Monday, August 11, 2014

A Review of 'The Beginning of Everything' by Robyn Schneider

"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 on 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 that 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 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."

Robyn Schneider is a YouTuber as well as a writer.  I've never read her other books, but I was still very excited to get my hands on this book.

This book reminds me of Jerry Spinelli's Star Girl, but fast-forwarded to their Senior Year of high school.

It took me a while to like Ezra.  It took Cassidy to make Ezra interesting enough for me to take seriously and to actually care about.  This both makes me happy and sad.  I'm happy because Ezra turned into a wonderful character.  He had a better idea of what he wanted for himself and what kind of person he wanted to become.  He not only became an interesting person to read about, but he also becomes a character who is interested.  His interest was piqued when he attended the college courses with Cassidy.  He participated in debate and was fairly decent at it (definitely not the best, but probably not the worst).  He is great at history.

I'm sad because all of these things take away from Cassidy.  She is a vitally important character, but you kind of forget that she made Ezra because you hear directly from Ezra who is dealing with his own problems and not getting a ton of information about Cassidy.  Cassidy is a mysterious prop for Ezra.  She's there and we're conscious about it as readers, but she's this wispy, mysterious, impossible to get kind of character.  I want to know more about and hear more directly from Cassidy-- just like I want to hear more from and know more about Star Girl.

Overall, I liked the story, but was a little disappointed with character interactions.  Enough where my complaints about them have dominated this review.

I give 'The Beginning of Everything':
Thanks for Reading!


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