Synopses & Reviews
Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything
is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower
, and classics like The Great Gatsby
and The Catcher in the Rye
Varsity Tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before — before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.
As Kirkus said in a starred review, "Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green's novels."
Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming of age novel — a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
"First-time novelist Schneider offers an engrossing romance in which tragedy brings two teens together, then threatens to tear them apart. Ezra Faulkner has a bright future as a tennis player until a car accident leaves him with a serious knee injury. Along with losing his spot on the team and his prospects of being recruited by colleges, he is dropped by his popular clique ('I had been Ezra Faulkner, golden boy, but that person no longer existed'). At the onset of senior year, he makes major changes, rekindling a childhood friendship he'd dropped after a gruesome mishap, joining the debate team, and getting to know Cassidy Thorpe, an the enigmatic new student with a reputation as a stellar debater. Ezra is mesmerized by Cassidy's intelligence, wit, and philosophical ideas, but after they become a couple, her mood swings set off unexpected sparks. Tension builds as Cassidy's past comes to light, and a shocking climax culminates in an emotional crash to rival Ezra's physical one. Schneider shows remarkable skill at getting inside her narrator's head as his life swings between disaster and recovery. Ages 13 up. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Smart, funny, heartbreaking, and so true it hurts…this is a book you will never forget.” Lauren Barnoldt, author of Two-Way Street and Sometimes It Happens
“A witty and unexpected, smartly-crafted and slightly twisted coming-of-age story.” Julia DeVillers, author of Trading Faces
“Heartbreaking and hilarious. I have no doubt that girls everywhere are going to fall madly, deeply, hopelessly in love with Ezra Faulkner.” Sarah Mlynowski, author of A Little Bit Broken
“Smart writing and a compelling narrator raise this book above ordinary depictions of high school drama. Efficient use of language, evocative descriptions and subtle turns of phrase make reading and rereading this novel a delight.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Dazzling. Full of razor-sharp wit, a keen sense of observation, and surprisingly tender compassion.” Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle: A Memoir and The Silver Star
“This thought-provoking novel about smart kids doing interesting things will resonate with theJohn Green contingent, as it is tinged with sadness, high jinks, wry humor, and philosophical pondering in equal measures.” Booklist (starred review)
“This is a wonderfully told story. The dialogue moves the plot along at a fast pace, and Ezra, with all his flaws, is a character to whom readers can relate. Teens wont want to put this one down.” School Library Journal
“The Beginning of Everything is a tragic romance of the best kind that leaves the reader feeling as though they are part of the story, and wishing there was more.” Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Its an endearing book filled with similarly touching little moments and plenty of snappy dialogue.” New York Times Book Review
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them — a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: In one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met — achingly effortless and fiercely intelligent.
Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, and a poodle that might just be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby. But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: If one's singular tragedy has already hit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
About the Author
Robyn Schneider is a writer, actor, and online personality who misspent her youth in a town coincidentally similar to Eastwood. Robyn is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she studied medical ethics. She lives in Los Angeles, California, but also on the internet. You can watch her vlogs at youtube.com/robynisrarelyfunny and follow her on the networks below.