written by Robyn Schneider
published August 27th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
genre Young Adult/Contemporary/Coming of Age/Romance
read in English/
originally titled as Severed Heads, Broken Hearts
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?
"We move through each other's lives like ghosts, leaving behind haunting memories of people who never existed. The popular jock, the mysterious new girl. But we're the one who choose, in the end, how people see us."
Ezra Faulkner was the 'it' guy, the guy you would exactly want to date in high school: A popular jock who's also the captain of a team (tennis varsity, in this case), President of Junior Class, hanging with the popular crowd... And you would want to be the popular girl she's dating. But it was all in the past, before an accident left Ezra with a shattered knees and removed all the dreams he had.
Now Ezra's suffering in silence. He sees himself as the one whose life is screwed by the tragedy; having to use a crane to walk, not talking and keeps avoiding his old buddies, fired from the tennis varsity team, cheated by his girlfriend, and all. It's horrible. All those big plans he had about getting a scholarship for college is no longer exists. He used to had all his life planned ahead, now it's all just a fragment of memory. Ezra is no longer the guy who has high confidence and happy, he's now quiet, has a lot of insecurities about himself, and feeling sad pretty much all the time.
At this time Toby, a guy who used to be Ezra's bestfriend in the past (before Toby's own tragedy strikes) comes and invites Ezra into his own crowd: the debate team. Then Ezra meets Cassidy, the girl whom then he fall in love with. Being in Ezra's head is kinda depressing since he's full of these negative vibes directed toward himself, so reading about how he falls in love with Cassidy was a relief. They do many things together, one of my favorite part was when Cassidy took him sneaking into a university class unnoticed. This experience ended up with Ezra's feeling 'freshened' and I love reading what he thought about it.
"I've never been walked out of a classroom with my mind racing with what I'd learned, and I wanted to savor the feeling as long as possible. It was as though my brain was suddenly capable of considering the world with far more complexity, as though there was so much more to see and do and learn."
I know how much fun college could be, Ezra, I know! ;)
The first pages of The Beginning of Everything was truly enjoyable. Robyn Schneider didn't waste much time to laid out the problems, and she mastered the art of writing a story from a high school boy's point of view excellently; not once I ever stopped for a moment feeling that this isn't how a boy supposed to think! No. Ezra's voice, eventhough like I said above, kinda depressing at times, but also believable, full of charm, witty and likeable (On another note, he reminds me a lot of John Green's characters. Particularly Looking for Alaska's Pudge). I instantly understand how easy it was for Ezra to be the it guy, because everyone who know this guy will simply love him. He's clearly the main factor that made reading The Beginning of Everything fun.