“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.”
I was given a copy of this book by a friend last summer when I had nothing to read. I wasn’t expecting much from the book I just knew that it had been compared to John Green. Personally I thought it was going to be something that I enjoyed but didn’t love. I have never been more happy to be proven wrong by a book, I thought it was a fantastic read and once i had started I couldn’t stop.
The Beginning of Everything follows Ezra, once the popular boy in school who won tennis championships, was crowned prom king and obviously had the prettiest girl in school. However after an accident everything he once knew got turned upside down changing everything. Enter Cassidy a confident and intelligent girl who recently moved to town. Together they create the bond formed by a brokenness they’re both feeling. A missing puzzle piece in their life that they don’t quite understand.
From the moment I picked up the book I fell in love with the character of Ezra. He was a teenager who had everything, or at least that’s what he thought. The book is written and worded so perfectly that you can feel no only his pain but the challenge he has to face in accepting that he’s not the same person after his accident. I personally felt that Robyn Schneider created a real teenage boy with normal flaws and insecurities that most people have.
The book deals with friendship and in my opinion it was one of the most important aspects of it. When something tragic and shocking happens that changes your world you find out very quickly who your real friends are. The novel also deals with romance, this is where Cassidy comes in. I really loved this character a lot. She brought this fun energy to the book which I personally felt was what Ezra needed, especially at this point in his life. Cassidy has her own demons that are weighing her down. Yet another reason why she was a perfect fit for Ezra. They came together with this bond that makes so much sense as you read. However, I did find Cassidy’s past pretty predictable it didn’t make the book any less enjoyable.
I enjoyed the whole concept of this book and I loved the refreshing take that Schneider took in portraying these very genuine and real characters. I think the ending of the book is a little like marmite, you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. Personally I ended up on the love side mainly because of the realistic ending Schneider gave. It wasn’t something that was so far-fetched that it ruined it. Life never ends in the right way with everything dealt with and sorted out in this neat little package, it’s messy. It’s this realness of the ending that I felt rounded the book off in the most perfect way possible. I don’t think any other ending would have worked, nor would I have liked any other.
The Beginning of Everything is everything you hope for a book to be. It’s sad, funny, heartbreaking and filled with hope. It’s a story about dealing with what life throws at you and trying to cope surrounded by the chaos.