Thursday, August 23, 2012
Every Day by David Levithan
Every Day by David Levithan is about A. A wakes up in a different teenager’s body every day. A is not sure why it happens, A just knows it does and there is nothing A can do about it. So A lives the life of that particular teenager for a day, trying not to disrupt their routine. That is until A ends up in the body of Justin and A meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. Forgetting the rules, A will do whatever is possible to be with Rhiannon, even if it means exposing A’s unusual ability.
I’m not really sure what prompted me to read Every Day by David Levithan. The cover didn’t really speak to me and I’ve been wary of young adult books for a while until I read Railsea. Maybe because I enjoyed Railsea so much that I was willing to give YA another chance. Whatever the reason, I requested it from Net Galley and decided to give it a try 4th of July morning. I ended up getting sucked into it and spending 3 hours reading in bed. While I still like Railsea better I did enjoy Every Day very much.
A having no gender was hard to relate with at first and I couldn’t help but feel that A was male because in the beginning of Every Day, we meet A in Justin’s body. Over time, though, as the story developed and I got to experience A living a day in the life of different teenagers, it became easier to see A as this non-gender consciousness who is still a person, who can feel and love and was just as comfortable in female bodies. It was interesting to read over time how comfortably A was able to occupy male and female bodies without being troubled with how to behave in their bodies.
The romance between A and Rhiannon was not really my favorite part which were the experiences in the bodies. The writing is simple enough to breeze through this but it leaves an impression as each experience is described, such as A’s experience as an overweight boy and the effort of carrying so much weight around, the young immigrant girl who worked all day cleaning houses to the point of exhaustion and there was also a young girl who was so depressed I was moved to tears. Just the description of what it feels like to hate living in your own body; that disconnect between the body and mind that even A was affected by it is just heartbreaking and gives you just the smallest peak at what it's like to experience such depression.
Then there was Zara and her girlfriend. The two of them together was just so beautiful and uplifting. I just loved their hidden romance, which was so tender and their friendship side that they showed to the world was filled with understanding and respect. They were not ashamed of their feelings and even Zara’s mom, though never saying out loud that she knew about them, expressed in her own way how she was completely accepting and supportive. It was a very refreshing read and my favorite part.
Though I didn’t care much for the romance, it did help drive another interesting part of the story, such as A using the body of one teenage boy who ends up believing he was possessed after the experience and is determined to find out what happened to him and why. This storyline, along with the other experiences really made Every Day very interesting and one I would likely read again. Also, as far as I know, this is a standalone, but the way it ends leaves it open for the imagination but also leaves a little something for a sequel. If a sequel does happen, I will be reading it to find out what happens to A.
* Every Day by David Levithan will be available on August 28th, 2012.