The Beginning Of Everything
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.
I had been wanting to read this book since before it came out, so I was super excited about finally getting my hands on a copy. I have a hard cover copy of this, meaning that it’s called the beginning of everything, because the UK (which is where I order my book) paperback is called Severed Heads, Broken Hearts. This was the original title of the book but was eventually changed before being published in the US. I read this book in just a couple of hours and I really liked it. A lot. The first chapter just reels you in straight away, which is just grand.
The characters in this book were good, but not always super likeable. Especially golden boy Ezra, sometimes he just felt a bit pompous. But this was worked into the story and it was his coming of age story, so I didn’t mind too much. He also had a very authentic voice and it really did feel as if we were reading this book from his perspective(in the way that it felt like a real male teenager). A thing that I did notice was that the less popular crowd consisted of a lot more well-rounded characters than the popular crowd. There were definitely some pre-labeled jocks and cheerleaders in this book. It would have been nicer if they had been pictured a bit more multi-dimensional. But besides that I was a big fan of the inter-character relationships. To me they made a lot of sense and it’s a nice way to get readers invested in the story. This coming of age tale was very good in being what the name says: you just see the characters in this story grow into something more.
This coming of age story felt very well paced. There were never really any moments in the book where I just wished things would move a little faster. This is a real strong point for a YA book in this genre, because they can have the tendency to lull in certain points of the story. The writing was very enjoyable and I found a lot of Robyn Scheinder in this book as well( I follow her on YouTube, and this book just feels so much like her). She is definitely aware of the situation teenagers these days are in, especially technology-wise. And there were so many references to pretty much every current fandom out there. I think this really made the book more relatable than most. And did I mention the puns? There are just so many good puns in this book, if you are a fan of them (which I happen to be).
What I liked a little less was when we found out what Cassidy’s secret was. It was just a bit too predictable to my liking. I had figured it out a lot earlier than when it finally was revealed in full. But I did enjoy the true ending of the book which left me with a good feeling of this book. And I liked the message this book was giving people.
So if you’re in the mood for a strong coming of age story with an authentic voice, pick this book up and let me know what you think.