Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Sometimes I go onto the OverDrive app that my local library has and I browse all the books. And on some occasions, I find books that I like because of their cover picture...this is one of those cases.

Summary: (back cover) I don't usually take the back cover summary, but I liked it for this book.

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.

My Feelings:
I was a bit hesitant when I first started reading this book. I mean, I've read a lot of teen fiction and a lot of it deals with high schoolers dealing with high school drama. This book is the same but with an added twist. It has a sorta who-dun-it aspect to it which I loved.  
Ezra is a smart, popular high school kid who has everything he could ask for. After finding his girlfriend in a less than attractive position with another guy, Ezra leaves the party of the week only to find himself in the hospital days later. What happened? Ezra was hit by a black SUV going way too fast. His knee is shattered and Dr's tell him he will never play sports again. Ever. So goes the tale of how Ezra went from popular stud to debate club nerd. He reconnects with his once best friend, Toby. Who is probably the best character in the book with his book smarts and quick wit. Cassidy, Ezra's love interest is something else. She's mysterious but I'm not sure it's a good way. It's rather annoying. And then, poof!, she doesn't want anything to do with Ezra. It's crazy. Charlotte, Ezra's ex-girlfriend, is the epitome of high school slut. She will open her legs for any guy. I didn't like her- it was like reading about Mean Girls. 
The whole story revolved around how Ezra is pitiful now because of his injury and because he can't play sports. Almost like, if you can't be a jock you can't be anything. Which may be true in some schools. Ezra joins the Debate club because of class schedule rules and is good, no great, but good. He can hold his own when needed. Cassidy, you find out, was a debate champion, who quit all of a sudden last year for no apparent reason. She starts training Ezra to be her protege so she doesn't have to participate anymore. Ezra and Cassidy become a couple all of sudden, no words discussed, just it happens. You find out that Cassidy had a brother- he's the reason that Ezra is injured. It's very sad really.
This book did remind me of Eleanor & Park because of the relationship between Ezra and Cassidy. I give props to Schneider though for her humor and having smart high schoolers portrayed. It was great. I loved how she had geeks in the forefront as the winners and the ones you wanted to be friends with for a lifetime. 
It's a good read. Great humor and reads fast.

4 out of 5 stars.