Blurb: Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them – a moment 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 meets Cassidy Thorpe. Intelligent, effortless and wonderful weird, she is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever known 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 survive disaster the first time round, what happens when it strikes again?
SLIGHT SPOILERS …
Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is the English title for this book ( The Beginning of Everything in the American title). I first saw this novel on The Works (online) where I picked it up. I thought the premise for the novel was interesting and I had just finished reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and wanted to read some more contemporary YA novels. I like Robyn Schneider’s writing style and the way she builds her story.
This is a coming of age/ finding yourself novel and I didn’t think I was going to get into it as much as I did. It is quirky, entertaining, witty and humorous and I did find myself laughing out loud a couple of times. This novel is from a male POV (Ezra’s) and I don’t tend to go for that, and they aren’t very common to find. It’s a mix of different teenage troubles, personal tragedy, frailty of teen/first love and surviving and accepting the challenges you face in your life.
Ezra’s personal progression is interesting to follow, to some it can possibly see that he is brooding almost to the point of cliché. That being said when he finally comes out of his shell he is a likeable and witty character, if a little set in his popular jock ways. I like the way he reflects on his life before the accident, as it sheds that shallow persona that is characterised by the jock type characters.
I have a love/hate relationship with Cassidy with her vintage clothing and slightly off kilter way of thinking. She reminds me of myself slightly, maybe because I am slightly off kilter myself. She challenges Ezra and allows him to become someone other than the jock because she does not see him in that way has no expectations of him. In reflection you see that she has not come to terms with her grief and she isn’t trying to be a horrible person.
As much as I was rooting for them to get back together, I happily accepted the way the book ended. Part of me thinks that Ezra likes the idea of being in love with someone who is so wholly different from his previous girlfriend Charlotte and he has this need to solve the puzzle that surrounds Cassidy. Was it love, I am not all that sure. However if you love contemporary fiction then I would totally recommend it as it is in the POV of the male protagonist it gives a different perspective and a welcome change from the predominantly female POV these novels usually follow.
My GoodReads rating: 4.5 Stars