Book Reviews

Every Day- David Levithan


Imagine waking up each day as a different person. Imagine being able to access their memories and control them but just for a single day. One day you could wake as a high school female basketball player and the next as a male suicidal teen. In David Levithan’s Every Day, “A” does just that. A has a soul but doesn’t have a body- has never had a body. A doesn’t identify with “being” male or female, although I imagine that he’s male.  A is sixteen-years-old and only inhabits other sixteen-year-olds. But even though A is young in age, life wise he’s no where near a teenager; his soul is much older due to everything he has experienced.

On day 5994, A wakes up as a typical teenage boy named Justin. He describes it like this: “I’m never the same person twice, but I’ve certainly been this type before” (p.2). A’s goal isn’t to ruin or even change someone’s life, it’s to merely exist for the day. However, his outlook changes when he meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. When he taps into Justin’s memories he discovers how unkind Justin typically is to Rhiannon. A can’t fathom anyone being unkind to her; in fact he falls in love with her at first sight. Although Rhiannon must feel something is off concerning Justin’s behavior, she relishes in the beautiful day they share by the ocean. For one day, A allows himself to live instead of merely exist. 

Although A knows that he should leave well enough alone, Rhiannon’s memory tugs at his heart strings. A few days later, as female student Amy Tran, A lies and says that he’s a potential new student and spends the day with Rhiannon. Soon after, he visits Rhiannon at a party as Nathan Daldry and they form an instant friendship. The next day, Nathan knows that something is off and contacts the authorities. But who would believe someone that thinks they’ve been possessed for a single day?

Eventually A confides in Rhiannon who eventually believes him. They try to form a relationship which is all but impossible. It isn’t that difficult to imagine loving someone without ever seeing them (sight is only one of our senses after all) but imagine loving someone who appears as a different person every single day. Rhiannon especially struggles with the concept whenever A inhabits a female’s body, whereas A sees past gender. One of the toughest days that A experiences is waking up as Rhiannon.

Another difficult day for A is when he wakes as Marc, a teen whose grandfather has died. How awful for Marc to miss his own grandfather’s funeral. A describes it like this: “I feel like a complete imposter. I am observing, trying to record as much as I can for Marc’s memories, because I know he is going to want to have been here, is going to want to remember this” (p. 267).

I think A sums it up best when he says: “We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.”

Every Day is a fascinating novel that flips gender and sexuality upside down and sideways.  It’s a powerful read that I highly recommend.

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  1. Pingback: Book Review Links

  2. Sounds interesting! Another one for my TBR mountain… 😉
    Kevin Brennan recently posted…See if you’re literate enough to have voted in 1964 LouisianaMy Profile

  3. Looking forward to purchasing it! Terrific review!

  4. This has been on my TBR list for a while – need to move it to the top. Great review!

  5. Thanks for the review. Hope things have been going well for you now that you’re back to school. Missed having you around more often!
    Katie Cross recently posted…I Answer the Questions of the UniverseMy Profile

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