“Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster. That everyone’s life, no matter how unremarkable, has a moment when it will become extraordinary–a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen.”
After a car crash leaves Ezra Faulkner seriously injured, he begins to reevaluate how he lived his life and the people he previously filled it with. Replacing jocks with nerdfighters for friends and a Regina George girlfriend with a manic pixie dream girl, Ezra begins to attempt a new way of living that involves more laughter, debate, Foucault, sarcasm, and leather jackets. His new girlfriend, Cassidy Thorpe, is unlike any girl he has ever met before and although their relationship feels perfect things are not always what they seem. Ezra’s and Cassidy’s tragedies are complicated in unexpected and extraordinary ways.
Robyn Scheider masters the teenage voice authors like John Green, E. Lockhart, David Levithan, and Rachel Cohn have made popular. That mix of hyper-intelligent wit with vulnerability, raunchy humor, angst, and pop culture references will entertain readers and make them fall in love with Ezra. The plot is at times predictable and slow, but the banter between characters, especially fully-developed secondary characters, will keep readers turning the page wanting more. Contemporary references to YA literature (Harry Potter!) and music will prevent this book from aging gracefully, but for now…emotional and funny, The Beginning of Everything, is worth a read.