Every Day by David Levithan

Sometimes you discover a book that you know you are going to love without the book even being published yet.  You hear or read about the idea of the story and it sounds so exciting, clever, and original that you want to read it right now.  David Levithan’s new book, Every Day, was one of those books for me.  It was even more amazing than I had imagined.

9781921922954_large_coverEvery day a different body. Every day a different life.Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

And then A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Can you love someone who is destined to change each day?

Every Day is one of the most extraordinary, thought-provoking, and emotional stories I’ve ever read.  Even now, 3 days after reading the final sentence, I’m struggling to put into words how much this book has affected me.  It’s completely different from anything I’ve ever read, because usually the narrator stays in one body throughout the story and they interact with the same characters.  In Every Day, A is in a different body each day, so it has to get used to being a different person (on the outside) and acting like that person.  One of the most interesting things about this book is the way that you look at the character of A.  Even though A doesn’t know if it is male or female, I imagined A as a male right from the start.  However, I think each reader will picture A differently.

Sometimes it can take you a while to put yourself in the main character’s shoes, but I immediately empathized with A and what it was going through.  You try to understand what it would be like to wake up each day as a different person, but you can’t really grasp how difficult it would be.  A has been this way from birth, so it has never known anything different.  I thought it would be incredibly difficult for a child to understand what was happening to them, but for A it was just life.  A seems to have figured out what to do each time it wakes up in another body and makes its way through the day.  Every time a new day would start, I’d be wondering, like A, who it would be waking up as.  Would A be a black girl, a gay guy, have a gorgeous body or be incredibly overweight?  Then when A has found  out who it is, how will A use that body and what will A do today.  I could totally understand why A wanted to spend every day with Rhiannon.  I’ve never had a crush on a book character before, but I would certainly want to spend every day with her.  The thing I love the most about A is the way that it respects the bodies that it is in.  A tries incredibly hard not to interfere with the lives of those people, and tries to fix mistakes that it has made while in those bodies.

Ultimately, Every Day is a love story.  A and Rhiannon’s romance is doomed to fail, because even though Rhiannon may love A, she’s not always going to love the person he is on the outside.   I loved the interactions between A (in its different bodies) and Rhiannon and you are hoping with all your heart that they can be together.  David Levithan’s ending to the story is absolutely perfect, and has to be my favourite ever ending of a book.

I was sad to finish the book, because I loved David’s beautiful writing and I didn’t want to let A and Rhiannon go.  Every Day is one of those books I want to carry around everywhere with me and tell everyone I know to read it.  Thank you David Levithan for giving me this story!

5 out of 5 stars

8 thoughts on “Every Day by David Levithan

  1. Hi Zac. I read this review when you wrote it and wondered if a book could really live up to such high expectation. Having just finished Every Day I wholeheartedly agree with you – this is a truly beautiful book. But so sad – I liked A so much all I wanted was for him to be happy and you knew once he fell in love that wasn’t possible any longer. Isn’t it that often asked question – is it better to have felt such strong emotions and risk having it all taken away from us or is it better never to take the risk? (Hence love being a disease to be cured in Delirium). And I loved how ultimately what it comes down to is that love is not just about what happens between two people but is something that exists within the wider lives of families and friends.
    I was lucky enough to read “Ketchup Clouds” by Annabel Pitcher. It too is beautifully and cleverly written and so poignant. I think I might need to read Ratburger next for a complete change of mood!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Clare and I totally agree with your comments. I’ve got several of David Levithan’s other books out of the library to read next.

      I’ve also just finished Ketchup Clouds and will be reviewing it on Friday. Have you read Annabel’s other book, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece?

      • I loved My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. That and A Monster Calls are my favourite books about how families deal with grief – so thought provoking and honest. I thought it was amazing that My Sister was Annabel’s debut book – so was a little worried about Ketchup Clouds living up to my expectations. Well, that was entirely misplaced anxiety! I look forward to your review.
        (Ratburger was great too – in a very different way, of course).

  2. Hi Zac,
    Thankyou so much for sending me a copy of ‘Every Day.’ I received it in the mail yesterday and opened it up to have a bit of a look at the first few pages. It immediately sucked me in to the pages and I spent the rest of the evening and night reading like an addict until I finally finished the entire book. What an amazing story. I loved many tings about this book- the concept, the feelings of the characters, the way it dealt with so many different issues (self harming, obesity, love).
    I really could not put this book down once I had opened the book and read the first page.
    I certainly agree with your comment about wanting to tell everyone about this book- I have found myself doing that already this morning.
    One of the things I really loved about this book was Levithan’s descriptions. I loved the way he talked about words- how they fall on to the table and the hearer picks them up. How you send them out in a stream and you have no control over how they are received. His descriptions of the feelings of each of the characters. Wow!!
    Thankyou so much for introducing me to this amazing author- I am off to find some more of his work.

  3. Pingback: 2012 Cybils Book Awards Finalists | My Best Friends Are Books

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