Day 7: Every Day by David Levithan
Summary From Amazon:
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.
With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, 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.
I want to start off by saying I’m writing this immediately after reading Every Day and that my initial thoughts were summed up like so:
Frodo (@1FantasyFanatic) January 08, 2013
So ya, that happened. Outside of being completely cliche and saying something like “all of the feels” and then just gif’ing my way out of actually having to say how I feel about the book, I’m not really sure how to convey my feelings for Every Day fully. Oh well, here’s what I’ve got.
The premise of switching bodies each day is already enough to engage the reader. There was no question in my mind that I would at least be intrigued by Every Day, even if I somehow didn’t enjoy the book. I need not have worried though, I loved Every Day. Part of this was my connection with A, the main character. While the romance in Every Day is certainly compelling in its own right, the internal struggle of A to make sense of what it is like just to be human, and finding out where the limits lie on what you can and will do to a person in order to get what you want is the foundation of what makes Every Day amazing. The basic things that humans understand as part of life, being the same person, knowing the same people, experiencing, for the most part at least, the same things on a regular basis are called into question. Levithan forces the reader, though only with a nudge at a time as to not make it overwhelming, to strip down the essence of what it means to live and to be and asks them not to take them for granted.
The relationship between A and Rhiannon isn’t just a part of the story in a traditional sense of love and loss and the like, but is actually used as the prime example of the possibilities we have as people to engage with each other, or just with one other. It asks you what it would be like if you lost all of that and then reassures you at the same time that you won’t, because you aren’t drifting like A is, you are solid, you are whole. Every Day isn’t saying you need to depend on someone else to be happy, it is asking you to enjoy the people you have simply because you can. Every bit of the devotion these two people feel is no less real because of the shape that A takes on any given day, and as cliche as “the inside that counts” might be, that is truly what you should cherish.
One thing that struck me was when A differentiated niceness and kindness, saying that kindness is “much more a sign of character than mere niceness. Kindness connects to who you are, while niceness connects to how you want to be seen.” This is something that shouldn’t be understated, kindness is shown despite the effect it might have on those around you, those who might not agree or approve, niceness is done because of that effect. It was this as well as a variety of other issues such as gender, sexuality and even appearance that made Every Day not just something to be enjoyed, but a book that could be, and at least for me is, impactful.
I said at the beginning of this review that I connected with A. I guess what I meant was that I think humans in general could. I, like many others, am searching for just what makes us human, what separates us, what makes us individuals and why that individuality matters so much. Every Day examines this and while not giving us an exact answer, does show examples about the good that we can do, the part that we can play in the lives of others and that we can change things, and it is up to us to decide, like A, how we change them. We can create, we can destroy, and we can love, but we have to decide, no matter what decision we make, if it is worth the cost.
Every Day is a fantastic read, I’d recommend it to anyone. It can be read with all of the things I have mentioned in mind, or just as another wonderful book in someone’s vast collection. It doesn’t have to change lives, I’m not saying it even changed mine, but it can, and it is up to us to choose whether or not we let it. As always, thank you for reading.