Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publication Info: Knopf Books, 2012
Synopsis: A wakes up as a different person every day, with only 24 hours to adjust to and learn each person’s appearance, family, and life before switching bodies the next morning. A is accustomed to this routine, this abnormal life of observing others and never interfering, but begins to question everything after meeting Rhiannon, putting A’s lifestyle and identity in danger.
Overall Rating: 4/5
When first encountering this book, I was intrigued by the idea of A’s life, jumping from body to body regardless of gender, race, culture, etc., and it was this original and creative idea that led me to actually buy the book. I am so glad that I did, because I was not disappointed. Every entry/chapter records a day in A’s life, and so as A experiences life from so many different perspectives, so do we. To me, Levithan handled this brilliantly, and this book is definitely an amazing read.
Although some might complain that the beginning is slower compared to the rest of the book, the opening of this book shows clearly the reality of A’s life, which I think is crucial to understanding the whole book. Once A meets Rhiannon, the love interest, I had already begun to see things from A’s perspective, and I could understand A’s motives and feelings.And if you’re a romantic person, then this book is definitely for you! The romance between A and Rhiannon drives the plot and was so well-done that I could not put this book down; I read it in two days. That being said, while I was completely addicted and caught up in the plot, I could easily see the whole love-at-first-sight, instalove phenomenon happening from the very beginning. I’m not a fan of instalove and was bothered by it occasionally while reading. However, if nothing else, the romance here is realistic–to which I say a huge thank you to Levithan–and shows the struggles of relationships (both normal and completely abnormal, as in A’s case).
Other than the instalove, I can only criticize the ending, which I will not spoil for you. All I can say without giving away anything is that Levithan leaves a lot of questions unanswered, both plot-related and idea-related. Because of this, I couldn’t get the book off my mind for days afterward, which is a good thing. Overall, I would NOT stay away from this book just because of the ending. It is still worth your time.
Some people are bothered by A’s personality, for a myriad of reasons, but I loved A. Although I constantly had to reconstruct my thoughts on character gender, telling myself that A is neither a girl nor a boy, the character was extremely relatable and likeable to me. And because of the non-gender characteristic and abnormal life, A saw the world in a way that was so fresh and different and wonderful to me. I loved the narrative, I loved the perspective, and I loved reading from A’s point of view.
Similarly, I also felt that Rhiannon was a strong character, realistic and relatable, though she frustrated me on several occasions for her reactions to A’s changing identity and appearance. However, I think this was intentional, and if nothing else, meaningful, because most of us would react the same way if we had to rethink our whole worldview for the person we loved.
As mentioned before, I loved A’s point of view and perspective, which forced me to rethink my ideas of gender and appearance. A (or Levithan, rather) had a very blunt and yet beautiful way of telling events and looking at things that I appreciated. As a result, he first person point-of-view actually enhanced this book, and the writing was a joy to read.
Who do I recommend this to?
- Fans of John Green’s writing
- Realistic fiction readers
- Romance readers
- High school, college, and beyond (warning: mentions of suicide, drug use, sex)