Contemporary fiction that features real life situations aren’t a favorite of mine to read; however, the premise of The Beginning of Everything piqued my interest. Unfortunately, after reading, I didn’t it find it to be impressive. The Beginning of Everything is quite reminiscent of other contemporary young adult fiction that tries to be meaningful and moving, but I felt nothing. It’s cliched that nothing stands out from this book that makes it unique. We have your typical “golden” main character who is witty, smart, and used to be wildly popular. However, due to some unfortunate circumstance like some sort of tragedy they are no longer popular.
In the beginning I thought it started out great, but as I kept reading on, it just went downhill. I love playing tennis, and you can call me heartless, but I wouldn’t find losing the ability to play tennis a tragedy. In Ezra’s narration, I didn’t feel the emotions nor passion for me to sympathize with him in his inability to play tennis again–the sport he loved to play. Moreover, I never really felt that Ezra was an outcast after the accident. He didn’t seem pitiful at all.
As for all the characters, I never found them interesting. I wasn’t too fond of Cassidy– Ezra’s love interest. She was the mysterious, rather odd girl and is not like the other trashy girls at Ezra’s school and wears quirky clothes like plaid shirts and sundresses, obviously making her seem like an “amazing” person. Moreover, she’s that type of wonderful human being who is appalled that anyone could want to attend colleges that aren’t Harvard or Yale and assumes all jocks are “brainless” and their girlfriends are “vapid”. Honestly I hate the concept that a character has to be a “nerd” or is quirky, and quotes philosophers in every conversation just to make them seem like have they have such a stellar personality compared to others. It really is all downhill from there since she sticks around to highlight how not-like-other girls she is and how superior she is because she likes Harry Potter while other girls like gossip magazines. I love Harry Potter but honestly Cassidy was too judgmental. Girl, let them read what they want! The only character I liked was Ezra’s dog, Cooper, everyone else I could care less about.
As for the romance, I never gave a damn whether they ended up together or not and this is mostly due to Cassidy’s personality. There was no chemistry nor do I felt like they were really in love with each other. I will admit I didn’t even like them together because it felt like Cassidy was trying to change him and judging him if he didn’t become the kind of person she wanted him to be.
However, nothing infuriated me more than the climax of the story which leads to the ending. The death of Ezra’s dog was extremely untimely and a waste of the disposal of a lovable canine, since it followed the heels of Cassidy’s revelation of personal tragedy. Seriously you had to kill a damn dog just for them to talk again?! It would have been better if the coyote bit Cassidy up a bit instead of the dog. Poor Cooper! I felt that the whole situation between Cassidy and Ezra could have been handled differently without the death of a character (yes even one, that just barks).
The only thing I probably liked in this book aside from our lovable dog, Cooper is the writing style. Sure there were times that I felt that it did try too hard with all the literary references and witty dialogue. No offense but I rarely hear teenagers talk like that, quoting Oscar Wilde or William Faulkner. Truthfully I don’t even know what my actual rating for this book because I didn’t like it at all. If I was probably a teenager I may have enjoyed this book more. I felt too detached with the characters and everything in this book was too predictable and cliched. Moreover, the plot sounded promising but the execution felt really plot. Overall, The Beginning of Everything had potential, however, it just felt short of my expectations. Would I recommend this book? Sure. Despite my dislike I think every book deserves a chance, but I will admit that this was not for me. If you are a John Green fan, then this book may be just for you.
Has any of you read this book? If so what did you think?