The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider is an unforgettable coming of age story full of humor, hope, and heartbreak.
Ezra Faulkner was the golden boy. Smart, good looking, and a top-notch athlete, it was no surprise he was the most popular guy in school. His life was perfect. Until the night his girlfriend cheated on him and he got into a car crash.
That was the beginning of everything. Suffering from severe injuries, he lost his ability to play tennis, he lost his friends, and he lost his confidence.
But Ezra gained so much more than that. He found a new hobby in debate, he found new friends, and he found a new girl.
Cassidy Thorpe was different than anyone else Ezra had ever met, and it came as no surprise that he was instantly enamored by her. Cassidy opens Ezra’s eyes and forces him to look at his old life and his new one, to realize that nothing in the world has changed except for him.
The Beginning of Everything is a coming of age story, but it’s also so much more than that. Part love story, part fandom reference treasure hunt, part high school documentary, it delves into the lives of students as they rise and fall between the social classes and wade through the politics of the cafeteria.
Review: ‘The Beginning of Everything’
The Beginning of Everything starts off as a tragic story about a boy who fell from grace because of a car accident. Although he was the most popular boy in school, you feel for him as his “friends” ditch him and he becomes the only thing anyone can talk about. It does not take long to warm up to Ezra Faulkner.
Cassidy Thorpe is another story. You don’t quite trust her throughout the book, and you always wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. She’s an enigmatic character full of spirit and knowledge, but there’s always a voice in the back of your head warning you that she’s hiding something.
The book does an excellent job of bringing these two completely different people together and making it work. The side characters are just as fleshed out and enticing as the main ones, and you can’t help but root for them all to get exactly what they want.
The writing is witty and uses a voice that is strong, believable, and relateable. The narration is full of puns and bad jokes that will make you laugh out loud, and each page is filled with pop-culture references you’ll have fun dissecting, feeling nostalgic for your childhood.
If you’re expecting a book about happy endings where the popular kids accept the “losers” into their fold and everyone comes out on top, this book might not be for you. It’s poignant and heartbreaking, at once both full of hope and full of tragedy.
By the final page, you’ll simultaneously be wiping away tears and smiling, knowing that everything happens for a reason and that maybe a tragedy is just the beginning of everything wonderful that can happen in life.