Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider; Review.

Book Details:
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (27 Aug 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062217135
ISBN-13: 978-0062217134


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? 

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Some books I plan to read - but never do. And then there's books that I'll randomly pick up, and before I know it, it's 3:22am and I'm writing this review. Rewind a few hours, and you'll find me posting a picture on twitter of my plans for the evening,  that includes reading Beginning of Everything on my kindle. This book broke my heart a little - which meant I loved it.

Post car crash, we see start with the main character, Ezra (a name I love by the way) reeling from the way his life has just been flipped upside down. Classed by the author Schneider the “golden boy” – which is your basic teen, who is popular, well liked, plays a regular sport and that places him in the “it” crowd. Throw in cheerleader girlfriend and you have yourself the cliché high school scenario.

But then Schneider winds us away from the typical teen setting and instead takes us on a journey with Ezra, who narrates his own tale as he shares how he no longer knew where he really stood in high school. It’s not about his old friends pushing him out the group, but rather Ezra decides for himself that he doesn’t belong. Instead, he takes refuge with an old friend, in the form of Toby, who brings him in to the world of nerds and the “other” side to high school.

Schneider draws out many eccentric characters - not your typical dorks who get bullied, but rather intelligent, genuine and passionate people who just sit on the other side of the fence. As Ezra slowly gets to know them, and the adventures they themselves get up to, he starts to see that there’s a lot more to life, a lot more to high school, and his own existence.

As for the romance? Enter Cassidy. Cassidy was a mystery and though as a reader you might already know what it was that held her back, we see Ezra take on this oddly beautiful girl, who’s smart, witty, unpredictable, and everything he realises he’s been looking for.

With witty writing and an easy flowing dialogue, we travel alongside all these characters, as they form who they are. Most of the book really did have me snorting out in laughter at 1am, and smiling at my Kindle like a fool. The ending was one I didn't see coming, especially the last 50 pages. The impact from the unravelling secrets that tear our characters apart, really do shock you. Is there a happy ending? I won’t give that way for you, but all I can say is, that though my heart ached a little by the time I had finished it, I really wouldn’t wanted it to have finished any other way.

This book can be classed as contemporary fiction, yet there are bits to it that Schneider highlights for us, that is very much real, and for that I rate Schneider and this wonderful book.


“There’s a word for it,” she told me, “in French for when you have a lingering impression of something having passed by. Sillage. I always think of it when a firework explodes and lights up the smoke from the ones before it.”

“That’s a terrible word,” I teased. “It’s like an excuse for holding on to the past.”

Well, I think it’s beautiful. A word for remembering small moments destined to be lost.”

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