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Jukebooks – The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider

2013 September 11
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The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider

Author Robyn Schneider includes music in several scenes from her new book, The Beginning of Everything. This inclusion goes a long way towards setting the mood of a scene and giving glimpses into the characters’s personalities. For Jukebooks this week, then, I’ll give you a sneak peek of this excellent book, complete with musical score. Schneider doesn’t mention specific songs so I’ve selected these from the respective artist’s discography.

Seventeen year-old Ezra is enjoying the good life. President of his junior class, handsome, and athletic, Ezra has a beautiful girlfriend and a BMW. It’s the night of another onerous high school party when everything changes. Already weary of the antics of his drunken friends, Ezra discovers his beautiful girlfriend in bed with another guy. In a stupor of pain, Ezra rushes from the party. But as he begins to drive away, a black SUV races through a stop sign, crashes into Ezra’s BMW, and then speeds away.

The_Freewheelin'_Bob_DylanEzra is badly injured. He spends the summer between junior and senior year in bed recuperating. He’s lost it all – his sport, his girlfriend, his social status, his car. Ezra obsessively listens to “fantastically depressing old music” by Bob Dylan. To captured Ezra’s mood, here is one of the many raw, gut-wrenching Dylan tunes, Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.

The_Shins_-_Port_of_MorrowBut life isn’t stagnant, and Ezra builds a different life. He rekindles an old friendship, gets involved in other activities, and meets Cassidy. As the two of them sit in Ezra’s car, sharing one of those awkward what-to-say moments, the Shins are playing quietly on the radio.

Here’s their Simple Song, edited for length.

Bon Iver-For Emma Forever AgoSchneider gives the reader a sense of Ezra’s new friends simply by their taste in music. One telling scene involves Ezra hanging out with this group while they are on the road for a debate competition. One of the guys puts on Beyonce, and “everyone groans.” The popular choice? Bon Iver. So not Beyonce.

Here’s Skinny Love:

There are many books that mention music that characters love, hate, or happen to hear at a party. Let me know your favorites – Jukebooks thrives on suggestions!

-Diane Colson, currently reading The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt, and listening to The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, narrated by Christine Lakin

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2 Responses
  1. ShariKathryn permalink
    September 12, 2013

    I loved how all throughout “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” Charlie talked about the music that was on and how it made everyone feel and how it connected to what was happening to him at the moment. The mix tapes and records part of the music choices really set the time period for me too, because I vaguely remember making mix tapes right before CD’s became the big new thing, and every Christmas my family still listens to our record collection instead of CD’s. Music is huge, and it made Charlie’s story that much more real, especially when I listened to the songs that were mentioned.

    • Diane Colson permalink
      September 12, 2013

      Thanks, ShariKathryn. That’s a great connection!

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