The Beginning of Everything

Book review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 14+

Engaging novel shows teens' lives altered by tragedy.

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 10 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Inappropriate for teens

I have never written a review but was appalled after reading this book and seeing the ratings for it, especially considering that the only adult rating was by a 13 year old. There is so much unnecessary sexual content in this book that it takes away from what could have been a great story- a teen rediscovering who he really is, characters dealing with tragedy, and the literature and movie references were fun and smart. Here is a non comprehensive list of the sex, etc. in the book- “getting head”, a scene in which a girl is caught giving oral sex, “coming”, references to masturbation (not wanting to be caught in the shower and lube in the bedside table), a scene in which two characters give each other oral sex and then talk about one not being a virgin and the other “saving herself”. Oral sex IS sex. This book makes it seem like it’s not. Too much drinking (I realize that underage drinking isn’t uncommon, but it is done regularly and as a norm). We live in a very troubled culture if we think that this book is appropriate for 13 year olds; unless, of course their parents are discussing the book with them as they read it. As for me, I’ll have my kids skip this book.

This title has:

Too much sex
age 14+

Favorite book!

I am a 13 year old writing on my moms account. I was excited to read this book as soon as I got this and couldn't stop :) It always had me wanting to read more- I read it 2 days straight over the weekend. The end confused me and I still wish they elaborated more on some details. Also there were some inappropriate scenes that I honestly felt weird reading. I am mature though and was fine with it- some others most likely would not have been. Overall, great teen romance that I never wanted to end.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Book Details

  • Author: Robyn Schneider
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Topics: Friendship, History
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: August 27, 2013
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 17
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: March 11, 2020

Our Editors Recommend

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