Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING by Robyn Schneider

Author: Robyn Schneider
Released: August 2013
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 335
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Format: ARC
Source: Vine Program
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
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?

Ezra Faulkner used to be the guy who had everything going for him until a car accident shattered his knee, and subsequently, his future career as a stellar tennis player. On his first of day back to school after the accident, Ezra finds himself reconnecting with an old friend, Toby, along with a few new ones, disrupting his usual social hierarchy by taking a few steps (or leaps) down in social status. But his new friends make life interesting - especially the enigmatic Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is undeniably the one who fascinates him the most, with her unique, worldly, intelligent, witty, and magnetic personality that is as entrancing as it is mysterious. A coming of age story about discovering who you are going to be once your original plans fade away, THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING excels with healthy doses of humor and realism.

I could tell within the first few chapters that THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING was going to be a delightful story. It is humorous, but also features a few serious moments. Yet, it was the characters who won me over so quickly. Ezra's new crowd is full of oddballs who make each page worth reading (They host late night movie screenings in unexpected places - how cool is that?). While budding romance is a large part of the story, I found the budding friendships to be more captivating. If you're looking for a fun book to curl up with, I'd recommend this novel. THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING is funny, smart, and the cast of characters are utterly charming.

Highlights: Ezra, while a bit too concerned with what other's think of him (oh, the joys of high school insecurities), is endearing and realistic. His personality jumps off the page and his voice demands your attention. The supporting cast also shines, especially Toby (how do you not love that guy?). I love how the ending was not quite what you would expect. The ending is not a perfect, happily ever after, and I appreciate that it is a more messy, realistic conclusion.

Lowlights: I wish the parents had been in the story more. Also, that poor dog. That was the only moment where I felt a genuine pull at my emotions. Otherwise, while I enjoyed the story and adored the characters, I did not feel an emotional connection to any of the characters or to the writing.

Rating: The Royal Library, Middle ShelfTHE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING is a great story that will make you laugh and will keep you hooked until the end. There are a few small issues, but nothing that disrupted my overall enjoyment of this story. All in all, I'd recommend checking this book out! 


  1. I haven't read a good book that's made me laugh out loud with enjoyment in a while. I think I've read a ton of serious books, and it's time for a novel like this. I really enjoy the sound of it! Wonderful review, Lea :)

  2. Your review makes me want to read this book. I like friendship stories and we don't see enough of those in teen fiction.

  3. Great review sweetie. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this book for the most part. I tried reading it months ago, but did not like the writing :\ I suppose I must try again sometime, hih. Thank you for sharing your thoughts :D