Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Every Day by David Levithan
Every Day by David Levithan
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
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 rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a brilliant idea! With a protagonist who is upfront about what he could be upfront with, I found the idea fresh and out there. Granted whole stretches of this have A being a bit more than obsessive, but understandably so… given everything about him/her is impermanent, right? After EVERY YOU and EVERY ME and then LOVER'S DICTIONARY and now EVERY DAY, it is evident that Levithan’s got a knack for these stories: those with a unique take on stories of love with something extra.
A is different and so is Rhiannon. Where A’s is undefined, literally with his/her life shaped by that whose body he/she wakes in… again, I say what a brilliant dead! That A connects with Rhiannon is not quite unexpected because most everything about her is good. She’s not strong all the time, but she wants to be, and she’s not afraid of saying where she sees things going (or not going) and I liked her all the more for it.
The two of them are not that new ~individually, their voices are young, and unsure, and thus more real but taken together… they do what they wouldn’t normally, so it’s them together that makes this all a new love-YA love again, but I didn’t mind… because the question of how was always there. It’s a valid question and they asked it, so neither of them had their heads in the sand. I ended up with this story of things feeling tentative and unsure for the girl, but more hopeful and beautiful for A… and it could have become heartbreaking and touching and sweet all at once.
Again they’re both likeable for the most part, but what had me genuinely interested in this one, was that it wasn’t just about them. Waking up in a body not his own, there’d be consequences and it’s these consequences that A’s developed a system around. Each those people are different and while he tries to leave no mark on them, they’ve left theirs on him, wanting them to or not. It’s in his system that Rhiannon tries to see where she fits and if she could at all; it’s the conclusion to that which was just a little more than heartbreaking. Because Rhiannon does see beyond the prettiness of finding someone who got her, because those whose bodies held him mattered too.
Now, given all that his could have been a five for me but, one thing had me drawing back: I would have preferred the mystery of A. I preferred the idea that he is one of a kind, but that eventual revelation that opened another possibility had me slightly disappointed. The idea of his impermanence, non-definition as something all his own... that made me giddy, this newness, his , it had him standing out for me. But then to have all that snatched away by some other similar entity? Well… I... *shrugs*
And yet, goodness me! The longer I think about this, the more I like it.
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