The Beginning Of Everything | Robyn Schneider | Book Review

You know that feeling when you read a book and you like it more than your friends did and then you feel all weird because you genuinely enjoyed something they all seemed to dislike? That totally happened with me and†The Beginning Of Everything by Robyn Schneider. I actually really enjoyed Schneider’s contemporary literary young adult book. I think that if you enjoy more cerebral reads and books like†Looking For Alaska or†The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, books that move a bit slower and require some brain cells, you might really enjoy†The Beginning Of Everything. If not, no hard feelings it’s definitely not the book for everyone and I think that this will work for a certain type of reader.

The Beginning Of Everything by Robyn Schneider | Good Books And Good Wine

Narrated by Ezra Faulkner,†The Beginning Of Everything is essentially a book of tragedies. It is a book of heart break. Ezra believes that every person will experience a tragedy that will ultimately change them and their life course, like his former best friend Toby who, on his twelfth birthday happened to be so unlucky as to catch the severed head of a kid while on Thunder Mountain at Disneyland. According to Ezra, this moment forever changed Toby. Ezra’s tragedy, he believes, happened when after catching his girlfriend cheating on him, he goes to leave a party and an unidentified black SUV smashes into the side of his Beamer which messes up Ezra’s knee and effectively ends his reign as golden boy of Eastwood High. But more than that, The Beginning Of Everything is about Ezra’s relationship with Cassidy, a girl that I will go into depth on later. It’s also about how it takes him losing everything to find himself, as cliche as that sounds.

Given that I have lived with a male for the past five years and that for one semester in college I left my studio apartment to live in a three bedroom with two male roommates, I feel like I have pretty special insight into how boys think. So, I feel pretty legit when I say that I thought Ezra was an accurate male representation. I mean, okay there’s some things about him that make him better than the average male, namely that he reads books and thinks these deep philosophical things without being an insufferable douchebag. Like, the dudes I knew who were into that stuff were insufferable douches — like the guys who were in philosophy club and would come to our apartment to drink with my weird roommate and play magic, LOL. I mean, a few were not annoying but that was rare. Anyways. I really liked Ezra’s character and how much he matures and comes of age or whatever during†The Beginning Of Everything. I think that if you like John Green’s narrators, you will enjoy reading about Ezra.

Unfortunately, I just can’t throw my weight behind the romance. I thought the girl, Cassidy was such a manic pixie dream girl, and that sucks. Like, okay I usually don’t mind them, like I liked Alaska Young. But, I thought Cassidy was often ridiculous and selfish and really needed to learn how communication works. Also, she was sort of a rich snob. At one point she chastises Ezra for considering state schools and I’m like wow this little princess totally doesn’t understand how crushing student loan debt is, but of course these kids are all upper middle class, so what debt?! Anyways. I just found Cassidy super annoying but I got why she was so alluring to Ezra. She represents something different. She’s basically his Daisy. Or, hmmm, those females who really do come across as magical and quirky and weird and brilliant. I just couldn’t get into her, as a person. Maybe I am too grown up to think that kind of bullshit is cool? Alas. I think younger me would have been like wow Cassidy is awesome!

Where The Beginning Of Everything† by Robyn Schneider shone to me was in the writing style.†I thought this book was beautifully written. There are pages where I just wanted to fold the corner over and highlight and share with the world. There’s all these literary and music references and reading them and understanding them made me feel like I was in on something. †However, parts felt kind of like I was being manipulated emotionally — especially the ending. Fair warning, because I knew going in and you might also want to know – don’t get too attached to the dog. I thought what happened at the end was kind of cheap and fit together a bit too perfectly and it kind of made me cringe. BUT, before all that happened, I really, truly loved the prose and I think that if you are someone who reads because you like words and how they fit together and roll off your tongue, you’ll like the way†The Beginning Of Everything is written. In all, I’d recommend this to people of a more intellectual bent than to people who read for more superficial reasons. Not that there’s anything wrong with that because I totally read for superficial reasons, just don’t go in expecting swoons and a grand adventure and you’ll be fine.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher

Other reviews of The Beginning Of Everything by Robyn Schneider:

Rather Be Reading – “I didnít connect with golden-boy-turned outcast, Ezra
Pure Imagination – “has a very John Green feel to it.
Writer Of Wrongs – “you HAVE to pick up this book

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. I seriously started getting upset with about the dog on my dinner date tonight while I was explaining this book.

    Thanks for including my review! I think this book is SO interesting just because people are so divided on it and I can’t figure out why. But I will agree and see that I liked the writing, and I’m thinking of some of the plot would have been stripped away I would have had a better time connecting.

    Great review, April!

  2. You (and the others who have reviewed this) have succeeded in making me very curious about this book! There’s just something interesting about the way it’s described, plus Ezra sort of reminds me of the MC in An Abundance of Katherines (which I liked while most people didn’t). I might just have to try this one for myself and see if it works for me!

  3. I may have to read this book if for nothing else to understand your different takes on Ezra and Cassidy. The fact that you find Ezra realistic despite him being “better” than your average guy, but see Cassidy as a manic pixie dream girl trope when she seems to have some solid class-related flaws is interesting to me. Also, the talk of cerebral-ness makes me feel like I have to read it in order to prove I have a couple brain cells XD usually dog deaths are an automatic blacklist for me though, so we’ll see.

  4. This is the first review I’m read of Beginning, and I’ve been wondering how the blogger world would like this book ever since Schneider started talking about it on her Youtube channel. It seems a lot more John Green-esque than I initially thought, which can make me skeptical. However, I think I’ll still pick it up at the library. Thank you for the review!

  5. I actually really liked this book and at the end Cassidy really became an after thought for me. I mean when I reviewed this book, I actually forgot to really talk about her because I was interested in other aspects of the novel. But I think calling her a Daisy is such a good description.

    Then again, I am a bit biased because I really love this author’s makeup/fashion videos on YouTube.

  6. Wait, for real? Who didn’t like this? I gave it a 4 and I’m generally a picky reader, or so people tell me, though I like to think I’m fluffy and loving to my books but whatever. Just because I’m not afraid to use all of the ratings at my disposal I’m a picky bitch. Well, fine. Also, this might be on my mind and is totes not your issue, so I’m going to focus on the review. lol.

    Ezra struck me as a realistic guy too, even if I do not have your vast wealth of experience. Bahahaha, pretty sure you just described my close male friends in college: philosophy and Magic. lololol. I’m dying.

    Ugh, I am not a fan of the manicpixiedream girls. Like, it doesn’t work for dudes either. The whole air of mystery and whatever is to me just them being huge assholes. I hated Alaska and Margot too, and that’s why this was a 4 not a 4.5 or 5. I lose the ability to connect with the book because I’m just like “Yo, dude, get over it. Bitch is playing you for attention.” But yes, basically what you said, also props for the Gatsby reference which is perfect.

    Yes for the writing. She’s got the humor and wit of John Green with the deep thoughts and I LOVE that stuff. Like so hard. Probably makes me pretentious but whatever whatever I like what I want.
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