Monday, October 8, 2012

Every Day [Levithan]

Book: Every Day
Author: David Levithan

Review: 'A' wakes up every day in someone else's body. It has been like this for as long as 'A' can remember (he is now 16). 'A' can access his host's memories and tries to get through the day without causing any problems. However, when 'A' is in the body of surly high school student Justin, he falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. 'A' abandons his rules and cuts school to spend the day with her at the beach. 'A' makes a decision to tell Rhiannon what he is, but will she believe him? Will they find a way to be together when he's a different person every day?

Let me first explain that 'A' does not identify himself as a he/she. I felt the voice was more masculine so I'll refer to 'A' as a he.   My heart broke thinking of 'A' as a baby and child-to never have a home, loving family and stable environment must have been confusing and challenging on so many levels. To life a live where you are everyone and yet no one-how sad. Because of this, 'A' has never been able to express his unique personality and other than a personal email he set up to keep track of all of his hosts. When he finally meets Rhiannon and falls in love pretty much instantly (it's ridiculous but he's supposed to be 16 and emotions run high at that age) he finally has a purpose in life. He keeps coming back to her day after day in different bodies and tries to develop a relationship with her. Although she eventually believes he is what he says he is, she has a hard time accepting his different forms. 'A' struggles with her wavering feelings and has a difficult time empathizing. 

This was a very interesting concept for a book and quite unique. It was definitely thought provoking and well written. I thought the book started out very strong and even though the attraction to Rhiannon was light speed, I thought her reactions to 'A' were very realistic and true. I didn't exactly care for 'A's personality (he starts behaving like a stalker, but I understand where he was coming from, this girl was the first person he ever disclosed his true self to) and it became repetitive: 'A' wakes up in a new body, finds a way to get to Rhiannon's school. Rinse, repeat. Levithan's message throughout the book is very clear: love the person inside, not outside, which I thought was great. 'A' inhabited a few gay/lesbian bodies which might turn off some readers, but I thought it was well down. About halfway through the book I was wondering-how will this end? What will happen? Well, I was disappointed in how the Rhiannon story line wrapped up and Levithan had a great opportunity to explore a subplot involving a host who knew something happened to him and he did nothing with it. 

If you are looking for something unique for book club, this book would be a good choice. 

Grade: 4/5

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