Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Release Date: Available
So I’ve written about five beginning sentences for this review, but they’ve all contained expletives because I have such strong feelings about this book that a simple “Oh wow, it was really really excellent,” doesn’t seem to be working. So let’s just leave it at, damn. This book truly was really really excellent. My thoughts are kind of washing-machining around in my head so I’ll try to be a bit organized as I explain why everything about this book and its author is awesome.
The Beginning of Everything is told from the point of view of Ezra Faulkner; Ezra is a popular tennis player and a shoo-in for homecoming king until he gets into a car accident at a party over the summer, leaving him to begin his senior year walking with a cane and a much-diminished social standing. He starts hanging out with his old friend from middle school, who introduces Ezra to the debate team. There, Ezra gets to know Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is new to the school, but not to debate – she’s a competition pro, but she no longer wants to participate. However, when Ezra and Cassidy accidentally find themselves both signed up for a debate competition, they begin a friendship, and, eventually, a relationship.
Both Ezra and Cassidy have such complex characters; author Robyn Schneider manages to create people that seem so very real, in all of their strengths and weaknesses. Readers will like Ezra, because he recognizes that his old friends are jerks, but still feels occasional twinges of longing to be back in the coterie of popular seniors; they like Cassidy for her sharp wit and genuine enthusiasm, but get frustrated by her mysterious identity. The book culminates with a shocking twist and the unexpected ending left me so full of feelings (yes, all of the feelings). And I have to mention the awkwardness – all romantic relationships have some degree of awkwardness, and Schneider captures this perfectly. There’s this one scene… you just have to read it. I couldn’t even believe how realistically awkward it was – just excellent.
Don’t even get me started on Robyn Schneider – she is pretty much the female version of John Green. Not only does her novel have the same authenticity and original feel as all of John Green’s, incorporating romance without turning it into a romance novel, per se, but she even vlogs on YouTube (check out her channel here). Basically, she’s one of my new favorite authors and YouTubers and she’s just awesome in every way.
The Beginning of Everything is one of my new favorite books. I want to read it again and again, because it gives me something new each time. This is an absolutely amazing book, for both male and female young adult readers, especially those who like John Green. If this book was a test, it would get 101%. Please read it. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.
Review by Katie
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