Title/Author: Every Day by David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Published: August 28th, 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 324 pages
How I Got This Book: Immediately put it on hold when I noticed the record go up at my library and waited until it came in!
Why I Picked It Up?: Aside from the fact that David Levithan is a YALLFest author, I was intrigued by the blurb when I first saw it, and then seeing so many positive reviews really made me want to read it that much sooner!
Book Jacket Blurb: “Every day I am someone else. I am myself–I know I am myself–but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.
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.”
My Review of this Work:
Who are you, really? How do you identify yourself? How do others see you? If you have ever wanted to read a novel that constantly asks these questions and then questions them, then you need to go out and pick up a copy of this book. Do you love getting to know a lot of different characters? Again, go pick up this book. Do you love to read a romance that is complicated yet beautiful?
Need I repeat myself again?
David Levithan’s most recent work, Every Day, is a novel unlike anything I have ever read. This novel raises the question of self and self-identity in a revolutionary way. This novel describes a romance like no other. And this novel transports you into the world of a completely unique protagonist. As the blurb describes, our narrator and protagonist, A, has no body of his own. Each and every day, A wakes up in a new body with a new family, new friends. A new life. For one day. Then, the day after, the cycle starts over. Every day. (You notice a theme, yet?)
The writing style of this novel is so exquisitely lovely, which is a testament to how talented David Levithan is as a storyteller. The only other work by him I have previously read is Boy Meets Boy, which is a cute contemporary romance novel (LGBTQ of course), and the style of writing reflected that story. But because Every Day deals with questions of identity and self and contemplates some deep psychological and philosophical ideas, Levithan crafts his writing in a way that reflects a deeper kind of story. I love this about him! The fact that he adjusts his tone to each and every story he tells while still keeping his unique story-telling abilities makes him a top-notch author.
The beautiful characteristic of this novel is A’s unique life. Because A is not the same person twice, and their is no limitation to who can be inhabited, A is everything and nothing. A is male and female; A is outgoing and shy; A is athletic and clumsy. And for a reader, not being able to fully define the protagonist is something that is difficult to wrap your mind around. And yet, the fact that you cannot fully wrap your mind around A encompasses the beauty of this story and this character. A is everything and nothing. A is everyone and no one. And yet, A is still someone.
I know a lot of reviewers have struggled with personally relating to A in the terms of “Is A a male or a female?” Honestly, I found it pretty easy to accept A for who A is on a day to day basis. When I think about A, I use the pronoun “he” a lot simply because, throughout most of this novel A inhabits a boy’s body. And he falls in love with a girl who is a heterosexual. But honestly, I would have accepted any kind of romance that Levithan wanted to give me! But for the purposes of the rest of the review, I will use “he” as my pronoun of choice. Just know that I realize and understand that A is more than just a “he”.
I cannot talk about this novel without talking about the romance aspect of the story. A meets Rhiannon and spends a wonderful day with her at the beach. When A wakes up as someone new, he finds himself thinking of Rhiannon, dreaming about her. And so he pursues her, over and over, in many different bodies as many different people. But A is still the same A, and his essence as an individual shines through to Rhiannon. Their relationship is not easy for either of them. For A, who knows where he will end up day to day? But for Rhiannon, to accept who A is is difficult enough. But trying to have a relationship with an individual who literally changes every single day is overwhelming on all levels. And I feel like Rhiannon’s character development is very realistic in terms of reactions and thought processes. The romance itself is absolutely precious–seeing Rhiannon truly accepting A adds such a beauty to their relationship. But it is A’s love for Rhiannon from beginning to end that really makes this novel what it is: stunningly beautiful.
I could rave about this novel all day, for so many reasons. The writing is exquisite and well-paced, the characters are real, and the philosophical elements keep you thinking about this story long after you finish the last sentence. This novel raises serious questions of love and acceptance of yourself and others for who they are, not what they are. Every Day is definitely one of those novels that will stay with you forever.
My Bookshelf Rating:
A Top Shelf Book!!
Sheer beauty, this novel is. A story told with lyrical style and relies on the essence of the individual, because A changes bodies every single day. Not only do you get to follow the developing relationship, but this novel allows you to meet new characters every chapter. I found this to be a beautiful story of life and love, and A’s narrative voice is consistently profound. There is just something magical about this story, something that just captures you from the beginning and holds you through to the very end. Just beautiful and wonderful and a recommended read for all!
Love and Woodpeckers,