Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider Review: aka The Beginning of Everything

October 30, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider Review: aka The Beginning of EverythingSevered Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider
Published by Simon and Schuster Australia on September 1, 2013
Source: Publisher
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.

beginingofeverythingSevered 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


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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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36 responses to “Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider Review: aka The Beginning of Everything

  1. Eve

    I want to read this SO BADLY! It sounds like such a good book and I think I'll love the characters, too. I haven't been reading many good books lately, so I'm buying this one as soon as possible!
    Eve recently posted…Review: AllegiantMy Profile

  2. It's been a couple of months ago now since I've finished this book. Frankly, I might have forgotten the story already. At the time, I begrudgingly gave this book 5 stars. Trust me, my insides were screaming. Lol. I don't like how it ended. But I can't deny how freaking well-written this book is. Also, I do so love the original title.

    Great review, Jeann.
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  3. I find it curious that they changed the title, perhaps they thought 'The Beginning of Everything' would be further reaching than 'Severed Heads…' (the former title is more fun!) I think I'm going to have to check this one out…mainly because you refer to Cassidy as the female Augustus Waters and um, I need this in my life.
    Wattle recently posted…Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #2My Profile

  4. I'm glad that you loved this one so much! I seemed to have been in the minority with this one, since I only gave it three stars, but the references were definitely something that kept me interested the entire time. Saying that Cassidy is like the female Augustus Waters is definitely something too, I'm glad that you loved it that much to say that about it.

    Fantastic review, Jeann!
    Eileen @ Singing and recently posted…Waterfell by Amalie HowardMy Profile

  5. Toby was my fave. I loved his sarcasm and, like you, the way he just accepted Ezra. He didn't hold a grudge or bring up any crap from the past and it was SO awesome to read about a character who could let go of stuff that happened when everyone was kids. So often in YA you have people holding grudges for crap that went on when they were 12 – it's so tiring.

    Also LOVED how Toby called Ezra out when he started 'severed heading' him again haha.

    Great review 😀
    Allie @ Little Birdi recently posted…Review: Shatter Me {Tahereh Mafi}My Profile

  6. Humor, mystery, severed heads, broken hearts and characters bursting at the seams…ooh this sounds so good. Agree about the title change..I love the first one!

  7. When I saw that you were reading this book, I checked it out and saw that it is on my TBR, but was confused because of the title. Then I saw the other editions and realized they did change the title! I liked the previous title, but this one's catchy.

    I will read this soon because I am a geek! And I like references to geeky things on books and TV and movies!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Review : 86. Fangirl by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

  8. I will be starting this one tonight as soon as I get back from classes and I'm beyond excited to start it. This sounds like my kind of contemporary YA book with its perfect dose of friendship, romance and growing up. I can't wait to meet Ezra and his new friends. Cassidy sounds perfect too.

    I agree with you on the title. Severed Hearts and Broken Hearts is much much better.

    Lovely review, Jeann!
    Nick @ Nick's B recently posted…Review : Foreplay by Sophie JordanMy Profile

  9. Oops I hit enter and it posted my comment haha.

    …and humor mixed into this story was the best and really made it overall lighthearted even though it's a pretty sad story overall. Anyways. great review, Jeann! 🙂
    Giselle recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (98)My Profile

  10. Haha kinda gay. I loved Toby! Really all the characters in this one are awesome. I liked how the romance was handled too and I found the ending so heartbreaking and so very realistic. Glad you loved it too the witty writing and