Title: The Beginning of Everything
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date published: August 27, 2013
Varsity tennis captain, 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 unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.
As Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review, "Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green's novels."
Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming-of-age novel—a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
It started out pretty strong. I was quickly pulled into Ezra's world. This kid who pretty much ruled his school's entire life changed because of one thing. He's struggling to figure out who he is in the aftermath.
When the book got to about 60%, I realized the only character I had any connection with was Toby. If everyone had one friend like him, the world would be a much better place. Ezra and Cassidy just never felt real for me, not that I disliked them. I felt no attachment. Nobody else stuck out to me as more than a background character.
There's a lot of foreshadowing, so it's easy to pick up what is going on, if you're the type that doesn't like to have things sprung on you. It also takes away a lot of drama, so you don't have to worry about all the feels.
Then there's the last 20%... I don't want to say what it is, because spoilers, but I almost stopped reading at one part because it was ridiculous and devoid of facts - in an offensive way. In fact, as soon as I read it, I sent Sofia a message saying, "That was bullshit!" When I picked it back up, I almost immediately face palmed. It was kinda like reading a Nicholas Sparks novel, a whole lot of drama with no emotions behind it.
I feel like the story does have a good message behind it. True friends don't abandon you when your knee gets smashed in. But it's told in a way that - I feel - tries too hard "not to be cool". Yes, this story is a hipster.