Published by Katherine Tegen on August 27th 2013
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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 started out really strong and I was sure it was going to end up being one of my favorite books. However, I think what stops it from being so great is due to several different minor details that ended up being a big deal to me in the long run. I recommend reading this one if you want to read something with eccentric characters with a fascinating plot, although things sort of get off track. I found myself really enjoying Schneider’s writing, Ezra’s narration in general was memorable. Anyway, this is a good book, but not a great one.
Ezra believes that everyone has to have a great tragedy happen to them. His childhood best friend Toby got his tragedy in the form of a severed head landing on his lap at Disney World on his birthday one year. Golden boy Ezra got his when he found his girlfriend cheating on him then managed to get in a car crash that ruined any chances of playing tennis ever again, all in one evening. He finds himself reuniting with his old best friend Toby, who now runs with a very different crowd from Ezra, and is also fascinated by the mysterious new girl Cassidy.
Ezra was a charming and lovely narrator. You can’t help but love him and feel bad for him right from the beginning. However, I do feel like Ezra is more than a little bit whiny at times. His best friend Toby is easily my favorite characters. He’s a geek but in the most endearing way. Cassidy was completely annoying to me, I didn’t like her at all. I felt like some of the “mystery” to her was just pointless to the plot.
The reason why this book received three stars from me was mostly due to not connecting with Cassidy. I felt like some of her actions made no sense at all and I just wanted to punch Ezra for not running far away from her sooner. I also wasn’t at all satisfied with the ending. I would have preferred for it to have been wrapped up in a more clearcut way. All in all, I think this is a good book and I do think that most people will enjoy it. It has a lot of interesting and well rounded supporting characters that make you want to keep reading, which is an automatic positive for me. But don’t expect to be completely blown away from this book.