Every Day – by David Levithan
I’ve been hearing a lot about this book lately, from reviews to recommendations. I’m a huge fan of John Green, and he and David Levithan have worked together in the past on ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’. (Which I’ve not yet read.) In itself this association is enough for me to be interested in checking out David Levithan’s work. This week I read Every Day:
‘A’ doesn’t think his life is all that strange any more. All right, to anyone else it’s probably a little weird, but he’s used to it. You see: every morning A wakes up in a different body. And each day he has to live as whichever person he’s residing in, just for the day. When he goes to sleep (or when midnight rolls around) A’s turfed out to the next body. This has been the case A’s whole life, and he’s learnt to cope: disrupt his host’s life as little as possible, make it through the day, and never, ever, tell anyone.
Until one fateful day, when he’s Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend: Rhiannon. Just another girl. An extraordinary girl; a girl A can’t forget. In spite of his better judgement, A reaches out, yearning for a connection that lasts longer than one day. But even if Rhiannon can accept his wildly unbelievable story, is it possible to love someone whose exterior changes every day?
Every Day’s core concept – a person whose consciousness moves each day – is at once fascinating and terrifying. A has had his whole life to resign himself to the possibilities and restrictions of his existence. We’re told that A only inhabits the bodies of people his own age (to the year, not the day), and the shift seems to be local: he’s not in Australia one day and Bangladesh the next. Yet these answers seemed to be just the tip of the iceberg.
I wish I could have been so easily satisfied as A while reading this book! I have so many questions! I immediately wanted to know HOW this could be possible, if there are others, and if there’s any way to manipulate the situation beyond the rules by which A lives. Since Levithan is looking at the world through the experiences of only one person, we don’t find out a lot about these meta questions. As a fantasy reader who’s usually treated to at least an overview of the rules that govern the concepts of the story, it was a real challenge to accept that some things I just wouldn’t get answers for.
A’s story is nevertheless completely compelling, and I was completely caught up in his life from the first page. How can his potential relationship with Rhiannon work? How can A have any sort of continuity in his own life? Is there anything more, or is this all A gets? Can this end in anything other than tragedy?
Levithan has a gorgeous writing style, which I absolutely loved. Every so often I’d come across a thought or a phrase that was so beautifully worded I’d read it a couple of times. That’s a valuable skill for a writer to have, and a wonderful experience as a reader.
I couldn’t get enough of this story, and finished the book in less than 24 hours. It’s absolutely spellbinding, and completely unlike anything else I’ve read. I sincerely recommend this book. It’s beautiful, painful, hopeful and unforgettable.
Fans of John Green especially need to jump on David Levithan.*
Have you read Every Day?
*Please note that the author of this review does not recommend literally jumping on any author… I guess.