Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
From goodreads.com: Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
I was in a weird mood when I read this, where it wasn't really what I was looking for but I needed to grab something to bring to work. It turned out to be perfect for me. It has: a love story that (SPOILER ALERT) doesn't end well, shattered dreams (and a shattered knee!), an awesome group of friends, and is generously sprinkled with pop culture references (Welcome to the OC, bitch!).
I think this book really benefits from its cast of characters. Ezra is super likable and Cassidy is just a little bit quirky and out there without being annoying. Toby is awesome and totally there for Ezra even though their friendship fell apart years ago. The roller coaster story is both horrifying and wonderful at the same time. Ezra and Cassidy's love story is heartbreaking, beautiful, and (amongst all the tragedy) exactly what a senior year romance is. I think Schneider got it perfectly in this one.