Every Day by David Levithan
Official Summary: “Every 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.
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.
With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.”
David Levithan has written several award-winning novels for both teens and “post-teenagers” that are known for their original approach to storytelling. Every Day continues this tradition. It tells the story of A, a genderless person whose consciousness jumps from person to person each night at midnight. While the age of the person is always A’s own age, A never returns to the same person more than once. This means no friends, no family, no attachments and no choice since the only focus has to be on getting in and out without undue impact on the person’s life. Until Rhiannon.
Rhiannon changes A’s whole life and perspective by making attachments seem not only desirable but unavoidable. The book focuses on A’s efforts to make his unique situation work in a traditional relationship with Rhiannon. Needless to say, the fact that Rhiannon can never know who or where A will be on any day puts strain on their relationship. But, Levithan focuses on more than just this issue, using A’s situation to explore a whole host of issues facing teens. A’s perspective is based on this ability to experience completely different situations each day, which makes A much more empathetic and accepting than most since A has seen all types of people from the inside out. This allows Levithan to espouse a philosophy of tolerance, but the book generally does not feel preachy and instead conveys a sense of the universal elements shared by all of humanity.
This novel is an incredibly compelling read because Levithan manages to make all of the characters, even those that only occupy a few chapters, very real. He discusses depression, weight problems, health issues, drug addiction and so much more in a novel that ultimately demonstrates a deep understanding of all of the different types of people represented. While A is shown to be very empathetic for the occupied people, A is not perfect. Levithan tackles the moral dilemmas inherent in the situation, such as the temptation to cause lasting impacts on the person’s life (some good and some bad) and the responsibility that A has for each person.
Every Day is a very thought-provoking read that will leave readers with a great deal to think about. For many readers, I suspect that this novel will make them look at those around them differently. I would highly recommend it for those looking for a unique and captivating novel that will leave them thinking long after the last page.
Readalike: Those who enjoy Every Day should try David Levithan’s other books, such as The Lover’s Dictionary, which tells the story of a relationship entirely through definitions. For those looking for a book with a similar tone, but very different approach, I would recommend The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.