Every Day by David Levithan is another book I got based on a review by Entertainment Weekly. I don’t always read what they recommend, but the premise of this novel is so…different, to put it lightly. I just had to give it a shot.
I ended up pre-ordering it and anxiously awaiting it’s arrival in the mail.
This is how I ended up describing the book while I was reading it to friends and family:
Okay, so the book’s narrator/hero(ine?) is simply known as A. A has no actual body, no family or friends, and no sex/gender. For 16 years, A (it/he/she/whatever) has woken up every day (HAHA) inside of a different body. Basically, A experiences a “Day in the Life of…” for A’s entire life, the only life A’s ever known, experienced through tall, short, heavy, thin, happy, extremely depressed, gay, straight, transgendered boys and girls, all from the moment of waking to the moment of drifting off (by midnight, or risking the possibility of feeling like being physically ripped from the body of that person). Though A experiences the daily life of so many different people, and can “access” the memories of the person A becomes to ensure a somewhat normal existence within the day, A has complete control of this person’s body while inside.
A has learned to respect the body, to experience whatever this person’s life is like, and simply move on to the next without getting attached.
However, this book is about what happens when A wakes up in the body of a boy name Justin, who has a girlfriend named Rhiannon.
A is instantly pulled to Rhiannon, attracted, intrigued, and connected. Despite the fact that A can access that Justin and Rhiannon’s relationship is extremely shaky, and Justin has a tendency to be very disrespectful, A is pulled to give Rhiannon a very special day, cutting school and heading to the beach where they talk and cuddle and, inevitably, A falls in love.
Rhiannon, of course, has no idea that someone else has inhabited her boyfriend’s body. She knows he’s acting different, but she just assumes it’s a good day. A is worried, because of the feelings that have grown for her and the fear that Justin will not care for Rhiannon the way A does.
For the first time in 16 years, A finally finds something to live for, for real. Love.
But because A has no real body, no form to call his/her/it’s own, there is no way to have a future with Rhiannon.
That doesn’t stop A from trying, though, and that’s when things get really interesting.
This book requires a lot of explaining, as I just demonstrated, but honestly, it’s not as complicated once you’re reading it. David Levithan made it extremely easy to not only grasp but believe in A’s existence. My explanation sucks. The book absolutely doesn’t.
At the heart of it, I believe the theme of the story is about love and equality.
Levithan made sure that A experienced all kinds of love, all kinds of lives.
This isn’t boy/girl love. It’s boy/boy, girl/girl, and transgendered love.
And because A experiences all of these things, and has seen more than most people do in their lives in one day,
A is accepting of all love, of all religion, of all ways of life and sees no reason why there should be any issues with it.
Yes, A falls in love with Rhiannon while in a boy’s body.
But that doesn’t stop A from loving her inside of a gay man or a straight girl.
Because A is just A. A is everything and nothing, really. A doesn’t know why, so we don’t.
We get to know A’s morals and feelings and thoughts…but that’s all.
I enjoyed this book, but I will say that it left me wanting. I didn’t feel it ended, really.
But maybe it wasn’t supposed to?
I would recommend this book because of it’s strange plotline, it’s easy-to-read, can’t-put-it-down, breeze-right-through goodness.
Plus, it really makes you think about equality and acceptance. And also, to appreciate what we have, to not take things for granted, and to remember to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes before judging.