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The Beginning of Everything

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Incredible book, though it wasn't quite what I expected

    Incredible book, though it wasn't quite what I expected

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2014

    I guess I'm a sucker for happy endings. I like it when life work

    I guess I'm a sucker for happy endings. I like it when life works out in a neat little package wrapped in red ribbon and blue paper, and I find the warm, gooey center filled with sugar and jam. But sometimes life kicks you in the ass, staples your forehead to the living room carpet, and then swipes your lunch money.

    While it would have been easy to call this novel cheesy, and then add a bit of sap and honey for good measure, I don't feel as though that truly sums up THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING. Of course, if that's how you would like to view it, and then move on with your life, I can understand where you are coming from, and respect your decision. But I do think you have to dig a little deeper on this one, and pull out your backhoe (that you just happen to have lying around) instead of your shovel.

    When I did this, I discovered a world where Ezra Faulkner had a big head on his shoulders, and brushed off all the folks who could have helped him make a difference. But then his leg was shattered in a tragic accident, and he was forced to reinvent himself. Rather than crying over his iPhone, and watching House reruns, he got his crap together, and took the racket off his shoulder. And I respected and admired his decision.

    Cassidy Thorpe might have more than a few pairs of boy shorts and button down shirts in her possession, but she's beautiful on the inside and out, even if she has a slightly different perception of herself in the bathroom mirror. And, yes, I may have looked at her with a bit more than just fond affection.

    I sucked this novel up through a straw in three days' time, and the teenager inside of me (and all of us) was more than happy with my decision. The romance was beautiful and thrilling, even if it kicked me in the pants at the end, the dialogue was intriguing and spot-on, the pace proved to be both intriguing and interesting and just about right, and the characters were just odd and awkward enough to help me reminisce my high school years.

    If you'd like to rediscover your teenage self, then you might want to take a peek behind the curtain, and see what this particular book has in store for you. You might just be glad you did.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014


    I loved the plot and how bit just kept going

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  • Posted September 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book was so great!! Besides that, the audio made it better

    This book was so great!! Besides that, the audio made it better for me. This book sucked me right in and held me close throughout! Starting off with a tragic accident, it instantly had my attention. I then slowly, but surely became totally wrapped up in Ezra's story and his life. I loved the friendships formed, and even the friendships lost. I felt a true sense of how it really is in high school, so it felt very real to me. This could have been anyone's story that I was reading, not a fiction tale. I actual started to feel like I really knew the characters by the time I finished this book. The audio just made it that much better. Also, a note on the title. This book was originally going to be titled Severed Heads, Broken Hearts which was fitting, but I think that The Beginning of Everything is a perfect title and fits the book really well.

    Ezra was a character that you can't help but love. Well, I couldn't anyways. I loved his humor and he was really a great guy. Yes, he made some not so great decisions, but who doesn't when you're that age. He isn't the stuck up popular guy, even when he is popular. After his accident, he isn't himself, but he doesn't let it destroy him. He still keeps his sense of self. He is still a fun person. He still wants friendships that mean something. High school is a tough place though. Trying to find his place between being Mr. Popular, and being with his old friend Toby (and new ones) is a fine line that he's not quite secure walking. He does mess up, but ultimately he knows what is right and wrong, and who is really a good friend.

    Cassidy is the other main character in this. Cassidy is like his new start. She is different, not afraid to speak what's on her mind, and still quite mysterious too. She makes him want to open up and be himself, not what other people want him to be. He isn't afraid to do that around her. He doesn't change to please her though, he just lets himself show because he feels like she lets him do that. She was his stepping stone in a way. I loved watching their relationship grow.

    The reader captured Ezra perfectly. I thought that his voice matched his character well. I wasn't a huge fan of the female voices or a few of the other male voices, but it was easy to tell each character apart. Since this is largely Ezra's story, I have to say that this reader was a great choice though. I think he really brought the book to life.

    This book had so much to offer. The plot was wonderful and the character growth was incredible. Robyn Schneider sure writes characters that you can easily relate to, connect with, become friends with. I felt like I was making friends right along with Ezra. When things weren't going well, I ached with him. I felt the story all around me. I was part of it. I thought the writing was beautiful, and even though it was emotional at times, the humor kept it from having too much of a serious feel. It was a fantastic combination of awesome! I will be looking out for more books from this author!

    * An audiobook copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

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  • Posted August 31, 2013

    This is one of those stories where I can honestly say I was hook

    This is one of those stories where I can honestly say I was hooked from page one. Here, let me give you a little looksie at how this story begins:

    “Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their nose at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster. That everyone’s life, no matter how remarkable, has a moment when it will become extraordinary – a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen.”
    Yep, completely and utterly hooked.

    The Beginning of Everything is told from Ezra’s POV. Ezra has suffered a huge tragedy that has forever changed his life. As the future tennis superstar and prom king, with the prettiest girl in school on his arm, Ezra, the Golden Boy, had it all. He was the most popular guy in school, and he knew it. After the horrific event he’s forced to reevaluate himself and his future life, and accept the fact that things will be forever different.

    “The way I see it, everyone has a tragedy.”
    This story really made me think. It’s true… everyone seems to have something, a life-changing incident or “tragedy”, that really makes you who you are. I know mine. It’s nothing like what Ezra went through, but it’s a form of “tragedy” that I went through that shaped me into who I am today. Because of that, I really connected with this story on a personal level.

    I absolutely adored the characters in this story. Ezra, as our MC, immediately melted my heart. I felt for him, for both his loss physically and mentally. That’s a lot for a teenager to go through, and the way his feelings and his thinking were displayed through his conduct and dialog was perfect. He was so strong, yet vulnerable. He was a prime example of suffering in silence.

    Cassidy, the debate team star from another school, was so different from the other girls at Ezra’s school. There’s a mystery surrounding her, which really helped carry the story in a great direction. Toby, which we discover in the first chapter also suffered a horrifically graphic tragedy himself several years ago, proved that you can learn and grow when bad things happen, and become better because of them.

    The fact that this story was told from Ezra’s POV really brought it home for me. He had such a sarcastic and witty nature about him, I couldn’t help becoming attached to his character. His mere demeanor was laugh-out-loud funny! I wish I knew Ezra in real life… we would definitely be friends. :)

    I enjoy “real” stories. Everything’s not always rainbows and butterflies. And because of the realistic nature of this story, I loved it until the bitter end. It had all the feels. A coming-of-age story about personal growth and learning to make good things out of the bad. Fair warning – grab a few tissues!

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Beginning o

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
    Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
    Publication Date: August 27, 2013
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    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? 

    Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

    What I Liked:

    This book was totally not what I was expecting! I remember when I requested it from Edelweiss - I think it was one of the first books I requested, and one of the first books for which I was approved. So, I've had this one for quite some time! I wasn't feeling contemporary novels for a while, but eventually, I pulled myself out of my contemporary funk, buckled down, and started this book.

    I immediately found that I really liked the hero (male protagonist) of the story. This book is told in first-person point-of-view - in Ezra's point-of-view. Somehow, I missed that before I started reading, and was a tad bit confused at first. But a few pages in, the narrator is identified as "Ezra". Well, you all know how much I like reading books in the male's point-of-view. This book was written exclusively in the Ezra's point-of-view!

    The story begins with Ezra's accident, which leaves him with barely any use in his legs. At a party, his girlfriend broke up with him, and when he was leaving, a black SUV drove straight into Ezra's car. He can walk, but only with a cane. He cannot play tennis anymore. When school starts, he fins that things aren't the same between him and his tennis friends. So, he becomes friends again with a boy that he grew up with, but no longer hung out with for quite some time.

    Toby, the friend, is part of the Debate team, and so are his friends. So Ezra goes from being labeled the popular, Golden boy, to the crippled nerd. Enter Cassidy, the new girl, who was the rival school's top debater. Cassidy and Ezra slowly build a relationship, starting with both of them unknowingly signing up for the debate team.

    Cassidy and Ezra's relationship is beautiful to watch, but there was always something about Cassidy that bothered me. Ezra knew she was hiding something from him, but he can't help liking her. They enter a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, and they go on the debate field trip, and they hang out like a normal, wonderful couple.

    The addition of Toby as Ezra's friend is perfect and awesome! I loved Toby's role in this book. All of Ezra's new friends are welcoming and nonjudgmental, and they do and don't expect much from Ezra. Ezra's old friends expected him to hang out with them like a normal day, but obviously, he couldn't play tennis with them. And don't get me started on his weird ex-girlfriend.

    The climax of this book is not surprising, as Cassidy's strange behavior merits, but the ending is slightly heartbreaking. I absolutely love the ending, but it's a bit sad. I think all the characters got what they deserved (good or bad). I'm happy with the way this one ended!

    What I Did Not Like:

    I just found this one a bit boring, but it seems like not much happens. I like seeing the progression of Cassidy and Ezra's relationship, but I feel like this book was solely based around their relationship and Cassidy's big secret. Nothing else really matters in this book, which is kind of annoying, because I wouldn't call this book contemporary romance. Contemporary, yes, romance, eh. I just wish there could have been more to the plot, you know? It seemed to simple and boring.

    Would I Recommend It:

    Sure! The "romance" part of this book isn't steamy or chemistry-filled, but this book is a great contemporary read that delivers an amazing and powerful message to its readers.


    4 stars. I really liked this one, and I hope you do too!

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    Posted March 28, 2014

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    Posted March 22, 2014

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    Posted June 25, 2014

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    Posted September 19, 2014

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    Posted September 16, 2013

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