Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Beginning of Everything: by Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider is a book about a boy named Ezra Faulkner. He's the definition of a parents wet dream; that is until his world comes crashing down on him... Well its not the world it's more like a car. Ezra use to be a star tennis player, the most popular guy in school, had the most popular girl in school as his girlfriend, and makes pretty good grades. He's living the high school dream until he walks in on his girl friend cheating on him at a party; where he gets in his car to leave and then immediately gets into a car accident. The crash shatters both his knee and dreams. His friends don't seem to get that he can't be the person he use to be. He can't play tennis, can't keep up with the wild pranks, and parties they go too... Oh and on top of all that his now ex girlfriend is dating the his replacement and friend... Sounds like the end of the world right? Well then you should know it's just the start of it. Ezra meets the mysterious riddle talking new girl Cassidy. Ezra is thrown into a world where he no longer knows who he is. He throws himself into school work, a debate team, and an old friendship. Thankful to have Cassidy to distract him from the accident and life in general by dragging him around on her endless adventures he soon realizes she might just be what he needed to get out of his accident funk. He'll soon learn that life isn't always about living up to others expectations it's about living up to your own. 

 I would like to thank the book gods for this book, because after reading so many fails in the contemporary ya field finally one has stepped up and won my heart... 

First off the cover of this book is beyond perfectly witty (Once you read it you'll know why). Second, again, I can't believe I liked a contemporary read. Third this book was like eating a handful of Valentine's Day candy; it was so sweet. TBoE will have your sides splitting and you hooked within the first few pages... Don't believe me? Well feast your eyes on this snippet from page four:

  “What the news reports didn't say was how the kid's head sailed backward in its mouse-ear hat like some sort of grotesque helicopter, and how Toby Ellicott, on his twelfth birthday, caught the severed head and held onto it in shock for the duration of the ride.
     There's no graceful way to recover from something like that, no magic response to the "getting head" jokes that everyone threw in Toby's direction in the hallways of Westlake Middle School.”

Think I made my point. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE...
The characters in this book felt way more realistic than I could have imagined. Ezra's character development is off the charts along with his amazing level of sarcasm. I almost felt like a proud mama bear watching Ezra become a man over the course of this book. TBoE is full of razor sharp wit and took me by surprise with how compassionate it is. I imagine it's hard for a writer to really make a character develop so much in one book but Robyn Schneider makes it look effortless. Her writing style mirrors that of John Green's and definitely has the same tear jerker effect on people. Character development isn't the only thing that is strong in this book... The overall writing style and silver tongue that Robyn uses throughout this story is insane. The debate scenes and childhood flashbacks will have you dying of laughter. Oh and if you like vampires, witty  comebacks, and Harry Potter you'll enjoy this story as well.  

 The only downside(s) of this book was a rather predictable ending. I figured it out about half way through, but it still didn't stop me from getting teary eyed or enjoying the story till the
end. The only other thing was Cassidy... She wasn't my favorite female character. I did like her and Ezra's relationship; it was truly loving and sweet...but I found myself being annoyed with her. She keeps telling Ezra to be himself, to learn who he is, to tell her who he wants to be, but then gives nothing back in return. I guess I was just hoping she'd have as much development as he did. Basically by the end of the book I wanted to throat punch this B. As far as the sub characters in this book, they are as amazing as Ezra especially Toby. (Oh Toby you cutie you! I just wanted to pinch and kiss his cheeks!)

This book has a great pace, and is a nice new spin on a coming of age novel. I wont give away what happens at the end, even with its predictability, I was still happy with how she left the characters and the stories. TBoE is a perfect rainy day-cuddle in a snuggie-drinking hot coco book.  This was a light and fun read, and something that if you haven't had the chance to pick up you should definitely set aside and afternoon to do so. 

8/10 Stars  

-Angela