Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Posted November 17, 2014 in Book Review / 4 Comments

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Book Review: Every Day by David LevithanEvery Day by David Levithan
Series: Every Day #1
Published by Knopf Books on August 28th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 322
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
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four-stars

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

Main Points
Writing Style:
The writing. I have a few points to make on this. First, it was excellent. Second, it was distracting. I actually got to page 160 before realizing it was in the present tense. It just kind of hit me like oh! Present tense! That’s so not important to the story but it’s interesting! Third, there was a point made at some point about the narrator’s gender. And I had to question that myself. Honestly, when I first started reading, I assumed A was a boy, but now I’m thinking that was more because the first body A was in was male, rather than the writing style and thoughts being masculine. As we went on, as A began to change more and more, it became harder to see A as being a certain gender because A switched between them so easily. When A was female, I could believe it and I compared it to other female main characters. Seemed natural. When A was male, it felt a little more normal (because I had already subconsciously identified A as male after the first body), but not a whole lot different. There was no real change in personality or anything, obviously, and that helped.
It’s really strange to get used to when you think about it, but A also reminded me of myself and so it felt natural. I’m not too much like either gender so it seems normal to be kind of in the middle, floating…like that.
Plot:
This book was really emotionally intense. I had a kind of love/hate relationship with it. I hated the idea of it but at the same time I found it really fascinating. I couldn’t really figure out the mechanics of it but then again that wasn’t the point. I’m big on finding the point of things. I mean, essentially it’s trying to make a point about how important looks are to people/relationships, but it’s saying a lot more than that. And not just about relationships. It’s also about trust, too, and other things.
Rhiannon was disappointing. I wanted her to be The One, and A seemed to think she was, but she didn’t feel right to me. It’s amazing that she was able to keep with it, but in the end, I don’t think they could ever have been together. It would just be too difficult. I can’t imagine being in her shoes. It was hard to feel as if she was genuine, but some of that may have been tainted by the fact that she just simply could not get used to the situation. And that’s perfectly reasonable. But I wasn’t sympathetic to the whole thing. It just didn’t feel right. She deserved better than Justin, but A deserved better than her.
You know what I found interesting? The fact that A’s email account was the one solid physical thing that was A’s own. It was proof that A existed, and something only A would have access to because only A knew the password. That was it. That’s a reason I was so fascinated by A’s interaction with Nathan through email. Nathan was the only one really talking to just A, to A’s true self, untainted by any physical appearances or boundaries.
What are my thoughts on A’s body switching? Hm. I don’t really have much to say about it. It just is. It’s a thing that A does, and has always done. It’s a lifestyle. It’s sad, and exciting, and scary. I would always be afraid of messing up if I were A. Not being able to access quickly enough or something. It’s also sad to not be able to hold onto anything real. It’s depressing. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself that long, not knowing who I really was or could be.
I said the book was about trust, and that’s a big part of it. Not all of it but an important part. Rhiannon had to trust A an awful lot. A had to trust Rhiannon. It was difficult. Nathan and A had to trust each other. If there was no trust, A would simply be a different person, every day. A wouldn’t really exist. At least to everyone else.
The plot gets more exciting as the book goes on, even if it’s not entirely sure where it’s going. There are a lot of possibilities, even if for now it’s just some long rambly depressing mess…but a good one.
Also, am I the only one tripped out by the cover?
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • characters
  • POV especially
  • some plot
  • writing
Less than perfect:
  •  relationship
  • Rhiannon
  • some plot
Bottom Line
This was an emotionally intense, anxious, love/hate depressing kind of rambly mess. It was good and had plot potential, but was mostly great for the kind of thinking it provokes about gender and identity. It’s not often we get that in stories. It’s worth reading just for the main concept of it all. Would I read more by this author? Ye-es…Would I recommend this to others? Yes.

About David Levithan

David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children’s book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Rating
Plot
three-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing
five-stars
Setting
four-stars
Romance
three-stars
Cover
four-stars
Ending
five-stars
Overall: four-stars
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4 Comments on "Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan"

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Jillian
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I’ve always wanted to read this book! I heard so many good things about it :) I read a little sample from Amazon, and it’s pretty interesting! I like the idea! I’m sorry Rhiannon was a disappointing character. I completely understand how you feel about her!

I have to say – A is a pretty interesting character! I don’t know, he just seems a little mysterious in the novel. It’s pretty cool, haha :D

Alicia
Guest

I think you should read it! If only for the great concept. She was disappointing but it didn’t ruin the book.

A is kinda mysterious, but A’s personality really shows in the novel. It’s funny because whenever the writer mentions A, and when I talk about A in my review, I don’t refer to A as him or her. I’m pretty sure it’s him, but it just doesn’t feel right after reading it! You’ll know what I mean when/if you read it.

Priscilla and her Books
Guest

I remember reading this a couple of years ago. I’m a bit bummed about the ending.

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