Saturday, September 27, 2014

{Book Review} The Beginning of Everything: Robyn Schneider

Rating: 86%
Series: None
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, Friendship,
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Page Count: 331
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a Friend

Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?

Fans of a quality, inspirational, feels-filled, humorous, young adult, contemporary romances
Winger (Andrew Smith), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie), Two Boys Kissing (David Levithan), These Gentle Wounds (Helen Dunbar), This Song Will Save Your Life (Leila Sales), If I Stay (Gayle Forman), 

Would I Buy It?

It's not even a question of "Will I buy this book or not?" it's merely, "Will I purchase the hardback or paperback editions?" By the end of the year, you will most certainly see TBoE in a book haul. I loved this book so much and the cover, in terms of relevance to the book, is perfection.

Background & Backstory

There are those books that are super-hyped up in the blogging/vlogging/bookish community that the rest of the world hasn't discovered yet. Then there are those books that I see EVERYWHERE around school and every non-reader and their jock best friend has read. (I say that only as a comparison and joke, not a judgement) The Beginning of Everything is the latter, and so many of my non-reader friends had read, recommended, and loved it, that it was only a matter of time until I picked it up.

My fellow student council member lent the book to me, I started reading (and put aside the book I was currently reading, I had anticipated it that much), and veraciously devoured it in 2 days with a TON of homework. 

End of back story.

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?

I go into the book knowing the ending for crying out loud, and I am still THIS emotionally effected? WTF!?! 

Cover 95%: This story could have been written by the crappiest 3rd grade writer and I would have picked it up based on its cover. So it was just a huge bonus that the story it contained was astounding as well. There is a hilarious scene that happens near the beginning of the novel, involving a roller-coaster, that could be what the cover is based off of. Instead, it incapsulates one of the most over-used, yet insightful comparisons ever about life being like a roller-coaster. And if any YA contemporary novel features a protagonist who goes on a roller-coaster, it is Ezra Faulkner.

Romance 55%: One of the most-hyped (that's not actually a phrase) qualities of TBoE is the romance and I have to admit that I was not a huge Cassidy/Ezra shipper. I never got a firm grasp on who Cassidy was and how she effected Ezra so much. Sure, I know what actions were the catalyst for how she "changed" Ezra as a person. Yet, I never knew how. It seems that I missed the "Cassidy Thorpe is one of the best female leads I have read in a long time" boat. Therefore, I missed out on why their love story was so good. IMHO,  their dynamics were better as friends and during the chase before they became a couple.

Writing Style 90%: As readers, we always know of a certain narrator that encompasses everything you ever wanted said by somebody other than yourself. Ezra Faulkner is that person for me. He spoke in such a frank, humorous, and thoughtful way. It was as if everything he said is something I would want in a pretty font and gorgeously edited background so I could pin it on Pinterest. It's not that he was a perfect person or I agreed with all of his decisions. He just had a way with words and a gift for storytelling that made me wish I knew him in real life. (By translation, I'm praising Schneider, because she obviously wrote this, and not Ezra, but she gave him life)

Ending 25%: I don't think I have ever hated an ending more than I loved a book. I also don't know if I have ever had a book spoiled for me and still been extremely emotionally effected. Well guess what, The Beginning of Everything makes history. Yay! *jazz hands* 

How Likely Is It That I Will Re-Read This Book?

Some people go to a Stephanie Perkins book to cheer them up after times of bookish hardship and hangover. Having the weird reading taste that I do, I head towards the emotionally heart-breaking, gut-wrenching reads I'm sure to love. I don't think I have given a book that high or a re-readability percent in a looong time, The Beginning of Everything is on that level of bookish goodness.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read More Books Written By This Author?

Ironically, this percentage is way lower in comparison. It's one of those cases where you have read such near-perfection that the only thing that could top it, IS perfection (impossible to attain with critical readers). I probably would give another one of Robyn's books a shot, but I would be extremely on-edge and judgmental because I don't think I could respect another novel on the same level. But you never know ;) *winky face*

Conclusion: The Beginning of Everything is the kind of book that will tear your heart into shreds and you will like it. The humor, plot, insight, and characters have no competition in the literary world. 

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