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Review: The Beginning of Everything – Robyn Schneider

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General
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Released 2013
336 Pages
$6.31 (Paperback) / $14.24 (Hardcover)

Plot Summary
This novel focuses on Ezra Faulkner, a popular boy who was cheated on by his girlfriend and struck by a car handicapping him from his career as a tennis player. He stumbles upon recovering from this accident and reverts to a different group of friends in his senior year of high school. He also meets a girl named Cassidy Thorpe, and their relationship remains as a focus of the novel.

Favorites
One of the first things I wanted to mention was how this novel is narrated by the male protagonist. I find this not as common, mainly due to the fact that most YA romance novels are narrated by the female lead.

Spoiler Alert
I liked how it was different, although the general flow of things were pretty cliche, the ending really hit the spot. It broke my heart, but it was beautiful. The main thing I look for in a novel is a good ending. A great book is ruined by a bad ending. Schneider definitely did a great job with thinking out of the box and ending the novel this way.

As Cassidy said, “Not all nice things have a happy ending.”

Not-so-faves
I had a very hard time finishing this book. I read this book for almost 5 months on and off until I finally finished it. I found that there were a lot of “fillers” that I honestly just didn’t enjoy. The pace of the book was slightly slow and it was hard to remain focus on it for too long. I felt like if it was a bit more concise, it would have kept me more engaged.

Spoiler alert 
I didn’t really like Cassidy Thorpe. I usually always like the main female lead, but something about Cassidy Thorpe was just unlikable for me (It might just be a personal thing). Also, the ending also broke my heart a little (I guess in a good-bad way). I love happy endings and this one just broke my heart. The ending remained split for me, I loved it, but I hated it.

Rating:
4/5 Stars

Final Thoughts
Giving this book a numeral rating was fairly difficult. As I was reading the novel, thinking about how I felt about it, majority of the novel felt like a 3~3.5 for me. However, the ending was what made me decide to rate it a solid 4/5. I guess, Cassidy and Ezra just didn’t click for me throughout the novel. I liked Ezra, but Cassidy wasn’t my favorite.

Another point I’d like to cover is their relationship… Just as I started to fall in love with the idea of  Cassidy and Ezra, they shattered my heart to pieces. It just wasn’t cutting it, being a typical romance novel. However, the ending was fully unexpected, but I felt like it served a bit of reality to the novel.

A fairly common theme for YA novels and coming of age novels is a “happily ever after” ending. Although I love happy endings, in life, not everything has a happy ending. I like how Schneider sent a different message to her readers. It’s not all about “that girl” or “that boy.” Ezra became who he is because he did. It was not entirely dependent on Cassidy’s presence in his life, and he learned that by the end of the story. This is why I felt satisfied, upon putting my book down after the last page. The ending paragraph, I felt, tied it all together for me, it made sense that he and Cassidy didn’t wound up together, it made sense that he lived on without her. It wasn’t necessary for that relationship to be the center of his life. He wanted something else, he wanted ‘to live’…

“Oscar Wilde once said that to live is the rarest thing in the world, because most people just exist, and that’s all. I don’t know if he’s right, but I do know that I spend a long time existing, and now, I intend to live.” 

Thanks for reading my review! If you have any other books you want me to review please mention them below. For now, I’ll have to decide on what to read next 🙂

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