Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

How I Heard About It:  While visiting Anderson's Book Shop in Naperville, I saw this title on the shelf in the young-adult section.  I had seen the cover/title before, but had never read it.  After talking with a book seller, I decided to add this novel to my collection of "purchases".  

What It Is About:  Ezra was heading into his senior year and had it all.  He was the captain of the varsity tennis team, had a wonderful girlfriend, and was on the top rung of the social ladder at school.  All of those change the night he finds his girlfriend with someone else, ends up in a car accident, and a leg that won't allow him to play tennis anymore.  When Ezra returns to school to kick off senior year, he realizes everything is different.  His social group isn't sure how to include him, the tennis team doesn't need him, and of course he has no girlfriend.  He gravitates toward another social group where his childhood best friend Toby spends his time.  This group of kids are smart, on the debate team, and don't spend all their time "partying" like his old group.  Ezra also meets a new girl in school named Cassidy.  The two of them begin to spend time together while sorting out their past and how to move forward from it.  

What I Thought Of It:  A reader always takes a bit of a risk when they take a book recommendation from someone they don't really know; like a book seller they have never met.  I'm glad I took that risk and bought this novel in Naperville.  I loved everything about this story and found it really hard to put down.  The story focuses mainly on Ezra and his fall from "social status" which was a bit different from some young-adult stories where they focus on the female character.  Ezra was likable and the author did such a wonderful job showing all the different sides of him and his struggles.  The more I read young-adult, the more I realize life of a "popular" kid isn't as easy as people think.  I was one of those "non-popular" kids in high school and always thought "those" kids had it made in the shade.  The character of Cassidy was complex and heart-felt.  It was great fun to find out how Ezra and Cassidy's stories were actually tied together and to watch them figure this all out.  

Who Should Read It:  The story is perfect for the high school audience.  There are so many elements in the plot that will relate to readers and their social position in high school.  The novel reads easily, flows, and the chapters are relatively short.  Adult readers who enjoy young-adult books will also find this an excellent reading experience.  I will for sure be recommending this to my adult reader friends.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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