Every Day by David Levithan
An insightful teen novel with a touch of drama. It’s a little stalkerish, but you might be able to put that down to teenage hormones.
A is a teenager who wakes up every day in a different body. He has lived his life like this since he can remember and has never had it any other way. One day, he wakes up in the body of Justin, who is dating Rhiannon. A falls in love with Rhiannon, which is seemingly hopeless as every day he wakes up as someone else. How can he make this work?
This was an insightful book. Every day, as A wakes up in someone else’s body, we get to see their lives, whether they be mundane, whiny, dramatic or funny. Author David Levithan lets us get into each teenager’s head and shows us that, deep down inside, everyone has pretty similar concerns—trying to get through every day and making the best of what they have. I liked the descriptions, the different characters he woke up in and the movement from day to day.
A is really, really, really in love with Rhiannon and faces a few challenges. He’s trying to see her and communicate as often as they can. He’s also trying to get her to realise that she deserves more than what she gets from Justin (he’s a dickhead) and make her fall in love with him. He’s a different person everyday, and somehow he has to maintain his own sense of self, and show her that it’s this self, this person, who loves her and can treat her well. I felt that Levithan did a good job of showing this and how A faced his own struggles of belonging. He started out as a really secure person—this is his life, it’s never been anything else—and then he begins to question it, to question why and what he can do to make this weird relationship work.
There are a few things I didn’t like. For some reason, A only wakes up in teens in a certain geographic region. I suppose this was for purposes of the story, but that didn’t make sense to me. If you wake up in different bodies all the time, shouldn’t it be possible for you to wake up anywhere in the world? I suppose it was easier for the character—language skills are the hardest to access—and it solved the issue of how he would get to Rhiannon each time.
Another thing I didn’t like was at some point A got a bit obsessive and Twilight-kind creepy. I get that he was in love and that he was just trying to be with her, and that he was sorry whenever he had to ‘use’ a body he was in to make his relationship with Rhiannon work, but at some point it got a bit crazy compulsive.
Yay or nay?
This is a good read if you like insightful teen novels with a touch of drama. Sometimes I wanted the protagonist to calm down, but maybe we can chalk it up to his hormones.
Who might enjoy it: Readers who like unusual coming of age romances
Who might not enjoy it: Readers who can’t handle a little cray-cray