Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

My own tragedy held out. It waited to strike until I was so used to my good-enough life in an unexceptional suburb that I’d stopped waiting for anything interesting to happen. Which is why, when my own personal tragedy finally found me, it was nearly too late. I had just turned seventeen, was embarrassingly popular, earned good grades, and was threatening to become eternally unextraordinary.
So who as in the aftermath of my personal tragedy? I had been Ezra Faulkener, golden boy, but that person no longer existed.
Published by Simon and Schuster 2013
Pages – 283
Summary from Amazon
In one terrible night, Ezra Faulkner’s world is turned upside down by a reckless driver who shatters his knee, his athletic career, and his perfect life. No longer part of the popular crowd, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters Cassidy Thorpe. Intelligent, effortless and wonderfully weird, she is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met before. Together they discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings and a poodle with a questionable history. But as Ezra dives into new friendships and new love, he is forced to ask: if you've managed to survive disaster, what happens when it strikes again? Robyn Schneider's Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is a lyrical, witty and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
*****
Reviewed by author,  Elizabeth Dale 
The review on the cover of this book states ‘John Green’s... fans will eat this up’. Quite a claim, but a valid one. This is a gripping book dealing with big issues. In the first chapter Ezra states  ‘everyone’s life, no matter how unremarkable, has a singular tragic encounter after which everything that really matters will happen... That moment is the catalyst – the first step in the equation. But knowing that first step, will get you nowhere – it’s what comes after that determines the result.’ In other words the book is not about the tragic encounter itself, it’s how life is handled afterwards.
For Ezra’s friend, Toby, it is when he sits behind an unfortunate tourist who stands up on a ride at Disney and whose decapitated head – the ‘severed head’ of the title falls into his lap. For Ezra it is when he is involved in a car crash that leaves him so badly injured he no longer fits in the charmed world he was happily inhabiting – golden boy, popular guy, junior class president and captain of the tennis team. 

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