Published by Simon and Schuster Australia on September 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them - a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His own tragedy waited until he had everything to lose - in one night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his perfect life.
No longer part of the popular crowd, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters Cassidy Thorpe. Intelligent, effortless and wonderfully weird, she is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met before. Together they discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings and a poodle with a questionable history.
But as Ezra dives into new friendships and new love, he is forced to ask: if you've managed to survive disaster, what happens when it strikes again?
Robyn Schneider's Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is a lyrical, witty and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
It starts with a severed head and ends with a broken heart. I’m not sure why they renamed the book to The Beginning of Everything, because the previous title captures this charming story perfectly. I just loved the charming, quirky nature of this novel, it was entertaining and hilarious, completely random and it just worked.
Ezra Faulkner was always a bit of a nerd, but he somehow fell into the popular crowd when he hit high school due to his tennis skills. But when a freak accident happens and his knee is shattered after a hit and run, he loses his jock status and joins the nerdy debate crowd at school. There he meets the mysterious new girl called Cassidy, who everyone in the debate team seems to know and his interest in her develops over the course of the novel.
Ezra’s new friends – where have they been all my life? It was refreshing to read about a nerdy crew that are totally comfortable in who they are and that aren’t branded as losers. They seem to have the greatest fun outside of school, gaming, debate drinking games, silent flash mobs, geocaching and watching intellectual films. Ezra just seemed to blend with them perfectly and every new activity seemed like an adventure. The novel is full of geeky references that I adored, from playing Fruit Assassin, endless Harry Potter references and zombies, they all put a smile on my face.
“Still here, Faulkner?” Luke sneered.
“Still doing that terrible impression of Draco Malfoy?” I asked.
The writing is equally as charming and it was easy to fall into Robyn Schneider’s writing. It’s witty and humorous and flows so well, and I fell in love with all of the characters that she has created. Toby is Ezra’s childhood friend who is ‘kinda gay’ and welcomes him back into his arms, despite Ezra ditching him at the start of high school. His dry humour was great, and I kinda loved his matter of fact outlook on being gay, but not being able to come out in high school.
“Fine! You guys can all be beautiful snowflakes! I’m going to go over here and be an awkward snowflake!” – Toby
Cassidy, she’s such an unusual, mysterious character who is full of sarcasm and wit. The chemistry between her and Ezra was just bursting at the seams, with her natural intelligence and endless trivia and Ezra’s obvious attraction to her. She is the female Augustus Waters of the literary world. It was refreshing to have him lusting over Cassidy but still appreciating her personality, air of mystery and intelligence. There is sex is this novel and let’s face it, teenagers have sex and it was done perfectly here.
Severed Heads, Broken Hearts (aka. The Beginning of Everything) is a charming, witty and hilarious contemporary novel that everyone should read. It’s intelligent, full of geek references and fills in the gaping hole left by The Fault in Our Stars quite nicely. Pick this up for a light, fun contemporary read!
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 out of 5