Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Published: August 28th 2012 (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: Four Stars
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
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.
It’s all fine until the morning that 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 finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / The Book Depository
Cover Thoughts: This is one of my favorite covers. I love how simple it is. The pictures on it are nice since they relate to the lack of physical stability in the main character, A’s life.
First Line: Day 5994, I wake up.
I was hooked from the first paragraph of Every Day. I found the premise to be really interesting. I enjoyed A’s inner dialogue. This book was well written and flowed well.
The central character is A, a genderless, sexless, pansexual, nameless character. For as long as A can remember, every day they wake up in a new body. They have no idea why this happens or how to stop it.
The other central character is Rhiannon, A’s love interest. I found Rhiannon to be a very likable character. I liked how although A tells Rhiannon that they’re better for her than Justin, Rhiannon doesn’t break up with him. It was very realistic and natural how their relationship grew. Rhiannon had several struggles with being friends with A such as A changing bodies every day, never knowing what A’s appearance will be and even dealing with the inconvenience that comes with the long distance away A occasionally is.
I found the characters A inhabitants to be interesting despite not seeing all of them outside A being in their body. Two notable examples are Nathan, who A takes to go to a house party to meet Rhiannon and Kelsea, a girl who plans to commit suicide.
One thing that bothered me about A is how A was so willing to drop whatever priorities or plans A’s host body had in order to hang out with Rhiannon. I felt this wasn’t fair to the characters who had to just deal with it unknowingly.
When we first meet A, it’s the 5,994 day of their life. A is sixteen and has inhabited the body of a guy named Justin. A has one basic rule for smoothly transitioning from body to body, detach and make no connections. This all falls apart when he meets Rhiannon, Justin’s girlfriend.
When A is in Justin’s body, A has the ability to learn things about the person to get through the day. While in Justin’s body, A discovers that Justin isn’t the type of boyfriend to really care about his girlfriend. A grows more attracted to Rhiannon after their date despite their knowing better. Every day A falls in love with Rhiannon more and more. This causes A to actually connect with her and ends up messing things up.
I found the entire plot involving Rhiannon to be really interesting. It was realistically done. I loved that Rhiannon had to really struggle with who A was and what she wanted. Rhiannon and A didn’t have a perfect relationship and I thought that was portrayed very well.
I didn’t like how pushy A was about automatically knowing Rhianon should go out with A. I didn’t like that A had an attitude with Nathan at times, saying he deserved what was happening because he didn’t have to say anything. I can understand why A feels like it was just Nathan’s fault and why A was bothered by it, but it still bothered me. A seemed to be self righteous in its “I fall in love with individuals”. David Levithan seemed to really be pushing the LGBTQ aspect of Every Day. Every time A saw a homosexual character, they would wonder why Rhiannon couldn’t just be okay with A how A was.
There is one particular quote I really loved in this book which was
“Even if you were green and had a beard and a male appendage between your legs. Even if your eyebrows were orange and you had a mole covering your entire cheek and a nose that poked me in the eye every time I kissed you. Even if you weighed seven hundred pounds and had hair the size of a Doberman under your arms. Even then, I would love you.”.
Although love seems to be very romanticized and made out like people should fall in love soley with the inside of a person, despite physical appearances, I liked this quote.
A thinks that love is easy for people, that despite what a person looks like, someone can still be in love with them. When Rhiannon isn’t automatically attracted to A as A jumps from body to body, A claims that they’re still A inside. This is true and I applaud Levithan for really talking about the personality inside them. However, there’s a very romanticized view, that as long as someone loves another, it shouldn’t matter what they look like. There are several instances in Every Day when A shows a shallower side such as wanting to be just attractive enough and claiming they saw fear in other people’s eyes when he was in the body of a heavyset guy. This was hypocritical of A and I didn’t like it.
A is supposed to be a genderless, faceless, pansexual, nameless character. While A is supposed to be genderless, it definitely felt like A was a male a lot of the time in the book. I read Every Day in the voice of a male despite whatever body A was in. The summary itself also gives this away as it says “he”.
I thought it was interesting that even though A changes bodies, A’s thought of as a human without doubt. It’s interesting because readers and A don’t even really know WHAT A is exactly.
The plot that I found most interesting is one that wasn’t very well developed involving Nathan, despite A acknowledging it. After an incident when A is in Nathan’s body, Nathan later gets the police involved. This causes a reverend to seek out more people who may have had their body taken over. This plot got really interesting at the end, but it didn’t really go anywhere. This was disappointing because I really thought it would take Every Day to the next level. It was also a plot that I wondered if it would even be explored only to wish it had a better conclusion.
Every Day was well written, the writing flowed from page to page. I was interested in A’s life and the rest of Every Day’s plots. I loved almost everything about Every Day. I thought the ending was fitting.
I found the novel to be incredibly thought provoking, deep and relatable it was, though I don’t go around jumping into a new person’s body every time I sleep. There was a lot of inner dialogue and commentary with A, when in each person’s body. I thought Levithan did a good job at creating a diverse, though maybe stereotypical, group of characters. I think a lot of young adults and adults would enjoy this book.
I rate this book four stars because A was at times self righteous and judgmental and the execution of the Nathan’s plot.