Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on 8/28/2012
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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A has no friends. No parents. No family. No possessions. No home, even. Because every day, A wakes up in the body of a different person. Every morning, a different bed. A different room. A different house. A different life. A is able to access each person's memory, enough to be able to get through the day without parents, friends, and teachers realizing this is not their child, not their friend, not their student. Because it isn't. It's A. Inhabiting each person's body. Seeing the world through their eyes. Thinking with their brain. Speaking with their voice.
It's a lonely existence--until, one day, it isn't. A meets a girl named Rhiannon. And, in an instant, A falls for her, after a perfect day together. But when night falls, it's over. Because A can never be the same person twice. But yet, A can't stop thinking about her. She becomes A's reason for existing. So each day, in different bodies--of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, walks of life--A tries to get back to her. And convince her of their love. But can their love transcend such an obstacle?
Every Day was one of the most unusual novels I’ve ever read. It was beautiful and poetic…and heartbreaking. It’s the kind of story that sucks you in and doesn’t ever let you go. Not even after you’ve turned that very last page.
A wakes up in the body of a different person – someone his age – ever day. That’s how it has always been for A, since he was a baby, before any of it made sense. It still doesn’t make sense, but A stopped asking “why me” and “how” a long time ago and just accepts facts and lives other people’s lives the best way he can. He does not interfere; he merely exists to move on to the next body he inhabits. This does not end for him, he forms no attachments and A seems content.
Then A lands in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. Every rule he ever set for himself, they no longer matter.
This is my first David Levithan novel, but it was certainly a doozy. I was absolutely captivated throughout the entire story. It had me rallying for A, desperate for some resolution so he and Rhiannon could be together. Even though the story is told in the 1st-person and A tells himself how content he is with his situation, I didn’t feel that from him. I felt resignation. No one should feel resigned to his or her own life, and my heart just broke for him because of this.
David Levithan also touched on some really awesome themes throughout the novel: the idea that you don’t fall in love with a gender, but with a kindred soul. A is genderless, and even though I got the sense in Every Day that A is male, he’s really not anything; not male or female. And he could just as easily love a man, and throughout his body habitations, he feels pulls to both sexes, through the emotions of his hosts. And he’s loved both male and female. It really spoke to me that it’s not so much what’s on the outside as what is on the inside that counts.
But at the same time, Levithan also tells us that what’s on the outside does count, too. Rhiannon has a hard time connecting A to a physical body (because he doesn’t have one!). Is his soul as attractive to her when A is an extremely obese 16-year-old male? Or a super-hot black girl who could double as Beyonce? I’ll let you read it to figure that out.
The characters were just brilliant. Because A inhabits a number of bodies, Levithan has to write a wide array of characters, and he does so with such color and vivacity. Each character feels alive and real; I could have reached through the page to touch him or her. Not only did he write the obese boy and the hot black girl, but he also wrote the nerdy kid, the jocks, the insecure girl, the drug addict, the illegal citizen, the gay male, and the lesbian…I could go on and on. But what makes all of these characters so very special is that we, as the reader, get the unique perspective of their character from a 1st-person point of view, from A’s perspective. I absolutely adored that. If you could spend a day in the life of someone….A does. Every Day.
On the flip side, A is only ever in one person for a day, so he doesn’t feel very grounded in reality at times. He’s very philosophical, but his perspective at times feels very one-sided.
(One thing that tickled my fancy is Levithan’s obvious love for the band, Placebo. I am a big fan, so his use of their lyrics in this story made me smile. And upon further inspection of his other books, it seems he is as big a fan as I am. He even titled one of his other books after one of their other songs!)
The ending to Every Day wasn’t my favorite. I was hoping for something…else. Something better. But I do understand why it ended the way it did. And I still rooted for him. I’ll always root for A. Every Day.
Self-preservation isn’t worth it if you can’t live with the self you’re preserving.
Disclaimers: This ebook was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads. *If you decide to purchase this book through any of these links, I do receive a small monetary kick-back.
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