February 27, 2014

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Katherine Tegen (Originally Published July 4, 2013)
Publish Date: August 27, 2013
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 5/5 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.

The first thing that came to my mind when I picked up this book was how awesome the opening paragraph was. It discussed tragedy, and how everyone has one waiting for them, which will inevitably set off everything in your life that matters. First of all, I love the idea. Secondly, the way the opening was written was just gorgeous. Basically, I knew I was in for something good.

This novel did not disappoint. The characters were everything I look for in a well-developed story. You didn't have to go searching for who they were - it was all plan to see, right there on the page, and the author didn't even have to state anything obvious. You just knew. From the way they talked, what they wore, what kinds of things they liked to do in their spare time. And the most important factor: from the way they reacted to specific situations.

I loved Cassidy. I'm sure many people hated her by the end of the story, but I take a certain liking to the lost ones, the characters who don't know what they're doing or where they're going to end up. I take a certain liking to the characters who make huge mistakes without turning back. I don't know why, really. I've always found them interesting. Cassidy reminded me a bit of Alaska from Looking for Alaska by John Green in that way, but on a slightly less depressing scale.

Actually, this book was extremely similar to John Green's books, just as I'd been told. I was skeptical at first, but I can now say with confidence that it's true. If you've read and liked John's books but haven't picked up The Beginning of Everything, I don't know what you're waiting for.

The plot didn't consist of anything mind-blowing, but it was structured well and had an even pace. And the plot twist in the end, when Ezra is clearing things up with Cassidy... Needless to say, I didn't see it coming. Not at all. And even though it was a really sad and upsetting plot twist, I loved it. It was brilliantly simple and completely heart-wrenching.

Also, a fair warning: you know those books where something happens to an animal? Like a family dog dies, or something like that? Yeah, this is one of those books. And I cried, because I can never handle when an animal gets hurt in a book. I didn't cry only because of that - there were many other sad sections, I assure you - but still. Just so you know.

Overall, this book was written so simply and yet it was brilliant. It was filled with observations on life as well as hard truths about high school and what it means to be a teenager. What it means to be human. If you're a fan of John Green and/or YA contemporary, this is a must-read.

4 comments:

  1. I read The Beginning of everything a bit ago but I felt that it didn't live up to all the hype that I'd heard about it. For some reason I predicted all of the big plot (including the twist!) so that made it a bit disappointing to me

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    1. Yeah, I can understand what you're saying. Some books work well for one person and not as well for another.

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  2. I love John Green's books!!! So obviously I NEED THIS ASAP. I looove that cover too. But the best thing, for me personally, is when the characters jump off the page and are pure awesome. I love that. The book always sticks with me for way longer if I relate/love the characters.

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    1. You definitely need to pick it up! It's such a great book. This one will stick with you for sure.

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