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The Beginning of Everything [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Robyn Schneider

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27. August 2013

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 new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

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Praise for THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING:“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))

“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))

“Schneider shows remarkable skill at getting inside her narrator’s head as his life swings between disaster and recovery.” (Publishers Weekly (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 won’t 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))

“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)

“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, 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)

“Robyn Schneider can write.” (New York Times Book Review)

“It’s an endearing book filled with similarly touching little moments and plenty of snappy dialogue.” (New York Times Book Review)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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.

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1.0 von 5 Sternen The Beginning of Everything it Shouldn't Be 30. August 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
This is the complete review as it appears <a href=[...]>at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV</a>. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's novels reviewed on the blog will generally have some images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a novel is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate a novel three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).

I rated this novel WARTY!


For about 90% of this novel I was convinced I would rate it positively, but that last ten percent or so killed it for me. The ending was not only unbelievable given what we'd been told of the main two characters, it was just ridiculous.

Some people have compared this novel with the work of John Green, who I can't stand, so I am glad I didn't read any of that before I picked this up otherwise I would never have read it. This novel succeeds where the absurdly pretentious and laughably ethereal Green fails so catastrophically. Despite how bad this was in some critical parts, it still made Green's writing look like a series of bumper stickers, but in the end, the good writing wasn't nearly enough to make up for the poor plotting.

This novel began its life titled Severed Heads, Broken Hearts. I guess that's what happens when Big Publishing™ gets its grasping fingers on your title, because the original summed it up perfectly: there actually is a severed head and a (metaphorical) broken heart, but the real severing and breaking all takes place on the plot. I think a lot of people might presume that the new title refers to the main female character showing up in the main male character's life, but the beginning of the title is really where this novel ends.

I normally detest first person PoV novels, but this one was so well-written generally speaking, and so un-pretentious (aside from a paragraph here and there) that for the most part, I didn't even notice the 1PoV, much less become annoyed by it, so kudos and thanks to the author for that.

Ezra Faulkner and his best friend Toby Ellicot are on a roller-coaster ride at Disneyland when the guy in front of them stands up right before a low overhang, resulting in his head (sans his body) ending up in Toby's startled hands. The result of this - of the infamy that will not leave Toby alone - is a major cause in the two best friends drifting apart between the ages of twelve and seventeen, when another major event - this time affecting only Ezra, brings them back together.

In the intervening five years, Ezra has progressed (if you want to think of it that way) to become a jock (after a fashion) and a really popular guy, hanging out with other jocks and getting whatever dates he wants. He's dating cheerleader Charlotte, until he discovers her in flagrante de-dick-do with some random guy in a bedroom at a party. How Ezra can even give her the time of day after this is a mystery, but despite what she has done to him and the despicable way she had treated him when they had been dating, he never turns his back on her - although he is smart enough not to be seduced by her again, so I guess he isn't completely dumb.

Because he leaves the party early as a result of Charlotte's appalling betrayal of him, Ezra ends-up being in his car when a big Jeep SUV, which ran a stop sign, slams into him - although how the stop sign is relevant is a mystery. Ezra's knee is shattered, effectively terminating his budding tennis career, which he wasn't sure he really wanted anyway, but it means that he's now out of the rut he was in, and feeling at a loose end - if not several of them.

It's not only the rut, though. Ezra is out of things altogether for the entire summer, and he feels like an outsider when he returns to school. His old friends don't seem to want to exclude him because of his injury, but he feels excluded nonetheless, and since he's signed up for the debate team, he finds himself hanging with the artsy, nerdy crowd, which includes his old friend Toby. who adopts him without any problem during an hilarious scene at the school's pep rally.

As soon as we see mention of Cassidy Thorpe, the new, quirky girl in school, it's obvious that she's going to be Ezra's love interest, and it soon becomes obvious what her 'dark secret' is - its not dark, just obvious. The fact that there's no mention whatsoever of the name of the guy driving that jeep SUV ought to clue you in to what the nature of this secret is.

This was what was the least realistic and least believable for me and what began to sour the story. It makes no sense at all that Ezra wouldn't realize who Cassidy might be or how she might connect to his past, and it makes no sense that someone as smart as she supposedly is wouldn't put two and two together, so the big break-up at the end was disingenuous and way too forced for my taste.

Another issue I took was with Ezra's exalted jock status. He was on the tennis team for goodness sakes! That doesn't mean that he was a nobody, but I found it hard to believe, given the tight focus in college and high school on football and basketball (and everything else be damned), that he would be the star jock we're expected to believe he is. I detest the mentality that these two sports are everything and nothing else matters in schools. It's primitive and pathetic, so kudos to Schneider for not going the most traveled path here and making him a football or basketball star, but it didn't seem realistic to me that he would have the status he'd had when he was 'merely' a tennis player - and the team wasn't doing that great anyway.

Nor did it make any sense that Ezra would not have one friend among the entire team that he would hang with or talk to on the phone! Nor did it make any sense that none of his jock friends would visit him in the hospital after his accident. Nor, given what we learn of him in school that year after the accident, did it make any sense that he would have a whole heck of a lot in common with those jocks to begin with. So, for me there were a lot of twisted issues here which spelled bad writing - at least in terms of plotting.

on the positive side, I really, really liked the way this was written with regard to the repartee between the main characters. It played out so easily. It was literate, witty, funny, and engaging. I felt tempted to give it five stars just for its Doctor Who references alone, but of course, that would be very naughty of me. Had I not run into issues like the ones outlined above (and more below), I would definitely have rated this positively. What tipped the balance irretrievably into the negative was the trashy and unbelievable ending.

I don't believe a novel has to have a happy ending, although I would argue it has to have some sort of resolution at the end, so it wasn't that this ended the way it did which bothered me per se; it was that it ended the way it did despite this ending not even remotely jiving with what we'd been told about the characters for ninety percent of the novel.

As exhibit one, let's take the two main female characters in Ezra's life: Charlotte the ex and Cassidy the next. I submit to you, members of the jury, that there was - for all practical purposes - no difference between the two despite Schneider's ham-fisted effort to try and starkly differentiate them for us. I submit that despite being encouraged to believe that Cassidy was streets ahead of Charlotte for being smart, and deep, and caring, she actually was worse than Charlotte.

At least with Charlotte, what you saw was what you got. Cassidy, on the other hand, we're expected to believe, could be so shallow and blind as to betray Ezra, treat him like dirt, keep him in the dark, refuse to talk to him about a critical issue, and be so dumb that she could see no way out of their supposed dilemma than to break up with him and avoid him like the proverbial plague.

What a bunch of coyote s***.

We're expected to believe that the reason she keeps him out of her home is because of her brother and conflict with her parents, yet she's already doing this long before she knows for sure who Ezra is. It makes no sense.

I could not credit that she would totally cut Ezra off without explanation, and with outright lies given everything we'd been told about her up to that point, and given their feelings for each other. No, That does not work. I can't believe she was so dumb she never figured out what had happened - and no, confusing Ezra with a tree doesn't get you out of that jail free.

I can't believe he was so dumb that he believed her lie. I can't believe he was so dumb that he didn't figure out what was going on. OTOH, he did continue to date Charlotte despite her treating him like dirt - at least until that fateful party, so maybe he really was as dumb as he looks. Talking of which, I can't believe the driver would get away with a hit and run like that either. Yeah, it can happen, but no, it's not really credible.

Oh, and Schneider really needs to look up coyotes in wikipedia or somewhere before she starts trying to pretend that they're five feet long (yeah, if you include the tail, but that's dishonest in the context of this novel). Coyotes are only about three feet long in the body, and two feet tall. In short, they're the same size as a standard poodle, give or take.

She kept harping on the coyotes for no good reason, and the reason she mistakenly thought was good was pure bulls***. Coyotes do not behave like the one she depicted. They're not serial killers and they do not randomly approach humans with canicide in mind. And where were Ezra and Cassidy? They were right there and neither one lifted a finger, so their sadness afterwards is nonsensical.

I can't recommend this novel - not unless you're just going to read the first ninety percent of it and skip the lame ending, and even then you'd have to contend with Le Stupide.
3.0 von 5 Sternen DISAPPOINTMENT!!! 10. Juli 2014
Von Stephanie Hubert - Veröffentlicht auf
I liked it. I was not the most impressed with it, but whatever. I think that the plot was good, but it could have been so much better than this. I liked the meaning of the book. I think it's not a kind of book that everyone should read, but if your the kind of person that likes YA drama, I do recommend this to you. I loved that the main character was handicapped, because it sort of shows how it's hard to live within the accident that happened. I think that this story is one of the only ones that you can relate to real life. That's why I liked it, because it was actually accurate and this story must have happened in real life...

Anyway, **Spoilers are coming**

I'm watching The Great Gatsby right now and it's the part of the accident and it reminds me of the book obviously. The number of times that we referred to Gatsby was crazy! But, I loved the movies that they made and now I must really read the book. The story of Gatsby is sort of like Ezra's if you think about it really. Ezra get's the success of being the popular kid and stuff and an accident changes everything! Gatsby dies because of the accident. Ezra sort of died too from the accident from the inside... Daisy is sort of like Cassidy. Sometimes there off, and sometimes there in love and stuff and that frustrates me. They're like elastics! They go close to was they want and then they push it away! I hate that Cassidy pushed him away like that. I was sort of starting to like there relationship and then she destroyed it because of her brother that died...
I don't know if you guys saw it coming, but I knew from the beginning of the phone call of the one that he talked of the accident right before the dance that something was wrong. I taught that maybe she would have caused the accident and that she couldn't bear it or that one member of her family had died from that accident. Well... I WAS RIGHT!! I just knew it :) I just hated that she made up that reason that he was just for her amusement and shit like that!! I was so mad! I just couldn't believe that she could do that! But then Toby's theory with her brother made everything fit together! I was just so surprised that she wouldn't want to talk to him and that she ignored him. It was just too much!
Because of her...well in a way, the dog Cooper died :( I knew that the coyotes had to do something with the ending because it kept coming again. I just taught it was useless, why did the go had to die! He was innocent! I also didn't understand the big thing with the Disneyland experience in the beginning... I just taught that was a little weird, no? The severed head thing... arg it just traumatizes me! Who would think of a horrible thing like that?! I had to read that like 5 times because I wasn't really sure if that was that that happened.. I think after reading that I don't really want to go to Disneyland.
I taught that Charlotte was the realest person in the book! Everyday, I meet a dumb girl like her. I just hate those typical type of girls that are like that! They insult me! They're just the fakest people you could ever meet! They are just willing to do what everyone else does, sort of like the people that love what Miley Cyrus is doing to herself and the influence that she puts on others. I hate them!
The love story was good, just hoped they would come back in the ending together, but it was a good ending for this book... I loved that she was mysterious and I just wanted to know more about her. I loved there cute relationship, but I think there was missing a couple of details and it should have been longer. Overall It was a good book, I enjoyed it.

5.0 von 5 Sternen Love love love 7. Februar 2014
Von sally nicklin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I loved it so much, I don't know how to describe how excellent Robyn Schneider's writing was in this book. Just fab
5.0 von 5 Sternen Love love love 1. November 2013
Von Erika - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Although it did break my heart in the end. Like all good books that I've read.
3.0 von 5 Sternen this is her books "the beginning of everything" 9. August 2014
Von wyatt lanford - Veröffentlicht auf
this book is her book "the beginning of everything"..... just with a different title..... I don't understand? it is word for word....... can someone explain to me?
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