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The Beginning of Everything - Review by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

The Beginning of Everything-book coverThought-provoking novels that feature smart kids who like to wax philosophical are all the rage these days. Unfortunately, some authors who attempt this type of the coming-of-age tale don’t do it altogether well. Fortunately, Robyn Schneider, author of The Beginning of Everything, is not one of those authors.

Ezra Faulkner believes that there is one unfortunate incident that will happen in your life that will determine when your real life begins. At the start of the book, Ezra hasn’t had his misfortune—he’s the golden boy at school with the hottest girlfriend, all set to be Homecoming King the next year. Unfortunately, he comes to meet his beginning (his real life) in the form of a car accident. He also comes to meet his everything in the form of Cassidy Thorpe.

I didn’t think this was going to be an interesting book when I first picked it up. At first glance, it seemed like a typical story about a teenage boy who finds himself with a girl who teaches him the true meaning of life. Schneider manages to save it from being clichéd by giving us a dose of realism. She doesn’t portray her teenager characters as shallow and one-sided. Instead, she gives them layers and complexity. There are antagonists and unpleasant people, but there is nobody that could be cited as the “bad guy” of the story—or even the “good guy”. She reminds us that everybody, from the popular kids to the debate team kids, have so much more hidden beneath their exterior. It’s watching these funny, clever, and wholly realistic characters grow over the course of the novel that makes this such an enjoyable read. 

As I came close to finishing the book, I was worried I would still end up with a clichéd ending. The results far exceeded my expectations: every time I thought I saw a plot twist coming, some new twist came along and made me look at the book in a new light. Nothing in The Beginning of Everything happened the way I expected it to. It’s the kind of novel where nothing seems to add up until the end, where everything falls together.

I initially thought this book was going to be a silly tale of a teenage boy learning how to mature, but it turned out to be so much more. Pick it up at the library, or at your nearest bookstore. It’ll be the beginning of a new era in your reading life.


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