By David Levithan
August 28, 2012
Ages 12 and up
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Few novels manage to be both utterly unique and resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned. EVERY DAY by David Levithan is one such novel. The story is original, thoughtful and completely mind boggling – it will surely stick with this reader for awhile.
EVERY DAY centers around the nameless, genderless, bodyless character who is called A. Having no permanent body, A switches to the bodies of others pretending to be the actual owner of the body, be it male or female. Residing in each body for only one day, A lives never knowing what the next way will bring. A has access to all of the memories of each body and is entirely at the mercy of each body’s needs, but not necessarily each body’s personality or desires. Is A the invader, or is he the prisoner? Is this lonely, wandering lifestyle one that you would want to live? Would A die if the body were to die while A was in it? Are there others out there like A? All of these questions are asked within the story. All of these questions kept me thoroughly engrossed and gave me pause even after the story had ended.
Oh, and there’s this girl… Rhiannon. One day, while in the body of her boyfriend, Justin, A falls in love. Not just any love, this love causes A to question the act of jumping bodies from day to day, to desire settling down, to want to change. Ah, their love was so sweet. Though, surprisingly, I felt a bit disconnected with Rhiannon as a character. Even still, I wanted A to get the girl and I rooted for A until the very end.
What was it about Rhiannon that kept me at arm’s length? Well, without spoiling things, I lacked faith in her. I did not see her changing. I thought she was too weak of a character. I became annoyed with her while A was trying to be what she needed. I wanted so much more from her over the course of the story. Others may not agree, but there you have it. My only downfall with this novel was Rhiannon and her actions (or lack thereof) within the story.
(Yet, I must ask myself: Would I have acted differently if I were in her place? Hmm…)
Be that as it may, most of the book centers around A’s daily lifestyle. We jump with A over the course of many, many days. Through A, we experience many, many different bodies. I loved A as both a male and as a female. I loved A’s heart and soul. In fact, A is quite possibly one of my favorite characters is YA fiction, ever. Through A we not only get to experience one, but many. There are a whole lot of issues that poor, selfless A has to deal with in one seriously inconsistent, erratic life. We watch him have to deal with who he is, exposing himself for the first time ever.
In the end, EVERY DAY would not be the book it is without A and A would not be A if A was not exactly what A is. Whatever that may be. (Yeah. Try saying that 10 times fast.)
No matter the outcome of Rhiannon and A’s story (which was genius and made me love A even more) and no matter how many questions were still left unanswered even after completing the book, I think that A’s story will stick with me for years to come. I recommend EVERY DAY to everyone. (Which is why, as an official Ambuzzador for this book, I am offering a copy of EVERY DAY to a lucky winner below!)