“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.”
Schneider’s Severed Heads and Broken Hearts (also known as The Beginning of Everything) tells the story Ezra Faulkner and what happens when life as he knows it crashes and burns. Before the accident he’d been a sporting superstar, sat at the popular table and was pretty much the king of the school. Then everything changed. Now, he just wants to blend in which is pretty much impossible considering he walks with a limp and cane. He finds himself sitting with a bunch of misfits, joining the debate team and falling head over heels in love with the new girl Cassidy Thorpe.
I loved this book.
That’s not much of a review, I know, but I’m getting there. It’s been a while since I’ve read something that I couldn’t put down. Staying up until the early hours isn’t advisable when you’ve got to get up and on a train the next day, but it was definitely worth it.
Parts of the story did feel rather familiar – you know, boy meets girl, they fall in love … blah blah blah – but this book is about so much more than that. It’s about navigating through life even when you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, finding new friends, rekindling seemingly lost friendships and finding out who you want to be. Boy might have met girl, but he also met ambition, adventure and the realisation that he doesn’t have to do things because that’s what’s expected of him.
The characters are well written, to the point that they feel more like my imaginary friends than words on a page. There’s witty dialogue and some very original elements that I don’t want to give away (let’s just say the title is very fitting).
I laughed. I cried. I went without sleep to find out what happens next.
Ezra believes that everyone gets one tragedy in life, and I think mine is that I can’t unread books to go back and start over.
4.5 / 5