Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen; 335 pages
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 week we have another guest post review! This time it's from my friend Keira. Enjoy!
Have you ever read a book that didn't seem memorable, but found yourself remembering? Every once in a while I thoughtlessly think about Ezra Faulkner and his theory on tragedy, and I'm reminded just how much I really liked The Beginning of Everything.
Seventeen year old Ezra had it all; he was president of his junior body class, captain of the tennis team, drove a Beamer and dated the most popular girl in school. From page one Schneider drew me in with imagery, setting forth a series of events that lead up to Ezra's single encounter after which everything that really mattered happened. With cheeky puns and prose that reside somewhere just below lyrical, The Beginning of Everything rocketed into my top five favorite books of the year.
Admittedly, when I first read the synopsis I wasn't on board. I bought it because it was on sale for five bucks, and the girls on Goodreads were raving about it. When I think "tragedy" there are a hundred devastating scenarios that come to mind, not one of them Ezra's circumstance. As an adult, one no longer young enough to be considered "young", I was certain there wouldn't be anything I could relate to; Never did I depend on a sport to carry me, I didn't rule the school, and my parents certainly never bought me a Z64. I was wrong.
The characters of this world were, for the most part, likable. There weren't any chronically-blushing-damsels, who seem to be so trendy in the YA/NA genres. My personal favorite was Toby. Years after his friendship with Ezra dissolved Toby remained loyal, proving just how wrong Ezra is about, well, most things. His personality reminded me quite a bit of Patrick from Perks of Being a Wallflower, whom I also loved. Come to think of it, the majority of Schneider's characters seemed oddly familiar. The names Alaska, Augustus, Ethan Wate, and Regina George come to mind. I've heard her writing style compared to that of John Green and I just didn't see it, though, being an avid fan of John Green's work that could be because I'm biased. My least favorite was Charlotte, but she wasn't written to be likable. She's a mean girl, a plastic, so keeping that in mind even her character was solid.
This book was about so much more than a boy fallen from high school hierarchy to no-man's land. Ezra Faulkner had demons to deal with before his tragedy ever struck. Have you ever felt like you aren't the person you were meant to be? Like if you had it to do over you would, in order to live up to your full potential? What Ezra and Schneider call a tragedy, in the case of Ezra, I call a blessing.
Funny, thought provoking, and heartbreaking, Ezra's journey was a pleasurable little read. I gave it a solid five stars.