Book Title/Author: Every Day by David Levithan
Publisher/Year: Knopf Books for Young Readers 2012
Genre: Contemporary + maybe magical realism? Really defies genre.
Other Books From Author: The Lover’s Dictionary, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, Love Is the Higher Law, Wide Awake, Every You, Every Me, Are We There Yet?, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Every day A, a teen who is neither male nor female, wakes up up in another body and experiences another life for twenty four hours. The teen has no control over it and never knows what body will be next nor the rhyme or reason to it. All A knows is that the best way to get through the day is to just go through the motions of the characters life and try not to do anything out of character or that would really interfere with their life. A has successfully been able to do that until Justin’s body where A meets Rhiannon — Justin’s girlfriend — and makes a very real connection with her.
As somebody who is normally overly verbose and always has something to say, I’m at a loss for words when it comes to Every Day by David Levithan. I will try to explain why I loved it so much but just know this, because I’m afraid my words will just get in the way, I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK. One of my favorites of this year and pretty close to being an all time favorite. If there was ever a time for you to listen to me and read a book I loved, please make it be this one because it is just so beautiful, unique in EVERY sense of the world and just a book that will touch your heart.
The plot itself was just so fascinating. The idea of someone jumping from body to body every day just intrigued me from the start and I loved learning all about how A has coped with it and how it must feel to exist in a completely different way as other people. Life as A knew it was way different than we see life. I was so in I loved getting these little vignettes of the people’s lives and how A related to them or tried to assert themselves. Some of the lives were just incredibly sad. And then once he formed this relationship with Rhiannon I was already invested in A’s life and was so intrigued as to how everything was going to work out considering he was never in the same body. Right from the moment that A made the choice to act differently than he did with all the other bodies I KNEW I was in for a complicatedly good story. I have to say that I SO wished that we knew the WHY/HOW it happened to A but I was completely satisfied not knowing and just accepting it as it was.
A is one of those characters whose presence didn’t just linger for a few hours after I finished but seems to be nestled within the folds of my heart somewhere. A’s story was just incredible. I instantly felt how lonely A was having to switch bodies day after day and be basically rootless. A’s love for Rhiannon was just so overwhelming to me as I could feel ALL OF THE FEELINGS that came with making a real connection with somebody for the first time.
What I found most interesting was how A was gender ambiguous. To be honest, I had the hardest time writing this review because I wanted to keep saying “he” but then had to stop myself. It was interesting because I kept thinking of A as a male even though it was clear that A didn’t know what gender he/she was since A didn’t exist outside of the bodies, both male and female, that he jumped in and out of each day. I found it interesting that I kept thinking of A as a male. I don’t know what it was that kept me hearing A’s voice as male. It challenged me to think a little bit about why that was and if Rhiannon was actually a male would I have seen A as a female? I didn’t have any answers but I thought it was interesting that Levithan was able to challenge my own notion of making A fit nicely into a box of either male or female which was sort of an issue Rhiannon had.
As per usual, David Levithan’s writing is beautiful and gets straight to the heart. He’s really outdone himself this time though making this my favorite David Levithan book thus far! This book is imaginative, will dazzle you with its beauty, make you fall in love with A and make you just want to promptly start it all over again. Every Day defies genre and age — I will recommend this to EVERYONE I know — regardless of what they typically read. Both beautiful and page-turning
For Fans Of: Incredibly unique stories, books that make you think a bit, books that defy genre
Let’s Talky Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? LOVE it as much as I did? Did you think of A as male or female in your head?