Title: Every Day by David Levithan
Published: August 28th, 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided for review by publisher (NetGalley)
Grade rate: B
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.
Every Day is the second book by author David Levithan that I read; Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, which he co-wrote with Rachel Cohn, is one of my favorite books ever. I am glad that I had the opportunity to read Every Day.
The premise of this book is very original and different; of course I have read books before in which a ‘being’ inhabits another’s body, but never for just a day. The ‘being’ in question here calls him/herself “A” in an effort to distinguish himself from the host/body. He has a way to access the host’s memories and tries to leave the life as untouched as possible. One day “A” wakes up as Justin, Rhiannon’s boyfriend, and falls instantly in love with her. I understand the ‘insta-love’ on A’s part because he really does have only a limited number of hours to inhabit a body, therefore it is believable. The same is not true for Rhianon though. She struggles with what A is (which, by the way, is never answered) and with a way to make any type of relationship work.
I have to confess that I also struggled with the concept of an ‘asexual’ being that inhabits both boys and girls bodies. Since I also like boys I would feel completely uncomfortable in viewing a girl (and a stranger at that) as a possible love interest. I understand the way “A” feels, as this is very normal for him (please note that it’s easier to keep assuming that A is a boy) and he had years to get used to the idea, but I found it unfair of him to reproach Rhianon for feeling uncomfortable. I think that Rhianon did the best she could under the circumstances; I’m not even sure that I would have gone that far or believe A in the first place.
The writing is truly amazing and what I enjoy the most. There is a lot of narration and explanations and not as much dialogue, but the story is never boring. Mr. Levithan also approaches difficult topics, such as drug use, depression, suicidal thoughts, bullying, poverty, religious fanatics, racial differences, alcoholism, and same sex relationships.
The only thing that I wasn’t crazy about was the part about the involvement of the church and the ‘possessed’ pastor, especially when it didn’t answer any questions, and it seemed too ‘out there’ to be believable.
The ending was bittersweet, but expected, and I have to confess that I cried. Overall, Every Day is a great read. Oh, and by the way, the setting of the story is Maryland; I’m having really good luck with books set in the state I call home :)
Here are some non-spoiler quotes from Every Day:
“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot.”
“I don’t have the heart to tell him that’s the wrong way to thing about the world. There will always be more questions. Every answer leads to more questions. The only way to survive is to let some of them go.”
“Every relationship has a hard part at the beginning. This is our hard part. It’s not like a puzzle piece where there’s an instant fit. With relationships, you have to shape the pieces on each end before the go perfectly together”
About the cover: The cover is different and beautiful in its own right. We can clearly see a boy and a girl and some other person too. Is like ‘something’ represented by the light here is separating them.
Have you read Every Day? Did you like it? What do you think of this premise?