Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

When deciding what book to review today I realized, I don't read a lot of books by male authors. I started scrolling through my Amazon list (yes I keep a list of all the books I've read over the last few years!) looking for a young adult book written by a male writer that I had read. Well, I didn't have to look too long. I came across Every Day, which I read back in October. It too was a recommendation from EW's Shelf Life. Levithan is a popular author who is well known for writing and co-writing several very loved YA stories. Here's my summary of Every Day:

Meet A. For as long as A can remember, he wakes up each day in the body of someone else. He doesn't know why this happens, who his parents are, or if it will ever stop. He has vague memories of being a young child but doesn't know if he ever had a real, actual body or identity. A has rules in which he lives by as he goes through his strange life. He stays under the radar, doesn't get too attached to people, and doesn't interfere in the body's life. But when A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets his girlfriend Rhiannon, all those rules are thrown out the window. Rhiannon is like no one A has ever met before. A finds himself acting like, well, himself. Not at all like who he is supposed to be, Justin. Rhiannon couldn't be happier. Her jerk of a boyfriend is finally being the guy she fell in love with. Rhiannon and A spend the entire day together like any other happy teenage couple and when night comes A couldn't be more sad. As much as he hopes he can stay in Justin's body, he knows it won't happen. The next day A wakes up a few hours away from Rhiannon and in a new body. He quickly decides he has to find Rhiannon and tell her the truth. It takes a few days and many different bodies but Rhiannon finally agrees to get to know A better. But how can two people ever really be together if one of them wakes up a new person in a different place every day? 

**The concept of this story was one I wasn't sure I would get into. Before the logistics were explained and I got to know our MC, it just seemed strange. Once I really dove in and got used to A and his personality, I loved it! A really made you feel the difficulties of being adrift in life and how much of who we are is tied to having our own body and most importantly, family and friends. A has no one. He is all alone living the lives of other people. He tries to make things better for those people when he can--his own way of leaving his mark on the world. So as difficult as it was to watch him deceive Rhiannon, I understood. Who would believe the truth? I was so glad when A chucked caution to the wind and did just that, told her the truth. And I was even happier when Rhiannon finally accepted A for who he was. I loved how this story asked so many questions about self and identity and most importantly, how we love. Do we love the person we are with or the shell they are in?

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