Friday, October 7, 2011
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan and
In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.
I’d promised myself to re-read this if the mood struck (that was early yesterday morning,) a couple of hours having past with me still wondering about it… I had to give it another go. And still I am unsure about it. That it’s different is certain, even the photographer describes the pictures’ journey as strange (albeit wonderful). As to that first descriptive, I’d have to agree. As to the last, that’s debatable.
It’s sparsely written in fact there’s barely anything there to get by. And I cannot help emphasize how different it looked and felt with all those struck out words; those did a couple of things for me: confused me. But it also emphasized Evan’s conflict, feelings… his angst.
I could not make heads or tails of where things were going but right now I can tell you I could have drowned in the angst! It had me feeling like I was reading THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. (But where I liked THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, I couldn't get over Ev's very dark depressing voice). I felt sorry for him, but there were more moments of me with a furrowed brow because ugh… I repeat, I could have drowned in all the angst!
The most interesting tidbit it how the project came to be: collaboration, but this time with photographs as his inspiration. He wrote around (about) the pictures. But what makes it more interesting is what he got from the pictures and what I saw for myself.