The Beginning of Everything
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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.
hesitated, wishing I could remember the girl’s name. “Emily,” Toby’s sister supplied. “Right, Emily,” I said sheepishly, committing it to memory. The passing bell rang, and both freshmen looked panicked, as though the world would collapse if they didn’t head to class that very second. Ah, to be a ninth grader. “Shouldn’t you two get to class?” I asked, gently teasing them. “Don’t want to be late.” They scrambled away as though I’d given orders. I could hear them giggling as they walked,
we’re in the wrong room.” I whispered. “Should we go?” And then a professor in a funny, flat-bottomed tie strode to the front of the room and it was too late to do anything but sit there and listen. Somehow, we’d wound up in Organic Chemistry. I’d done honors chem as a junior, which had been one of the least pleasant experiences of my high-school career, and I assumed that organic chemistry would be an equally painful continuation of the same. The professor, this tiny Eastern European guy with
grumbled. “Not soon enough, apparently.” Cassidy grinned. “Now who wants to study for Mr. Anthony’s quiz?” Toby’s schedule was a flip of ours; he had English first and then history. “How about you just give me the answers at break tomorrow?” Toby suggested. “How about I glue your bow tie around your neck?” Cassidy retorted. “I’d like to see you try.” Toby laughed and turned on the radio. “Now let’s get the hell out of the Prism Center now that we’ve got what we came for.” “Are we studying
somewhere, or am I dropping you back at the Fail Whale?” I asked. “We’re studying.” Toby sighed. We drove over to this giant sprawl of superstores near school called the Legacy. It was nice spreading out our stuff in the Barnes and Noble café, drinking coffee and studying with other people like it was some sort of social activity. I’d never done it before. Well, I mean, I had, when Charlotte insisted we do our homework together in Starbucks back when we’d first started dating, but that was
eight-bit Gatsby! Why are you guys looking at me like that? What’d I miss?” ANIMAL CONTROL GAVE up their search on Wednesday, and our homeroom teachers distributed a safety precaution handout that culminated in a laughable series of true-false questions about coyote attacks. I rolled my eyes and turned it over on my desk, not caring that we were doing popcorn reading, since no one would dare to popcorn me. My school was big on using recycled paper, and it took a moment before I recognized