Author: Robyn Schneider
Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Genre: YA finding oneself/romance
Why I read this book: I’d heard really good things about this book and a nearby bookstore owner recommended it to me
This book revolves around Ezra Faulkner who had been the most popular kid at school and star tennis player, until he got in a car accident that shattered his knee. This book follows his story of attempting to find out who he is now that he doesn’t have tennis and his old friends to lean on. It’s a beautiful coming of age story with authentic and unique moments that left me a little somber, but also very grateful.
I finished this book just last night so I’m still kind of in the processing phase post book reading if you know what I mean. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and its tone, the only complaint I would have would be that the stereotypes of high school seemed at some points to be a little over the top. In most books that revolve around high school there seems to be a difficulty in portraying “popular kids” and “nerds” authentically. In The Beginning of Everything the popular crowd seemed a little to cliche for my taste in the way that they would date someone based on how popular they were and were dumb, blonde, surfer-esque teens who only cared about going to parties and school dances, but that is probably my only negative comment on the book.
I definitely found this book to be underline worthy; there were many parts of this book where I took out a pen and circled or underlined a phrase or so that really stood out and resonated with me, and I love that when it happens. This was a book where I loved the writing style, the storyline, and the characters, but the ending made me sad which made me want to hate it and sometimes it’s really hard to distinguish you’re hate for the ending and just you’re sadness that things didn’t turn out the way you wanted to. In trying to extract my feelings from the equation I find the ending of the book to be really actually quite beautiful, even if it is sad. This book leaves you feeling happy for one aspect of his life, but then pissed off that another thing didn’t work out, argh so confusing! 🙂
In the book, once Ezra’s old life was in tatters, he struggled to find out who he was and began to realize the flaws in the life he once thought was everything. He begins to realize his whole life he’s been fitting himself into other people’s images of him and who they want him to be. He starts to see the formulaic path he was headed on and throughout the book breaks free, and becomes his own person and begins to find what truly interests him and the people who have the same ideals and look on life as he does. Now, I can’t talk about this book without mentioning the name Cassidy Thorpe, Cassidy is the girl Ezra falls in love with and helps him along his way to finding who he is and what he wants. Overall, I always had this weird feeling about Cassidy that something always seemed kind of off to me, but she definitely had her moments. I loved her perspective on life and the kind of refreshing care free and independent spirit that emanated from her character.
This story definitely had a moral along the lines of you are the one that opens the doors to different things in your life, not other people. I kind of just butchered it. But the underlying message behind the book was really quite amazing and inspiring even if I can’t properly put it into words and it does leave me feeling a little melancholy post final page. All in all I definitely would recommend this to anyone who deems a witty, adventurous and eye opening book about a boy with a can worth reading.