Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Before the accident, Ezra was a star tennis player in his school. He sat at the table in the cafeteria. He dated Charlotte, one of the popular crowd. He was class president. Ezra began his assent years ago when his friend Toby became notorious through a sad twist of fate - Ezra broke away from Toby to avoid being stigmatized.

Ezra believes that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them and his turn came in the form of a car accident after he left a party (coinciding with his break up with Charlotte). He was sidelined for the whole summer and can no longer play tennis, ever. He starts his senior year with a wrist brace and a cane and all eyes on him. He knows he no longer belongs with the popular group (even when they try to coax him back).

So Ezra finds himself sitting with Toby and realizing how much he misses him. He also starts talking to the new girl, Cassidy. She is not like any other girl he has ever known. She wants him to find the real Ezra. They go places and do things he has never done before. There may be life after tennis for long as everything remains this good.

At one point in this story, Ezra confesses to being quiet because he has nothing interesting to say. Keeping quiet is safe - no looking stupid or boring. His words were the ones I heard in my own head when I was his age. I was never popular or athletic, but I was fearful of speaking out. I had friends but not many. I could have used someone like Cassidy to help me find myself (fortunatly, I found her as an adult). It is those moments when I read something familiar; something that reminds me of my own life that I truly connect with a story.

For more info, check out the Evergreen library catalog and the author's site.

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