Fantasy, Fiction, Series & Collections, Young Adult

Every Day, by David Levithan

every-day

In 16 years of life, “A,” an entity who is neither male or female, has lived every day in a different body. The name “A” is self given. That, an email address, and a favorite book are the only consistencies A knows. Everything else is a mysterious, Quantum Leap-style existence, with no relationships, no family, no connections.

Enter Rhiannon. On the day A inhabits the body of Justin, Rhiannon’s self-absorbed boyfriend, A connects. The dilemma is clear. How do you maintain a relationship, let alone explain your unique situation, when tomorrow is always uncertain? Uncertainties exist for all of us, but the variety of bodies, lives, families, distances, mental/physical health situations, and transportation options dictate the level of control A has in pursuing this connection.

With no rules and no explanation as to why A is destined to live this way, A has had to create rules. Try not to derail the life of who you are inhabiting too much. Try to be responsible with a body that is not your own. Embrace goodness. If possible, try to leave the person a bit better than when you arrived, even inserting some happy memories once in a while.

Seeing glimpses of so many lives has given A a bit of an advantage in some ways, but has also created some severe deprivations. If there is any positive lesson to be learned from witnessing A’s struggles, it is the importance of stability and loving relationships in a person’s life.

There is no doubt that David Levithan is a creative writer. I was much more absorbed in this story than with Dash & Lily. The author makes some fascinating choices with the bodies A inhabits.  I still think Levithan walks a tightrope in some of his themes and ideas, but I understand that is his prerogative. But as such, it’s my opinion that parents ought to pre-read his books.

As I mentioned in another review, I am not in the author’s target age demographic. I cannot help but look at his YA novels from an adult perspective. And, while Every Day was not peppered throughout with popular profanities (as in Dash & Lily,)  David Levithan’s strong social opinions took their place. It’s clear he has an unapologetic loathing for many things most people would consider traditional.

As far as plot, my main dissatisfaction with Every Day was the ending. It was horrendous because, in order to know what really happens next, the reader is forced to move on to the sequel, Another Day.  I don’t like feeling forced. (Does anyone?)

A half-hearted (and forced) 8/10 stars.

 

 

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