Review: The Beginning of Everything

10:52 Cilla P 0 Comments

Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Periplus Bookstore
Synopsis:

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 new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

Review: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

"Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster. 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'd never even heard of The Beginning of Everything until my sister decided to buy it while we were book browsing. It popped up on my Goodreads dash afterward as a 'What's Trending in YA' book, so I assumed there was hype around it, but that was the extent of my knowledge of it. I'm glad for it; this turned out to be another reading experience where I went in with little expectation and ended up pleasantly surprised.

When I started, I thought it was going to be your run-of-the-mill YA with a bitter male lead and the girl who saved him. It isn't. Ezra is angsty, yes, but he didn't wallow so completely in self-pity. The way his emotions and identity crisis was written was smart; I understood why Ezra made the choices he made, even when he made bad ones. The unfolding of the romance was predictable, but I loved its conclusion. I'm not sure I can really go into it without spoilers, but I think I can say that I adore how this book is about Ezra's journey of self-discovery and that Cassidy wasn't his salvation.  

My absolute favourite thing about this book is the cast of characters. The blurb on the back of my copy said that there's 'no doubt girls everywhere are going to fall deeply, madly, hopelessly in love with Ezra Faulkner'. I didn't fall in love with Ezra; I fell in love with Toby Ellicott. Toby is witty, kind and wonderfully weird. I'd love to talk about his friendship with Ezra, but that again might spoil the story. (If you have read this book, talk to me!) Then there are the rest of the debate team. Each of them are unique and fun, and quite importantly, of diverse backgrounds. I was pleased to see that there were more than one Asian character in the group; it made the setting feel more real to me. These kids were all relatable in their experiences and personalities, and the book is most vibrant when they were together. (All the Harry Potter references didn't hurt either, to be honest.)

All in all, it was a fun book to read. Though it was mostly unsurprising, I found myself unable to put it down.

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