Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day
David Levithan
Knopf books for Young Readers
August 28, 2012
336 pages

Synopsis: A has no friends. No parents. No family. No possessions. No home, even. Because every day, A wakes up in the body of a different person. Every morning, a different bed. A different room. A different house. A different life. A is able to access each person's memory, enough to be able to get through the day without parents, friends, and teachers realizing this is not their child, not their friend, not their student. Because it isn't. It's A. Inhabiting each person's body. Seeing the world through their eyes. Thinking with their brain. Speaking with their voice.

It's a lonely existence--until, one day, it isn't. A meets a girl named Rhiannon. And, in an instant, A falls for her, after a perfect day together. But when night falls, it's over. Because A can never be the same person twice. But yet, A can't stop thinking about her. She becomes A's reason for existing. So each day, in different bodies--of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, walks of life--A tries to get back to her. And convince her of their love. But can their love transcend such an obstacle?

David Levithan (center) speaking at an author appearance/signing
 at Oblong Books, Rhinebeck , NY
October 7, 2012
This book stayed with me for weeks after I read's one of those books that is so thought-provoking, I had to let myself contemplate it before I could write this review. At it's most basic, Every Day is a love story. At it's most complex, it is a social commentary on identity - how we interact with each other and view ourselves based on our outward appearance. I loved that we don't know what gender A is - that he/she doesn't actually have a gender because A has never been in his/her own body. I want to live in a world where everyone is not pre-programmed to love someone based on their that. A has such this beautifully open mind because he/she literally has walked in so many different people's shoes. It makes me believe that David Levithan himself must possess a mind such as A's...just to contemplate what it would be like to be rich or poor or fat or gay expands your view that much more itself. The entire book to me was heart-wrenching. Maybe it's my maternal instinct, but all I wanted to do was hug A and provide some sense of stability, but just like everything else in this world, this is just one more example of how unfair life can truly be.  How horrible would it be to never have a mother, never know that type of unconditional love and security, to never have a home? You root for A to find lasting love, knowing how impossible that is.

I could see how one could feel lost and disoriented as A jumps from body to body with each new day, but Mr. Levithan's writing is so wonderfully grounded that I never did. Just like Rhiannon came to recognize A, so did I. This book is one of the most beautifully written, heartbreakingly sad, poignant novels I have read in quite some time. I hope it becomes required reading for all high school students. If it opens their minds even slightly, it would be worth it. One cannot read this book and not have their perspective change.

Every Day: 5/5 stars
Cover: 2.5/5 stars (it looks washed out and like someone needs to change the toner on the printer - this book deserves better)
Audience Rating: PG

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the great review! This book was already on my radar and I'm dying to read it ;)