Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review: "Every Day" by David Levithan

Every day "A" wakes up in a different body, a different life.  This is the only life A has ever known, and doesn't know why this happens.  It just is.  But one day, A meets a girl - Rhiannon - and everything changes.  Instead of just going through the day, trying not to mess up the host body's life too much - A starts to make decisions in A's best interest.  A falls in love - but is it futile?  Even if Rhiannon could love A back, what kind of future could they possibly have?

I'd wanted to read this for some time now, but I finally decided to do it in preparation for this year's summer reading.  A local high school is doing a school-wide read of this book, and I thought that was pretty cool and definitely wanted to know how to talk about it with the students when they are at the library.  Now - how do I talk about this?

The overall premise of the book is really quite abstract and unusual, and while once that may have gotten an eye-roll from me, I've learned to trust Levithan with this sort of story.  He has this ability with abstract and unusual - and it usually works.  It certainly does in this case.  So let's take the characters.  A is an entity without gender, and I'm trying very hard to keep to that here.  A lives in the bodies of others - boy, girl, gay, lesbian, trans - but is always A.  And this works.  Rhiannon is a straight girl, and as she meets A in different bodies, she can see A within.  But she sometimes has trouble seeing past the body, the package in which A is coming to her.  Then there is the whole situation of the future..  no matter how they may feel about each other, is there any hope for a future?  How could that possibly work?

This was an incredibly creative novel; one that I liked even more than I think I expected to.  I think it is an interesting choice for an entire school to read this summer.  I am sure that the conversations that will come from this will be fascinating!  This should also be considered a great choice for book clubs as there is so much to talk about.

*****
Every Day
by David Levithan
Knopf, 2012
322 pages
Source:  Library
*****

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3 comments:

Aiko said...

I totally agree with you on David Levithan having a way with unusual/impossible story telling. I love Every Day to bits! There's also a novella that is sort of a prologue (but is really just some extra days in A's life), called Six Earlier Days, you might want to read it as well :)

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

Thank you Aiko! I hadn't heard of that - I'll look into it!

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Agreed! This is a very interesting novel and makes you wonder what really makes an individual if we take away all of the way we define ourselves: if i'm neither daughter nor sister,if i don't know who i am vis a vis my friends, family, neighbors, teachers, students, etc, who am I?

I'd actually love to see Levithan tackle this book as an adult novel rather than a YA. I liked this book a lot but it mostly dwelt on the surface of the story.

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