Book Review: Every Day

Tuesday 22 October 2013 by

Every Day, David Levithan, Book, Review, Alfred A. KnopfEvery Day by David Levithan

Published by Alfred A. Knopf

322 pages

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.

~*~

I’m so lucky to have read two astounding books in a row – first with the poetry collection, The Shipwrecked House, and now with David Levithan’s Every Day.

This Young Adult novel is a gorgeous tale of a rather unusual love story. Told from the point of view of A – whose point of view changes every day – we discover how a teenage try to navigate a world where their romance is hindered by not only their teenage miasma of hormones, but by the simple fact that every morning when A wakes up, s/he doesn’t know who s/he is.

A instantly feels a connection with Rhiannon when he (we’ll go with he, as this seems to be the dominant gender for most of the book) inhabits the body of Rhiannon’s boyfriend (the obnoxious Justin) for the day.

A has lived his life jumping from body to body every day – each day someone new, with a new life and a new experience. For the most part, when he talks about it with Rhiannon, he seems to enjoy it. Or at least accept it and take enjoyment from it in any way he can. But it’s when he meets Rhiannon that he starts to understand what he’s missing when he can’t be the same person every day.

All the rules go out the window as A takes bigger and bigger risks to be with Rhiannon – even revealing his unusual reality to her. But it’s not until the risks he takes has repercussions in the shape of Nathan and the sinister Reverend.

This is a brilliant story – A is such a strong, persuasive character throughout, and Rhiannon is beautifully three-dimensional. Her fear, confusion and changing moods make the situation feel more palpable – much more than any of A’s reactions do (because it’s so normal for him, you often have to take your reading of the situation from Rhiannon to understand it).

Levithan creates characters you both love and hate – with moments when you want to shake them from their selfishness and high-five them for their brilliance.

I do have one criticism: less infatuation and more peril. The Reverend COULD be truly terrifying, and a big showdown worthy of the silver screen wouldn’t go amiss. Instead, there is a lot of doe eyes and angst. I can’t fault the ending for the way it ended – it was spot on for this story – but I do feel that there is more to tell (a plus for a novel I feel).

I don’t care if you “don’t read Young Adult”, you want to read this book. It’s not a crossover – like The Book Thief – it is definitely YA. But it’s definitely worth the read.

5 Houses

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