The Beginning of Everything

The Beginning of Everything

by Robyn Schneider


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Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.

Varsity tennis captain 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 unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

As Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review, "Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green's novels."

Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming-of-age novel—a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062217141
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/29/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 34,321
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Robyn Schneider is the bestselling author of The Beginning of Everything, Extraordinary Means, and Invisible Ghosts, which have earned numerous starred reviews, appeared on many state reading lists, and been published in over a dozen countries. She is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she earned a master of bioethics. She lives in Los Angeles, California, but also on the internet. You can find her at

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The Beginning of Everything 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
RandyLRB More than 1 year ago
Beautifully painful and funny. The description of the silent flash mob made me cry with happiness. This book perfectly illustrates that it IS possible to go on, even after the "worst" has already happened. I LOVED this book, and am holding my breath for another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness!!! so many feels at the end!! After finishing the book I held it for about 10 minutes and wept!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic! I loved the characters and plot. The only part that i didnt really enjoy was the ending, because it wasn't the happy cliche that i enjoy so much. It ended like real life, not perfect, but still a great read that i think any lover of a John Green book would enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This crossover teen novel grips you and evokes emotions most books do not. I loved this book and hope it gets the recognition it deserves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im not going to lie, i teared a little and im not ashamed. This book is so amazing that it was able to bring out a tear from me. If youre reading this deciding whether or not to read this take my advise and get it. I will warm you the first bits of it may be a bit boring but i ashure you it will get better :')
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read! This book literslly made me cry. I couldnt put it down!
Gabmore More than 1 year ago
I liked this book and I feel like maybe I could have loved it, had I not read it right in the middle of a slump. The characters were funny and I kind of found myself wishing I could be friends with some of them, specifically Toby. I'm not going to dive into my thoughts on Toby because, I feel you need to discover him for yourself. The main character, Ezra Faulkner, started out seeming a tad whiny to me, rightfully so, but at some point I found myself really just wanting to give him a hug and cheering him on. I couldn't tell you the exact moment that this happened only that it did. While The Beginning of Everything is about how everyone gets a tragedy, you might find yourself laughing the way I did. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, this story just plays with you in the best way. I did hit a patch within the last three chapters where I was crying and unsure whether or not I wanted to finish. I'm glad I did. Robyn Schneider changed the way I look at certain moments in my life. I can honestly say that not many books have touched me in quite that way. I strongly suggest picking it up and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. "I STILL THINK that everyone's life, no matter how unremarkable, has a singular tragic encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. That moment is the catalyst -- the first step in the equation. But knowing the first step will get you nowhere -- it's what comes after that determines the result. So who was I in the aftermath of my personal tragedy?" (The Beginning of Everything)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beutifully painful I started to cry (and I hardly ever cry)I could easily say the whole entire book.If you ever said you wanted to read a book with a sad ending (me) you will regret those words.You wish the story kept going and they saw eachother in college and things happened,but they don't and they never will.You feel confused and it seems there is a whole othe chapter left but it's not.Though I wish the ending is different it wouldn't bethe same.This book reminds you that nothing lasts forever, and that is true because one day when you have been married for a long time and the other person dies your love will never fade but they won't be there because nothing lasts forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book. Not too heavy
NinaNicole More than 1 year ago
Good quick read.
Jennd1 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this novel, I loved that the book is told from a male perspective and i loved Ezra and his pals. I'd love to see these characters again. Ezra's world changes drastically at the end of his junior year and when Senior year starts his world at school is vastly different but with the help of his old pal Toby and Cassidy the charming and mysterious new girl he will gradually try to figure out his new place until he learns that life is more complicated than he could have imagined.
Anonymous 3 months ago
it was a ok book
-StarRae More than 1 year ago
Ezra is the captain of the tennis team, and one of the smartest athletes in school. He also had a careless girlfriend, who soon disappeared from his life faster than he could do anything. Ezra finally had to make the decision, should he make new friends or go back to the old ones when the school year started up again. After an accident occurs, Ezra had to decide whether he should stay friends with his tennis team buddies, or does he go be friends with the debate nerd when the school year finally starts up again. After finally choosing he meets Cassidy, and then is love struct and can not make his mind once again, until he was broken from the truth from her. Most of the story centers around the tragedy that happen to Ezra and how he fell in love with Cassidy, just to be broken down once again. This book has a lot of conflict in it and was a great read. The Beginning of Everything has sad, happy and even moments where you will get mad. The book wasn’t necessarily long, but compacted a lot of information into the amount of pages given to make a great story. Robyn Schneider does a wonderful job portraying how the characters would feel and the actions that would have been taken to improve their lives. I would definitely recommend this book to early high school students, so that way they will know how drinking can impact the rest of their future. Also the steps that can be taken to improve their life, without being miserable after an accident.
Morgan Reilly More than 1 year ago
The title The Beginning of Everything perfectly captures Ezra Faulkner’s life after a reckless car accident. The all-star tennis player loses everything, and now has to start fresh. He feels like an outcast when returning to school, but Toby, his childhood friend, helps welcome him into a new group of friends on the debate team, who are far different from Ezra’s past friends, the popular jocks. He’s introduced to Cassidy Thrope, an intelligent and beautiful girl, who he falls in love with. As the story goes on, Ezra dives into a new lifestyle, new friendships, and new love. With support from his new friends, Toby, Luke, and Phoebe, Ezra overcomes the harsh reality of his tragedy. Throughout the novel, Ezra learns the how to face reality, through good and bad. The main conflict in the novel is personal to Ezra, man vs. destiny. He is constantly waiting to find out what fate has in store for him. However, Ezra feeds off of his new beginning and moves on from his tragedy, becoming a stronger individual. An external conflict within the novel is between Erza and his ex-girlfriend, Charlotte. Charlotte wants Ezra to leave his new friend group for his old one, which Erza has to debate mentally throughout the novel, adding onto his struggle with trying to fit in again. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider was an enjoyable fiction book, with the perfect combination of romance, comedy, and drama. It allowed me to really connect to the characters. Being in eighth grade myself, I could connect to Ezra because I have a new beginning to start in high school, which includes making completely new friends and being unfamiliar with my environment. I really understood what Ezra was going through, and that feeling of losing what you’re so used to. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who has either suffered a tragedy or is going through changes in their lives, because this story has an important meaning behind new beginnings. The lessons learned within the story revolve around new beginnings and new friendships. We learn how Ezra and Toby’s friendship goes through ups and downs, but they end up even better friends by the end of the novel. We also learn that Cassidy is sometimes like a book, easily misread. As the novel progresses, we learn that Cassidy has been hiding deep sadness and loneliness from her friends. However, I believe that the most important lesson, which is learned by almost all of the characters, is living life to the fullest you possibly can, because even if you suffer a tragedy or a personal issue, you could find true happiness in a new beginning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg, this book was so good and I recomend this book to anyone who loves a good read. I got really attached to all of the characters, when I got to the end of the book I was both mad and sad at the same time. The only reason i didnt g,ive this book 5 stars is because of the ending. It wasn't the "fairytale" ending I love, it was an ending based on what would happen in real life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“The Beginning of Everything” is a relatively generic young adult novel. Some similar books that I would relate it to are “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green and “If I stay” by Gayle Forman. These novels all have a similar plot line: the main character has a love interest, there is some sort of tragedy, and they end up losing their love interest at the end, but learn something “deep” and inspirational about themselves in the process. “The Beginning of Everything” is about a high school senior named Ezra, who was once a really popular varsity tennis player. He belonged in the “in crowd,” and he had a beautiful cheerleader girlfriend and as many friends as he could ever hope for. Aside from his social life, he was also the president of his school’s student council as well as an “undercover nerd” (does the story sound generic yet?). However, during the summer before his senior year, everything changed when he got into a car accident that gave him a serious injury, stopping him from playing tennis and disconnecting him from his friends, who never came to visit him during his recovery. The storyline of this book revolves around the idea of everyone having a personal tragedy in their life and how this tragic event affects them. After being dropped by his old friend group, Ezra joins the unpopular kids, rekindling his friendship with Toby, a boy he was once friends with until Toby experienced a somewhat tragic event as a child. Ezra begins dating the new, mysterious girl, Cassidy, and they persuade him to join the debate team and branch out in ways he never would (who would’ve predicted that?). Cassidy shows him a new way of thinking, and proves that being intelligent is nothing to be embarrassed of. She changes his outlook on their suburban, preppy town, encouraging him to find a way to physically and mentally escape the bubble it places around them. However, when Cassidy learns about a dark connection between their pasts, she leaves Ezra with many questions as he searches for closure and must navigate the rest of his senior year. While reading this book, I found both positives and negatives in the novel’s cliche storyline. It was a little annoying being able to predict almost everything that happened before actually reading it, being that there was also a lot of obvious foreshadowing. The entire beginning of the novel was about Ezra used to be great friends with Toby until Toby had his “tragedy,” and then after he became friends with the popular crowd and lived a “perfect” life. It was obvious that Ezra would also face some form of tragedy, and Toby’s lengthy introduction led me to believe that they would be reunited, as they were. However, I do have a soft side for novels like this, since I am still a 17 year old girl who can relate to the emotions of teenage characters. It was easy for me to relate to Ezra’s sudden heartbreak, as this was something I’ve experienced in the past. I also felt that the characters didn’t have a lot of depth to them, except for Ezra, the main character. This may sound like a bad thing, but I think it was done on purpose, since the novel is centered around Ezra’s personal struggle and the way he handles it. We never learned that much about Cassidy from her actual character, and this played into her mysterious persona. The vagueness of the characters also helped me relate more to them, as I could envision myself into the character’s lives easily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good! Also very emotional. One of the book you'll want to take everywhere with you.
terferj More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars I thought it was an alright book. I found it cute but I felt a lot of the stuff could have been cut out. I felt stuff that happened in school that had no point on building the story was tedious and it dragged the story down for me a little. I liked the crazy beginning with Ezra and Toby at Disneyland. That was disturbing but it set the mood for me with the story. I really liked the Ezra after the accident. He was more free and good natured. I found Toby to be a doll. I loved him. He was weird and funny. Cassidy I liked. She was fun and different but I didn’t like the shadiness on how she dealt with things. I liked Cooper and how Ezra made the dog (to me) like a rich person that wore a eye monocle. lol. Brave dog. :( I didn’t expect it to end the way it did but I liked that it went that way. So, yes I thought it was cute and it made me happy, chuckle, cry, and inquisitive.
Oliviafar More than 1 year ago
The main character was annoying as times, but what teenage boy isn't LOL. It was a well written book. There was a great twist in the book that I didn't see coming. If it wasn't for that twist I do not think I would have liked this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is seriously fantastic. It's witty and charming. Something like John Green. I could not put this book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are all damaged - how will you handle the damage? This a beautiful novel. It will not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading, Robyn Schneider's "The Beginning of Everything," I would definitely recommend it to any other reader in high school. I loved this book because of the story it told and the characters in the novel. Not only did Schneider manage to make my eyes tear up, she kept me laughing throughout each chapter. There was not a moment while I was reading this book that I wanted to put it down. Robyn Schneider chose her characters very well and the plot of the story is one that makes you want to keep reading it every second you can. I personally enjoyed the sarcasm Ezra used and how much his character changed throughout the book. "The Beginning of Everything" truly shows how one tragic thing can change you for life. Not only does it do this, but the book also imitates the stereotypical high school. One thing that I was not fond of in the novel was how The author went into detail about people or characters that were not important. The main thing that I liked about this book was the fact that Schneider made it so relatable to the reader and high school students. One thing that I never saw coming was the awful, yet important plot twist. Because of the plot twist, new and exciting things happen in the book which made me want to keep reading. All in all, I loved "The Beginning of Everything" from start to finish! Every chapter had something new and interesting for me to read which made amazing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my god! This book is amazing. I read it as a hardcover book a not as an ebook but it's still one of the best books i have ever read. If you lile romantic books with twist and the main character trying to figure out who they are, I totslly recommend this book. I recommend this book even if you dont like these.genres. This book fits into a lot of catergires and I guartuee that u will like, if not LOVE this book