Author: David Levithan
Date Published: 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
What a fascinating and creative concept, to wake up each day in a different body, and having to learn to be someone else and to keep their life as normal as possible, all while holding on tight to the person/being you are. A wakes up as someone else each and every day, and existence that once frightened and confused him, now is his normal. It’s who he is. Until he falls in love.
Levithan’s story addresses heavy topics in an approachable way. Suicide, depression, drugs, death, gender identity, love, abuse. These are all realities to A who never knows what he’s going to be when he wakes up (I use the term loosely as A is more of a presence that identifies as both male and female). Although his visits are brief, A establishes himself as a confident being who understands who he is, but even he struggles in the face of the fog of clinical depression or the confines of drug abuse. A’s story is one of hope, that there is life outside of the negative. That life is worth living and, even for one who may never know love–romantic, familial, or otherwise–there is something or someone out there living for.
What I enjoyed about Every Day is that it doesn’t try to hide the harsh realities of struggling teens. It’s not afraid to point out the issues that students struggle with on a daily basis. A is not held captive by the struggles of the bodies he inhabits, but he still feels the effects of their lives, no matter how aloof and distant he attempts to remain. And in his own way, he tries to help them, to whatever extent he can without become totally intrusive.
It’s a struggle to wrap your head around A’s possession and manipulation of each and every body, especially with no why or how explained (presumably to be revealed in the next book). He’s described by one character as the devil and this attribution identifies the sinister aspect of his experience. A’s grasp on reality and existence is out of his control, but one can’t help by be disturbed by the moral struggle presented: should A be able to possess each body and live his own existence as he pleases, or should he recede and allow his host as much autonomy as can be allowed?
Overall, it was a good read. It’s definitely worth checking out. Be prepared for a fast paced, constantly changing and adapting narrative. No two pages are alike.
3 thoughts on “Review: Every Day by David Levithan”
I recently read Every Day too. I really liked the concept of A being in someone else’s body everyday. I remember I stayed up all night to read this. It was so good!
Agreed! It was a really quick read. I often found myself wondering where he was going to wake up next and who he was going to be. That had me turning the pages even faster!
So glad you liked this one. I’m a huge Levithan fan. I think you’re right about the moral dilemma but I do think the book touches on that a bit which is good.