Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: The Beginning of Everything By Robyn Schneider

Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Published Date: August 27th 2013

Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.

Varsity tennis captain, Ezra Faulkner, was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

As Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review, "Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green's novels."

Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming-of-age novel—a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

(Synoposis Provided By Goodreads)

Ezra Faulkner was the IT boy of his small beach town. Athlete, cool kid and lady crusher - he had control in everything, until the accident. Afterward nothing was the same. The group of friends he thought had his back were quick to move on and act like nothing ever happened. Lost and not knowing what to do with himself - Ezra begins again from the very start. With old friends and new hobbies - including one Cassidy Thorpe - Ezra starts to reconsider who he was to begin with. But as things seem to move on from his accident and life looks brighter, a shocking revelation leaves Ezra wondering why did tragedy strike him twice.

The Beginning of Everything is a slow progressing read but really worth the time. It stays interesting throughout with well crafted writing and attention to details. The book takes us on a unique journey into a recovering small town 'golden boy' who was hit by a car. I loved reading from Ezra's POV! He wasn't all that serious and he wasn't a goof. He had a great pace to him that made the story develop and build suspense. I definitely recommend The Beginning of Everything to anyone in search of a serious-but not to serious contemporary read! It borders a romance/self-discovery theme!

Ezra's character offers a unique perspective to read from. It's senior year and he went through a horrible car accident that stripped him from playing tennis. The aftermath told from his POV was amazingly written. We don't suffer through it, reliving guilt and anger but rather we go on a journey of different self discovery. Ezra in a way gets a chance to figure out who he is without the title of high school 'golden boy' and it is told from a very raw perspective and somewhat relatable view. We see Ezra be embraced by others instead of struggling alone - even if he tries to stand alone away from everyone and anyone. His childhood best friend Toby is quick to take Ezra back and pick up where they dwindled off. After seeing differing paths in high school, after all that time Toby took Ezra back without flinching which was such a cute side story.

Now let me get to Cassidy Thorpe - the definition of a mystery girl. Although she seems to be quite present in the book I never knew where she stood and it was a good thing! All the way to the very end when she reveals a huge shocker to Ezra. Her decisions and actions through the book were very contrasting to the characters around her. She's worldly and thinks beyond her years which added a lot more intrigue then if it was just about Ezra's recovery and self-discovery.

Toby, Phoebe, Austin, Cassidy, and even Luke - all these characters who make up the 'other' group of kids that Ezra gets accepted into after his accident are awesome! They don't represent the rejected kids of the school and they certainly don't hold themselves higher then everyone else. It is refreshing and fun to read about seemingly regular students who are successful in different faucets of high school! Each one of them has a personality unlike anyone else which made for great friend dynamic - nothing was cliché.

I think the writing in The Beginning of Everything was very smart. The author spun the usual idea of self revelation really thoughtfully and thoroughly through the one character Ezra. His journey really comes full circle in this book and the ending leaves room for possibilities - a conclusion that was really satisfying!

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.
Great casual read for anyone looking to just looking to read. The Beginning of Everything was thoughtful and made you think but not too hard!

Is The Beginning of Everything a book that you would read? Let me know down below in the comments!



  1. I'm not sure if I would read this, I don't usually like contemporary. However, I do have Extraordinary Means by her and if I like that, maybe I will give this one a read as well! Great review!

    1. This one doesn't focus too much on a romance - I think there is a great story of learning about yourself in this book! Check it out if you have the chance!