Thursday, August 8, 2013
Review: 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 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.
You know those moments when the stars align and you read the perfect book at the perfect time? Yeah, that happened to me last weekend. I was in a meh mood and life was just one kick in the ass moment after another...until I started reading this book.
I can already tell that this post is going to be a bunch of different rambles all with the same message. That being, you need to read this one. My emotional response to this book just stomps all over my ability to form coherent thoughts. I don't even know...the writing, the words, the characters...they just marched into my heart and decided to take up permanent residence.
Ezra. Gah, what can I say about him? I loved him from the very beginning. His struggles...I have been there. Obviously not in the same way, but the parallels...yeah, they were absolutely there.
That everyone's life, no matter how unremarkable, has a moment when it will become extraordinary-a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen.
I know my moment. The very single instance when I figured out who I was and what was truly important in life. Maybe that was my connection to this book - that having had my moment, I found myself pulling for Ezra and rooting for him as he searched for his path.
And Cassidy...I both loved her and hated her. And maybe felt a little bit jealous of her until I wanted to hug her. This vibrant tornado that appears everyday and uproots everything Ezra thought he needed to hold on to.
I loved the two of them together. The back and forth between them, the emotional connection, the cuteness and awkwardness of early relationships...perfect. And real.
There was a true balance in the writing. There were moments that were completely poetic and there were moments that were so completely high school that I found myself alternating between giggling and swooning over pretty words. Ezra and Cassidy...their life experiences have unfortunately propelled them to this level of philosophic maturity where they shouldn't have to be at 17, and then they would say something or laugh at something that would remind you that oh yeah, they were definitely still in high school.
And even when it all comes crashing down around them, it results in an ending that works.
I told you my thoughts were all over the place...
But like I said in the beginning, sometimes the book gods smile down and you read the right book a the right time. With its blend of happy and sad and funny and reality, The Beginning of Everything has a permanent place on my list of favorites and will be one I recommend forever.