Review: The Beginning of Everything

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider 
Publication Date: August 27th, 2013
Format/Source: ebook, purchased
Rating: 4.5/5 stars 
Part of a series? Nope!

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? 

This was one of those books that I bought on a whim because it was ridiculously cheap on the Kindle store, and I had an Amazon giftcard. It sat in my Kindle app for almost four months before I finally decided to read it, and I didn't know what to expect. It had been so long since I'd bought it that I even forgot what it was supposed to be about, but I'm kind of glad I went into it blind. It allowed me to be genuinely, but pleasantly, surprised by how much I loved it. 

These characters are brilliant. The narrator, Ezra, is quick-witted and smart and charming in a way I wouldn't have expected a character like him to be. He's newly crippled, to be blunt, so he's still a bit bitter and sad, but there's really no disguising his charm. And Cassidy possesses a similar magnetic quality. I was immediately drawn to her snark and sunny personality, even though it was obvious that she was hiding pieces of herself. 

And the secondary characters were just as lovable, Toby and Phoebe especially. Toby is hilarious and Phoebe is adorable. I would not mind a spin-off about them. 

The writing is wonderful. Robyn wrote about love and tragedy with an effortless, flowy voice.  There were equal amounts lyrical prose and witty, sometimes LOL-worthy dialogue. If you need an example, there are gems like this:

"She tasted like buried treasure and swing sets and coffee. She tasted the way fireworks felt, like something you could get close to but never really have just for yourself."

Mixed in with gems like this:

“Not at all, I just don't understand how the Arch Alchemist became mortal all of a sudden."
"Because he split his soul into seven pieces and hid them all over Justice City," Toby retorted.
"You turned our comic book into a Harry Potter rip-off?" I spluttered.” 

And it is glorious. There's also some really good pop-culture references, including a couple Doctor Who ones. This book wins. Even though the characters didn't exactly get their HEA the way I hoped they would, I still loved the way it ended, and that's saying something because I need HEAs to live. 

If you skipped all of that and are just looking for a summary, The Beginning of Everything was a beautiful story of first love, feels, fun, and finding yourself (alliterations. heh.). It'll keep you turning the pages and wanting more and will occasionally have you squealing. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read.