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.
First Sentence: Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster.
The Beginning of Everything is a book with a lot of hype ever since it was released last year. I, of course, stayed away from it since contemporaries aren’t really my thing and the premise turned me off because if gave that “this book will focus on a lot of philosophy type stuff” vibe. The hype for The Beginning of Everything has died down since then, but recently, a famous Youtuber I’ve never heard of praised it and recommended it, causing The Beginning of Everything to be out of stock on Amazon. That has gotten me very curious – what’s so amazing about The Beginning of Everything that it was out of stock? – so I took my copy off my bookshelf and decided to give it a chance. Not a good idea as you can see from the title of this post.
So who was I in the aftermath of my personal tragedy?…An invalid, if you will, which is probably the most horrific word I’ve ever heard to describe someone who is supposed to be recuperating. (13)
I’ve read only 56 pages of The Beginning of Everything and I just couldn’t do it anymore. In the 56 pages I’ve read, only one main event that took about four pages happened: Ezra was in a car crash. The rest of the pages I’ve read is about the school’s reaction to Ezra’s injury, which I could easily sum up with four words: boring to read about. Nothing in the book sparked any interest in me.
I also couldn’t connect with any of the characters. All the characters were so stereotypical: Ezra is the quirky kind of smart guy, Charlotte is the typical popular mean girl, and Cassidy is the unique girl that doesn’t care about what anybody else thinks about her and values the fact that she’s just being herself. The characters were just cardboard cut characters, which is what ultimately convinced me to DNF this book.
I cleared my throat. Charlotte cleared hers…She looked horrified to see me there, in the doorway.
“Ezra, I-I-,” Charlotte blabbed. “I didn’t think you were coming.” (9)
Overall, I didn’t really want to DNF another book after I just DNF’d My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal, but I’ve been struggling with The Beginning of Everything for two days already until it left me with no choice but to DNF it. I already skimmed a few pages in the middle of the book and could tell that I was missing nothing much by DNFing the book.