I’ve just finished another contemporary book called “The Beginning Of Everything” by Robyn Schneider. When I started the book I loved it but when I finished it, I only liked it.
I read this for the Contemporary bookish recommendation, for the Contemporary-a-thon. It was recommended by a Facebook friend so it’s thanks to her that I read it. This is my last read of the Contemporary-a-thon.
3.5 Stars (4 Stars on Goodreads)!
“The Beginning Of Everything” tells the story of Ezra, who’s a Tennis pro but has a car accident at the beginning of the book. This accident causes him to not be able to walk, quite as he was once able to. This means he can’t play tennis well enough to become pro. He uses a walking cane to get around. He struggles at school to begin with after the accident, as anyone would. It’s only after he meets a girl, a new student at the school, Cassidy that he starts to see the world and his place in it differently.
I loved reading from Ezra’s POV. This really surprised me because I don’t generally read books from the male POV. I feel more connected to female POVs, because I am a girl and I feel that I can relate to them more. When I realised this was from a male POV (I didn’t read the blurb), I was put off at first and if it wasn’t for a readathon I probably would have stopped reading. I’m glad I didn’t, though!
If you’re an animal lover, I’d be slightly hestitant to read the ending of The Beginning Of Everything. The rest of the book is fine but in the last few chapters there’s a horrible moment.
There’s a little bit of gay rep in “The Beginning Of Everything”, too!
Ezra used to be a part of the popular crowd but since his accident he no longer feels a part of that group. He hangs around with his best childhood friend, Toby, who he’s lost connection with over the years.
“It was unsettling the way my classmates watched me, as though I fascinated and terrified them. As though I no longer belonged”,
tells us that Ezra feels different and that he doesn’t like the fact he’s now different. He just wants to be who he used to be, popular. I’ve felt like I was being left out of friendship groups in the past because of what I couldn’t do so I could understand where Ezra was coming from.
When Cassidy comes into his life, she starts to make Ezra see how good life can be, even if he’s not who he used to be. She tells him that,
“We have all been fooled into believing in people who are entirely imaginary—made-up prisoners in a hypothetical panopticon. But the point isn’t whether or not you believe in imaginary people; it’s whether or not you want to”.
What she means by this is life can only get better if you believe it will. If you stay the same, your life will stay the same. However, if you try to change it, that’s the only way it will get better.
Because Ezra has lost tennis, he becomes a part of the debate team. Cassidy also joins because Ezra signs her up.
“You just figured what, exactly?” Cassidy said coldly. “That it would be funny?”
“Um, I guess? I didn’t know you felt like that about debate. I didn’t know that you’d stopped competing”
Cassidy doesn’t want to join debate for a good reason that gets revealed later in the novel. I don’t want to spoil it here, though as it’s kind of what the novel is based on.
I will admit that I was let down by the ending, slightly. I don’t want to spoil it but it didn’t end the way that I was hoping it would. I thought the author could have added an extra 100 pages or so to wrap the story up better, as “The Beginning Of Everything” is a standalone.
Both Ezra and Cassidy go through a lot of ups and downs in “The Beginning Of Everything”. Do they end up together or do they think it’s better if they’re on their own. You’ll have to read to find out...
Ezra’s parents play a role in “The Beginning Of Everything”, which was good to see as so many young adult novels, whether they’re contemporary or not seem to have a lack of parental figures. That wasn’t the case here.
What did I like about “The Beginning Of Everything”?
* I liked the characters and how they all brought something different to the story.
* I liked how Ezra, thought he’d lost everything only to find that a different path was waiting for him.
* I liked how the book had disability and gay rep, as it’s important that we see characters go through things that people in the real world do, as well.
What didn’t I like about “The Beginning Of Everything”?
* I didn’t like what happened to Ezra and Cassidy in the end. I thought their romance had a lot more potential. (I don’t want to write anymore because in case you’ve not read the book but are still reading this review, it’s a spoiler).
* I didn’t like the animal death (again spoiler)!
* I didn’t like that the book felt unfinished. The only finality was the animals death, I think. Everything else was left kind of open ended, as though there could be more. I don’t believe there is, though.
Overall, I liked The Beginning Of Everything. It started really well, but somewhere in the middle it lost some of its appeal to me. I’d still recommend it, though 🙂. That’s why I’m giving it 3.5 Stars! I wish there was a follow up novel so we could see the characters after the events of “The Beginning Of Everything”.
Stand by for my next review, coming soon...