Sunday, 18 August 2013

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts, by Robin Schneider

Ezra Faulkner has a theory: that everyone in their lifetime will encounter a personal tragedy. Something that will change them, something that will make them from one person into another, and after which only the ‘after’ will matter. Ezra, golden boy sports star, whose personal tragedy hits – literally – age seventeen.

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is the aftermath, Ezra’s story as he comes to terms with his personal tragedy and finds out who he really wants to be. There are old friends and new friends; there are new experiences to try and old experiences to move past; and there is a girl, of course - a girl with her own personal tragedy. But what is it? Why is she hot one minute, cold the next? What is she so afraid of? Can Ezra unlock her aftermath at the same as he tries to figure out his?

Author Robin Schneider is being likened to John Green, and for good reason. Severed Heads is immensely readable and I raced through it no time at all. It doesn’t have quite the same depth as a John Green or A S King novel, but it has the same feel and the same good intentions, making it the perfect recommend for any John Green fan. I am quite tempted to read it a second time, and will definitely be looking out for future books by this author.

And the title? Well, it’s a reference to part of the story inside, obviously, though it’s a slightly unusual choice. Interestingly, in the US it appears this book is called The Beginning of Everything, which is much more clear-cut – I wonder why it’s been changed for the UK audience?

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