The Beginning of Everything

The Beginning of Everything

3.74 (56,211 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.

Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before--before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

As Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review, Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green's novels.

Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming-of-age novel--a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 147 x 211 x 30mm | 431g
  • English
  • 0062217135
  • 9780062217134
  • 96,885

Back cover copy

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 and fiercely intelligent.

Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, 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, 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.
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Review quote

Praise for THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING: "Smart writing and a compelling narrator raise this book above ordinary depictions of high school drama. Efficient use of language, evocative descriptions and subtle turns of phrase make reading and rereading this novel a delight." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This thought-provoking novel about smart kids doing interesting things will resonate with the John Green contingent, as it is tinged with sadness, high jinks, wry humor, and philosophical pondering in equal measures." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Schneider shows remarkable skill at getting inside her narrator's head as his life swings between disaster and recovery." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This is a wonderfully told story. The dialogue moves the plot along at a fast pace, and Ezra, with all his flaws, is a character to whom readers can relate. Teens won't want to put this one down." -- School Library Journal

"The Beginning of Everything is a tragic romance of the best kind that leaves the reader feeling as though they are part of the story, and wishing there was more." -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

"Dazzling. Full of razor-sharp wit, a keen sense of observation, and surprisingly tender compassion." -- Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle: A Memoir and The Silver Star

"Heartbreaking and hilarious. I have no doubt that girls everywhere are going to fall madly, deeply, hopelessly in love with Ezra Faulkner." -- Sarah Mlynowski, author of A Little Bit Broken

"Smart, funny, heartbreaking, and so true it hurts...this is a book you will never forget." -- Lauren Barnoldt, author of Two-Way Street and Sometimes It Happens

"Robyn Schneider can write." -- New York Times Book Review

"It's an endearing book filled with similarly touching little moments and plenty of snappy dialogue." -- New York Times Book Review
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Rating details

56,211 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 25% (14,272)
4 36% (20,460)
3 27% (15,440)
2 8% (4,651)
1 2% (1,388)

Our customer reviews

The very thing that will be cemented into my head whenever I see this book on the shelves is the very beginning. That�???�??�?�¢??s obviously where the title shows its importance. I can�???�??�?�¢??t help but wonder if what happened is possibly true. I don�???�??�?�¢??t even want to think about it. I actually enjoy the UK version of the cover and the title is also better, but I�???�??�?�¢??m guessing for North American audiences, �???�??�?�¢??Severed Heads�???�??�?�¢?? is too brutal. That�???�??�?�¢??s the thing though, it would make me pick up that book because of it. If it wasn�???�??�?�¢??t for the blogging community and all its wonder, I wouldn�???�??�?�¢??t even have glanced at this contemporary. I had such high expectations for this one and for once they were equally met. I couldn�???�??�?�¢??t really understand Ezra�???�??�?�¢??s wit and humour, but I guess because I�???�??�?�¢??m not male. I enjoyed reading his story, and the fact that mere accident is what caused it, and his life changes makes everything so much clearer. As for Cassidy, I wasn�???�??�?�¢??t liking her as much as everyone else did. I felt she could have been a little less selfish and just learn to let go of the past. I felt she could have been a lot kinder too. I did enjoy reading about her Harry Potter uniform though. The important twist was too predictable, but I still didn�???�??�?�¢??t want it to happen. This book is such a romantic tragedy that if you are a huge star-crossed lover kind of gal, then you�???�??�?�¢??ll fall for this book. Oh and that ending..WHY? Overall, impeccable, thought-provoking writing and story telling, The Beginning of Everything is a must-read!show more
by Giselle SM
Loved Ezra's voice... Funny and captivating. Exactly what a male protagonist should be. The first person pov works well here, and Robyn Schneider the author is a great storyteller through Ezra. Ezra was sarcastic and tragic, making heavy and light of just the right things. He was brutally honest at times, but also knows how to tell the story without being gratuitous or grusome, but still getting his point across. I just loved the writing style so much! I reviewed this because I loved the synposis, the weird first name of Severed heads, broken hearts (before it changed to the Beginning of Everything) intrigued me, and especially since it was on Edelweiss, though I would have eventually bought or got from the library. Friendship with Toby was good too and hate they went apart for a while but story would have been different. Makes me think about all the little decisions that really effect so much. I adored Toby because he took Ezra right back into his circle without question. He gave him a hard time only in that I love you man ragging kind of way, letting him know by saying the opposite that he accepts him. Cassidy is the love interest in this one, and she is elusive, seems not to care what others think, just is her own person. I liked her, and wanted to know more about her, and only very little by little did it come out. I think that her and Ezra work together, and though there is a bit of insta-love it seems more at first like physical attraction and seeing a wounded part of each other's soul and connecting that way. So, it worked for me, but I can see how it might not for some others. I really enjoy the debate group too. What made this awesome was just that everyone was realistic. No one was perfect, and had their strengths and weaknesses. They were more than one dimensional as well, which is awesome. The ending is so bittersweet, because some of the things I wanted to happen and work out didn't but ultimately we see this huge character growth and development in Ezra that somehow made it all worth it. Bottom Line: Awesome witty writing style, a bittersweet character driven more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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