Every Day review

everydayEvery Day by David Levithan

September 2013, Electric Monkey

Book jacket blurb:

Every day I am someone else. I am myself – I know I am myself – but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.

Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There’s never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

And that’s fine – until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meet’s 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 – every day…

Review:

Some of the best books I’ve ever read take a simple ‘What if?’ question as a starting point and explore all its possible angles. The idea of waking up in a different person’s body each day is a simple enough premise to grasp, but it gives rise to so many questions – about identity, about gender, about the nature of true love, about what makes life meaningful… But even though Every Day explored all of these questions and more, it avoided feeling contrived because the characters felt so very real – every moment was 100 % driven by their motivations, needs and dilemmas.

A is not the easiest of characters to get to grips with. On the one hand I sympathised with him. How awful must it be not to have anything permanent in your life – no family, no friends, no home? At the same time, the idea of a person or entity that inhabits the lives of others made me uneasy. Yet what made A likeable was his human-ness, the sense that whatever he is, he has a human soul and his own set of morals, and he respects and values the lives he borrows for a day.

Rhiannon has her own contradictions too. She comes across as emotionally intelligent, sensitive and very perceptive – she’s the only one who can ‘see’ the real A – yet she’s blind, if wilfully, to the reality of her relationship with her boyfriend Justin, and ultimately struggles to get past the confines of physical appearances. What develops between Rhiannon and A is complicated – on one level it’s forbidden love in its most heart-aching and refreshingly unclichéd form. But there are no easy answers, and no predictable outcomes either – the whole time I was reading I felt just as unsure as A and Rhiannon about where this would take them.

And of course they aren’t the only two people in this story. Levithan is a deft hand at giving just the right amount of detail about each of the people’s lives that A visits to make them feel real – and they are all so different. They may all be A’s age, but the breadth of human experience covered is astonishing.

Some books create fantastical worlds into which you can escape; this one allows you to escape your everyday life by showing you our real world, and the things we take for granted, from a completely different perspective. Though A’s life is so far removed from what any of us will ever experience, I think he’s an enduring character that readers will connect with for years to come – because haven’t all of us wondered, at least once, what it would be like to live someone else’s life for a day? And isn’t that what, by picking up a book to read, we are all trying to do?

Thank you to Electric Monkey for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Fave quote:

We all contain mysteries, especially when seen from the inside.’

Other books you might enjoy:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Advertisements
Previous Post
Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Louise O’Neill, David Levithan and Lisa Williamson are coming to Brighton! | library4delinquents

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow The Library for Delinquents and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 381 other followers

  • Currently reading:

%d bloggers like this: