Book Review – ‘The Beginning of Everything’ by Robyn Schneider … written by Casey Carlisle.

ImageFrom Goodreads:

“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.”

 

ImageThe Beginning of Everything was a very easy read – the fastest out of all the YA I’ve read so far. I loved the book, but fell short of falling in love with it.

Robyn Schneider’s style is somewhat understated (matching the masculine point of view), dealing with massive real world problems without the fanfare; which summed up my feeling towards the whole experience really – it lacked something to turn it from poignant to fantastic. The best way to describe the story would be to say the whole novel is a turning point.

Ezra Faulkenr and Cassidy Thorpe are some of the strongest, most compelling characters I’ve read. Both were realistic, following their own paths (which just happened to intersect for the entirety of this book. I was impressed at how, through Ezra’s point of view, we discover that everyone has their own personal tragedy and whether we get to share in their story or not relates to how close we are in orbit around each others lives. At a glance the two main characters are somewhat typical of this genre: your jock-become-outcast and the nerd-alternative girl falling in love… but the way the story is told is completely unique.

ImageEven though I found the plot predictable, it was a welcome change to the bulk of recent YA reads: no fantasy or high stakes drama – this is about life! I felt is also shines a light on the misconceptions of adolescence, and how the things they value mean very little in the grand scheme of things. I know many who either loved or hated the book blamed the ending, and I have to admit, it was one of the highlights for me (and that’s all I’m going to say – no spoilers here).

I’d recommend to add this to your collection, it is well written and a welcome break from vampires, or post apocalyptic worlds. And unlike many other ‘real-world’ novels it’s storyline is simplistic and fresh, not dwelling in a tragic event, but rather, in its aftermath.

 

 

Charming and bittersweet and gets 3 out of 5 kisses from me.

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© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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