Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is an upcoming book by Robyn Schneider, the author responsible for the Knightley Academy books that I enjoyed so much (and want more of). I’m slowly edging my foot into Young Adult contemporary and this book suited my mood well. I really needed something that was a little different. For me.
Ezra Faulkner used to be the athletic darling of Eastwood high. That was before the accident that shattered his knee and broke (sprained?) his wrist. Now, unable to play tennis he must flow through his senior life alone and unfamiliar. The social structure of his life has been irreparably damaged. Before the accident he caught his girlfriend, Charlotte, cheating on him at the party that he fled from. Now everything is different with his friends and Ezra cannot bring himself (mentally or physically) to join in the games like he used to. He begins to talk to an old friend, Toby, a social disaster who is now a member of Eastwood’s debate team. This move also brings his attention to Cassidy Thorpe, the unconventional girl who will change his outlook on life in strange and earth shattering ways.
Ezra begins to fall for Cassidy. This new development fills him with doubt. How could a woman possible fall for him now that he has nothing to offer her?
The relationships in this book are all compelling and heartfelt, not just the possible “what if” between Ezra and Cassidy. Ezra rises and falls in the social strata of Eastwood like a bird changing elevation. Many people cannot forget how who he used to be and his new limitations. They continue to engage him as he once was. Things are different now though, Ezra is different. He has new perceptions of life and he sees everything much clearer now. There is only so much he is willing to put up with.
Cassidy presents a different challenge – the great unknown. He has never encountered a woman like her, free spirited and intelligent and sexy; a dangerous combination. It’s a relationship unlike any he has had with anyone and the shaky ground of newness shakes Ezra to his core. And Cassidy, the beauteous Cassidy, who may or may not be Daisy Buchanan, has her own inner tumult as well. She has a past and secrets and the unveiling of both of them is one of the most poignant parts of this whole book. And the reveal… wow. Yeah, I gasped aloud. I didn’t see it coming at all. But it’s the journey that is worth its weight in gold, particularly if you enjoy character driven books, which this is. In spades.
Beautifully told and achingly haunting this book just landed itself in my favourites of the year. Pay no mind to the fact that it is the only thing I have read in 2013 (thus far) it’s still one of the best books I have read in a long time. I cannot remember the last time I opened something and became so utterly absorbed in the characters. Ezra is profound, I want to be friends with him. And Cassidy, well, I want to fall in love with her too. Reveals and all. I always was a sucker for a barefoot redhead in the park.
5 out of 5 stars. I absolutely loved it.
* Severed Heads, Broken Hearts releases June 4, 2013.