This tragic coming-of-age contemporary novel is the first novel of the well-known internet blogger, Robyn Schneider. The Beginning of Everything is indeed a novel that follows the footsteps of John Green’s infamous The Fault In Our Stars. To tell you honestly, no one died in the book whatsoever. (Unless you count Cassidy’s brother, Owen. Oops. Spoiler. Sorry.) It is a tragic story between a cripp— I mean, injured golden boy and a mysterious girl who’s vaguely similar to the heroine in Paper Towns.
And since this is a book review, I warn you. There might be spoilers.
Where to start?
It is one of the most popular young adult contemporary novels all over the world and it has, indeed, captured many aspiring young hearts here and there. Schneider wrote an amazing story filled with ups and downs, witty comments, funny puns and heartbreaking events that are sure to take the reader to new heights. I find it quite interesting but of course, just like anything else in the world, it is not as perfect as youngsters think it is.
Let’s start with the positive points though. Schneider made sure that we, (the readers) would fall in love with Ezra Faulkner. To tell you honestly, I did. I SERIOUSLY DID. Ezra was one helluva guy to begin with. He is your typical cool, all-american, perfect golden boy. Captain of the tennis team, an honor student, front-runner for homecoming king and everything we could ever imagine. But an accident which crippled his knee turned his life 360 degrees and placed him in the bottom of the High School popularity pyramid. Along comes, Cassidy Thorpe, an enigmatic girl. Her persona is as bright as ray of sunshine but just like our dear Margo Roth Spiegelman, she is as every bit as lonely and mysterious as her. so, yes, this is where the cliche part starts. They fall in love with each other blah blah blah. But on the night of homecoming, Cassidy breaks poor Ezra Faulkner’s fragile heart. Which caused the poor boy severe depression. In the end, Ezra learns Cassidy’s true reason for breaking up with him and they all live happily— no, just kidding. Sadly, they didn’t get back together. The reason why this book is very tragic.
For me, it is very Shakespearean. (YES IT IS AN ADJECTIVE) Their love story is quite common yet there’s this distinct quality about it which makes it different from other books. It is not the typical happily-ever-after tale that everyone thinks it is. It is a misleading plot line so I must warn you, if you think Cassidy and Ezra will end up together and get married and ride unicorns and live on the other end of the rainbow, YOU ARE VERY WRONG. It is a heart-rending narrative that will literally move you to tears if you put your heart into it. It is tragic in a way that is still a bit satisfying in the end although the star-crossed lovers didn’t get their happy ending. The ending still suits the whole book though piteous and tragic.
On the dark side of things, I think it is a bit overhyped and quite lacking in some departments. It lacks this “oomf” factor I usually see in most YA novels. It is, to be particularly honest, not as memorable as other YA novels. Yes, the tragedy that took place in the book is quite unforgettable, but all in all the book seems easily forgotten in terms of storyline. The characters, on the other hand, are indeed unique. Not the typical ones you meet in contemporary books. This, I think, is a big factor in the novel’s blatant success. The characters made the story a tad bit better. IT practically hauled the whole image of the book to a higher level.
All in all, It was a very amusing, nostalgia-inducing, touching yet tragic novel that enamored millions of teens worldwide. I give it a rating of 8.5 out of 10 stars and I highly recommend everyone to read it. (I still think Cassidy’s reason for breaking up with Ezra is implausible but we can’t have everything we want now can we?)
Till next time!