Saturday, September 14, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

  • 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
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

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.


  1. I so love it when the audio makes the book better. This sone sounds fun.

  2. So happy you loved the audio version. Now I can get it to myself, too. How you described Ezra is exactly the same as other reviewers, whose reviews I've stumbled upon, have described him. He sounds like an awesome MC. 'He doesn't change to please her though, he just lets himself show because he feels like she lets him do that. ' -- that's what true love is all about. Platonic, romantic--doesn't matter. I'm so excited for this. Happy you loved it:)

  3. I've been really curious about this novel- I think I'm recieving a copy later this month from the AUS pub and it's actuallt titled Severed Heads, Broken Hearts over here. I'm glad that you loved Ezra's character! The name reminds me of Ezra from Pretty Little Liars ;D

    Fab review! <33

  4. I loved this book! I'm glad you liked it too. It sounds great on audio!! The narrators really make the story for me so it's great you enjoyed D. Miller! :)

  5. I keep seeing really great reviews for this and that makes me happy b/c I think I would really like it. I'm so glad the audio was great.
    Thanks for the review, Amy!

  6. This one sounds good. I haven't seen it around yet. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I bought this book when it released and I'm excited to read it after all the praise it has been receiving. It sounds like the perfect book for me. I love the sound of Ezra. He seems like a character that I will undoubtedly love, especially since he's not perfect.
    Lovely review, Amy! You got me even more excited for this book!

  8. I really loved Ezra too, he was so fun to read about! I didn't listen to the audio, but I think I would enjoy it as well.

  9. I'm still kinda on the fence about this book, but I do love the name Ezra, lol. I always tend to just LIKE or think "meh" with books that sound like this (Eleanor & Park, Sea of Tranquility, etc). You're making me really wanna give it a try though! Great review!

    AKA Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  10. oh wow I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! Ezra sounds like a fantastic character, and I love that he's got some humor too! Also, for an author to make you feel like you were part of the story requires some great skills! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  11. I really enjoyed this book. I think it different from what is out there. Thanks for sharing.

  12. So glad the audio was awesome for this, because I loved the print one.

    A lot of narrators aren't great at doing voices for the other characters, particularly cross gender voices. I get it, but it is a drawback.


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