Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan + Giveaway
PROS:beautiful, deep love story; relatable, lovable main characters; thought-provoking themes; interesting sub-plot
CONS:A's so enlightened and self-assured that at times, you feel like these wonderful provocative questions about how blind love can be have right and wrong answers. They may not, but it is an interesting perspective nonetheless.
Equal parts sweeping romance and thought-provoking read.
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Every Day‘s premise sounds like the makings of an intriguing sci-fi novel. Our narrator, “A,” is unstuck in the physical world—a floating consciousness who wakes up in a new sixteen year old body each day. A has no gender, no race, and none of the identifying attributes that come attached to a body.
Each day A faces new and interesting challenges in adaptation. One day A could wake up a female cheerleader, the next day a 300 lb. guy, the next a drug addict. A is often at the mercy of the body and its addictions and genetic quirks. A tries to get through the day making as little of an impression on the host’s life as possible—a rule A sticks to resolutely until meeting Rhiannon while inhabiting the body of her boyfriend Justin. A can’t seem to help being actively present with her that day, rather than being a silent passenger. In the days following, A returns to Rhiannon, interacting with her in new bodies, forging a seemingly impossible, yet deep love.
This could be the setup of an episode of Dr. Who or the Twilight Zone. But Every Day is not really a sci-fi story, or even a magical realism story—it is a love story. The mechanics of A’s predicament aren’t fully explained. We don’t know how or why this is happening. A has to find meaning in this strange existence with no information, no comforting proof of anything.
Every Day reminds me of The Time Traveler’s Wife, a book that also sees the main character grappling with a sci-fi affliction day-to-day while trying to love someone who is grounded in time and space.
It is a deeply moving meditation on the power and enormity of love, and what it means to be human. Can love really be blind? Can someone be in love (and a more difficult beast altogether—a committed relationship) with the person on the inside, even if that person comes in a kaleidoscope of bodies? It’s a difficult question, one I’m still not sure I have the answer to. There are no easy answers for A and Rhiannon.
Levithan’s prose is beautiful, simple and heartfelt, and A is an unforgettable character whose voice will get under your skin. You can absolutely feel love and affection for A. Normally when I feel this way about a book character, I can envision them in my head—they have a face and a body and an identity they’ve built. They have context. To feel this strongly about a character as unstuck as A is in normal human life is a triumph that I suspect proves some of Levithan’s intended message—love and friendship and the human experience can transcend bodies and upbringings and prejudices. But it takes a level of enlightenment that few people are born with.
At first I wondered if A was too perfect, too enlightened, too wise for a sixteen year old consciousness. But I realize how eye-opening an existence like A’s would be—experiencing different religions and upbringings, and realizing how very similar they all are at their core—and it makes perfect sense.
A does have some painful growing to do while navigating this strange relationship—A must learn to be unselfish in love. The ending was absolutely perfect.
I heartily recommend Every Day to anyone who enjoys a thoughtful romance told through the eyes of an impassioned narrator.
Listen to David Levithan explain Every Day and read the first chapter:
Then listen to John Green, Maggie Stiefvater, Ellen Hopkins, Scott Westerfeld and many more YA authors take on A’s voice:
We have one SIGNED ARC of Every Day to give away. A runner up will win a hardcover copy. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.