Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Published: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
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?
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- Christina found this title to be incredibly unique and places it on her third shelf.
**Note** An eBook of this title was provided by the publishers via Net Galley. However, that did not influence this review in any way.
Depending on your definition of “spoiler,” there might be a mild case of spoiling in this review.
The Lowdown: A lives the loneliest of existences, living a life that’s really not his at all. You see, each day A wakes up in the body of a different person, never knowing which race, gender, religious affiliation, or type of person he’ll be from one day to the next and at midnight, he’ll be pulled from that body and transported to the next. It’s been this way for as long as he can remember and his biggest struggles of the day are to remain in that person’s body, living their life as they would live it, without raising too much suspicion from those around him- parents, siblings, friends, significant others- that anything is different, that for this one single day, that person is anyone other than themselves. He has questions about his life, but is pretty resigned to the fact that things are the way they are and nothing can be done about it. A is meticulous in his efforts, never imposing his will on his host’s thoughts, never interfering in their lives, until one day he wakes up as Justin. After meeting Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon, suddenly he’s making mistakes he’s never made before and wishing against all hope that he existed in a single body and never had to say goodbye again.
“Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.”
Author Ego-Booster: I was drawn to this book immediately by its original premise, the ability to live your life each day essentially as a new person. I can say I’ve had this thought often enough, wondered what it would be like to be recreated over and over again; the possibilities are endless. I love the way that the author wove this tale, such creativity in creating all these people and the lives that went with each person. I enjoyed getting to know them all, their quirks and flaws, what made them who they were and the experiences that A was able to receive from being in their body for a single twenty-four-hour period. The knowledge he is able to access from seeing the world through a different pair of eyes (or in the case of a blind girl he was at one time, other senses) each day is almost unfathomable.
I also liked the embedded message within, about love at it’s most basic form. Do people really fall in love with someone’s soul, their very being, or regardless of how much we wish to deny it happens, are our emotions- our love– tied to how we view a person? Does it matter that a person is of a certain gender or race, does altering that person’s appearance really alter how you would feel about them in the end? I think we’d all like to think of ourselves as being able to love free of judgement and not be superficial, but is that truly possible? To be honest, I don’t know if I woke up to my husband as a woman one day how I would feel about that, and it has nothing to do with being attracted to a certain sex or not. I mean, the rational part of me wants to say that I’d love him no matter what, but like Rhiannon addresses so very often in the story, who and how we love a person is often tied to the images and memories we have of them. Yes, love goes beyond skin deep for most people, but doesn’t seeing the same skin over a period of time tie into the love that we feel? This story is definitely one that makes you think.
Without a doubt, Mr. Levithan has the effortless ability to captivate his readers from the beginning of the story and to tether their emotions to each page with his tender, real-to-life prose and charismatic way of storytelling. I fell into the story easily and found myself enthralled with this heartbreaking journey of these two people trying to defy the odds and find true love.
The Drawbacks: I wanted to love this story; I wanted to believe in this teen romance. I wanted to pull for them, to wish for them to navigate the complications of this type of love, and find a compatible rhythm that meant they could exist in one another’s life each and every day, but… I couldn’t. It was hard for connect to A’s infatuation and almost insta-love for Rhiannon. I just couldn’t understand it. After existing for almost 6,000 days, always being so careful, what was it about this one girl that made him want to disrupt all these other people’s lives for her? Rhiannon’s hesitation about it all, and her slow-building attraction for him and her never-ending questions, was the only thing that kept this romance somewhat believable for me.
I also struggled with the side-story that was Daniel’s quest to find out who inhabited his body for a day. He was the one exception to the rule, a person that felt he was “possessed” after A slipped up because his thoughts are too consumed with finding ways to be with Rhiannon. I can only conclude that his sole purpose in the book was to be the loophole to finding out about Reverend Poole and the possibility of other’s with A’s “situation.” More often than not, I became aggravated with his part in the story, and felt like it was more of a distraction from the romance than an integral part of the plot.
As much as I enjoyed this novel, in the end, I found it wasn’t enough for me. In general, I’m not a big fan of “falling down the rabbit hole.” In some cases, I can deal with being left with the big unknown, but in this case I needed more answers. The more I read, the less it became about the journey, and the more it became about the destination. Why was this happening to A? Were there truly others like him? What gender was he/she (it?) born as and where are the birth parents? How does Rhiannon’s story unfold after A left her, and do they every find love– together, separately? So. MANY. Questions. Reading this story was like watching LOST (If you haven’t ever seen this show, just ignore the next part.). At the beginning I watched it because I enjoyed it. Then I watched it because I needed to know what was going on and why they were on the island ? Finally, I gave up in the middle of the very last season because my brain couldn’t deal with all the mind-screwing that was going on and the frustration ruined it all for me.
Disappointment is a bitter pill to swallow, and I’m a tad disappointed.
The Verdict: Levithan’s writing capability was never a matter of questioning. I’ve heard of his books before this, and he definitely has a way with words, so I doubt this will be the last book of his I read. If I had the assurance that there was going to be a companion novel or even a series that guaranteed me answers, I probably would’ve even rated this Every Day higher and enjoyed it more. But I don’t have those; therefore, I felt like I only received half of a story. If you’re a person who can appreciate wonderful storytelling and revel in the journey of a book, then this one is for you. However, if you’re like me and need to have the answers and general closure at the end, I might would wait to see if Mr. David Levithan has anything else up is sleeve in regards to this book.
- A very special thanks to Random House Children’s Books and Net Galley for allowing me to preview this title. It’ll be available on Tuesday, August 28th. Be sure to snag you a copy and then come back and tell me what you think about it. But until then, drop me a line below and tell me your opinion on love and whether it can transcend everyday limitations.