One of this year’s wittiest, most engaging coming-of-age stories is the newly-released The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider.
In stores now, the book starts with one of the most horrific things imaginable happening at the Happiest Place on Earth. That is, a decapitation on a roller coaster at Disneyland.
The tragedy marks the beginning of Ezra Faulkner’s story of woe and romance, in which he goes from A-lister on the tennis team to a high school senior with a shattered leg and no sense of self worth. The arrival of new girl Cassidy Thorpe and a rekindled friendship with a childhood buddy is about to change everything for him.
Schneider perfectly captures the angst and anxieties of high school, especially when faced with uncertainties about social status and figuring out where you fit in after you thought you’d already figured it out.
The Beginning of Everything captures all the beautiful moments of a perfectly tuned coming-of-age story in the same vein as John Green, J.D. Salinger, or Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s a new classic for today’s readers — one that teens will adore, and older readers will cherish for the timeless experiences Schneider so lovingly and perfectly captures.
Perhaps the only real shortcoming is the publisher’s decision to change the title of the book from its original and much more unique Severed Heads, Broken Hearts (this title lives on in the U.K. edition) to the ever-so-bland and generic title The Beginning of Everything.
Regardless of the title change, this book is worth every page and then some. Look for it in stores now.