- Publisher: Harper Audio (Katherine Tegen Books)
- Publication date: 8/27/2013
- Format: Digital Audiobook (also had eARC)
- Read by: Dan John Miller
- Length: 7 hours 16 minutes
- Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review
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.
Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings, and a poodle that might just be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby. 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.
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.