A linked tragedy

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Severed Heads, Broken Hearts (aka. The Beginning of Everything)
by Robyn Schneider
Series: N/A
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (this edition)
Published: September 1st 2013 (this edition)
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Date read: June 19th 2014
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do/With your one wild and precious life?”

One day, I was strolling around in the local bookstore when the cover of Severed Heads, Broken Hearts caught my eye. I picked up the book and read the back and immediately wanted to read it. After a while, I finally did. The book revolves around Ezra Faulkner, the so-called “Golden Boy” with the perfect life. He is a popular jock and prom king, as well as dating the school’s popular girl. However, Ezra believes that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, if they haven’t already been strucken by it. So it doesn’t really come as a shock when his tragedy knocks him out. After a hideous accident, which left his knee shattered, along with his social life and tennis career.

[SPOILER ALERT!]

The characters:
Ezra Faulkner: At the beginning of the story, I found Ezra rather whiny. I understand that it looked like his life was shattered and that he now wouldn’t be able to do what he loved to do anymore; which is tennis… and what I found quite obnoxiously; run the school. I get (partially) that he miss being “in control” of everything, but come on, it’s not the end of the world. His values seems to be a little … off? I don’t really know, but I didn’t get a really good first impress of him.
I later on warmed up to him after seeing him being assosiated with “master debaters” (haha. Can’t deny, it’s slightly funny…). They seem to mostly be a good gang, except Luke (occasionally). What I don’t really get is his obsession with “popularity”. Even though he know hangs with the debaters, he still looks over to the “popular” table where his old friends are. I was very pleased when he understood the how shallow the whole thing was at the end of the book. I swear, if he got back with Charlotte. Ugh… I’m also glad that he stayed friends with Toby, but I wished he would’ve put up a little bit of fight for her. I guess I didn’t want the relationship to just end like that.
Cassidy Thorpe: Honestly, I don’t really know if I liked Cassidy or not. I started out automatically liking her. Or at least expecting to like her. But the whole “misterous” thing with her was just… off (?) for me. I got rather frustrated, but that might have been the purpose of the writing. She was the kind of person I would be friends with, but not close friends. I guess she was nice and all, but her decision was rather selfish in some way. I’m not calling her selfish, what I mean is that Ezra should have a say in wether or not he could handle her being the brother of the one who handicapped him. I guess the hardship she felt is understandable. But I still would prefer if they sorted it out in another way. Or kept contact? But who am I to say. This is a rather infrequent situation.
Toby Ellicott: I was  slightly traumatized at the beginning of the book when I read that Toby had to hold a severed head (I see what you did there, Schneider) on a rollercoaster on his birthday. I can only imagine the horror. I kind of liked Toby more than Ezra. His personality appealed to me more. The thing about Toby is that he is so laid back and is somehow still standing strong even after the severed head incident. I don’t really understand how the other students could joke about it. Someone died. They didn’t just accidently get pushed into an awkward situation. The kid’s head literally flew into Toby’s lap. I felt that being somehow mocked about that is absurd and quite out of the line.
I really liked Toby when he was like “Don’t go severed heads on me again” or something like that when Ezra started to distance himself after getting dumped by Cassidy. It’s really rare for people to actually voice their opinion. Like “don’t ditch me again”. Sometimes stuff happens and people may do things they don’t intend to do, maybe even without noticing it themselves. Therefore being remined by their close ones could be like a wake up call. I’m happy Toby said something. The fact that he turned out to be gay was a nice touch to his story.

The plot:
I liked the plot, but at the same time, it didn’t wowed me. It was interesting, and some aspects where well written. But I didn’t fell in love with it. The whole accident and small world situation was actually impressive. However, that was kind of it. I didn’t feel like I was under a spell when I read it, like I had to keep reading it.
The love story in this book was actually sweet. It wasn’t anything out of this world or anything like that, but it was sweet. They did what ordinary young couples do. It wasn’t über romantic or anything like that, but it was something I would wish for myself (hehe…). I wanted to see where the realationship was going, so I wasn’t fond of the ending at all. I guess it was a realistic ending, in a way, but I’m personally in a mood for ooey-gooey romantic love book. Not going all PDA here, but I would have prefer it more if they somehow worked things out.
Last thing I have to mention: HOLY SHIZZ COOPER! I was so sad when he died. I kind of saw it coming after the coyote was mentioned. The poor poodle. That saddened me more than the breakup between Cassidy and Ezra.. Which is kind of tragic…

Note: I’m sorry guys, I don’t really have anything else to say about this book. I’m kind of having a sort of “writer’s block”.

All in all: 
Recommendation: Even though I didn’t close this book with tears streaming down my face, I really did like it and would recommend it nonetheless.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (I was kind of torn  between 4 and 4.5. I kind of didn’t want to give it so much because I didn’t truly like it that much. But the accident clash was kind of brilliant. And the humor was amazing. So I half-heartly give it 4.5 stars)

UP NEXT: Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

PS: Sorry it took so long to write this. I’ve been having a lot of things to do sincec summer started. I’m currently reading City of Bones and trying to catch up on the goodreads challenge so I don’t know whether I’m going to write the review of Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern or not. I’ll try though. Again; sorry!!

– Ellen

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