other “jocks” most of them were just pretty much dumb assholes which I found actually pretty funny.
“And I realized that there’s a big difference between deciding to leave and knowing where to go.”
The story was really appealing and heartfelt. I read this one in less than 24 hours which wasn’t really surprising because I basically devoured Robyn’s other book. I have to admit though that the ending wasn’t really solid for me but the entirety of the book helped overcome that one. The book was very interesting, relatable, realistic and yes, heartbreaking. I am definitely looking forward to more of Robyn’s works.