Monday, 7 April 2014

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider

Title: Severed Heads, Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Series: N/A
Service: Own
Release Date: 01/09/2013
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback


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Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them - a moment after which everything that really matter will happen. His own tragedy waited until he had everything to lose - in one night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's 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 meets Cassidy Thorpe. Intelligent, effortless and wonderfully weird, she is unlike anyone Ezra's ever known 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 survive a disaster the first time round, what happens when it strikes again?

Give us a few words...

Why do you say that?

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts was a book that I had heard a lot about and decided that I must read. I will never forgive myself for waiting so long to get around to it.

From the first few pages Robyn Schneider pulls you in by describing the tragedy that befell Ezra’s old best friend Toby when they were younger. What a way to open a book!

Narrated by Ezra Faulkner, an athletic boy that once had it all but loses it after a car accident. We follow Ezra’s story as he adjusts to no longer being part of the popular crowd and reconnecting with friends he had drifted away from.

Ezra was definitely the reason I was drawn to reading this book. His character was realistic and written so well. From his sarcastic quips at his over bearing mother to the pity parties in his room to the longing to be popular and ditching the people that really mattered, Ezra was the perfect mix. His interaction with the other characters is what really drives this book that is less about plot and more about his self discovery.

Schneider delves into the school yard politics that exist from the different lunch tables to the mock nominations for prom. Her characterisation was something I could not fault. There are characters in this book you will love easily (Toby) and those that you will hate (Charlotte) but all for the right reasons.

Romance plays a massive role in this plot but I think that was to be expected from the high school settings. Ezra and Cassidy seem so perfectly matched for a number of reasons. They are both hurt and broken and although they never discuss it, it is this unspoken similarity that binds them. At times I did dislike the way Cassidy uses it as leverage against him but by the end of the book this makes sense. Their tumultuous relationship keeps you guessing and Cassidy’s secrets are slowly exposed as the book goes on. The first revelation was something I did not expect but the second was more predictable afterwards.

For me, the best part of this book was the very end. Ezra’s revelations about his life are very refreshing. It was nice to see that his journey of self discovery had not been fruitless and that he understood what had happened in his life and why.

I would say that Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is something you should pick up if you are looking for a broody and confused guy teamed with an intelligent and feisty girl in a typical high school setting.

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