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Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

July 5, 2012

Release Date: August 28, 2012

First Line: I wake up.

The Short Version: An extremely honest protagonist with no defined gender, sexuality, or body lives an extraordinary life.

BOTBS (Back of the Book Summary): Every morning, A wakes up 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 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.

My Thoughts: When I heard David Levithan had a new book coming out I was immediately interested. I’ve been a fan since reading Boy Meets Boy, but I didn’t know what to expect from this book. The summary was intriguing, but I was worried that it might read more like a novel written by many different characters than by a single narrator.

Of course, I shouldn’t have worried. A’s voice is so clear and recognizable that you hear it even when the A’s outer body has changed. A is a cautious character but always clear, direct, and honest with both the reader and himself.

Levithan also does a really interesting thing with A that is unique from any book I’ve ever read. The reader never knows if A is male or female. In fact, it doesn’t really matter much after awhile. Because A is in effect a soul, when A transfers into another body, A is still the same. The body however can be male, female, heterosexual, homosexual, trans or cis. A inhabits drug addicts, straight A students, mentally stable individuals, mentally unstable individuals, and everyone in between. It’s a really interesting look at personal motivations, and the difference between mind and body and how those two things interact.

The idea seems more complex the more you think about it, but Levithan managed to make it clear and unambiguous. I kept thinking of loopholes and ideas that might make A’s life easier, and by the next page Levithan would address them and give me new things to think about. I was really intrigued by the ending, and wondered if there was going to be a sequel, although there doesn’t have to be to enjoy the arc of this story.

I was also a little worried at the beginning that this would turn into a book where A tried to “fix” every life he entered. But his motivations are much more complex, and more human.

This book was really different from anything I’ve ever read, and it was refreshing along with being engaging and beautifully written.

Who Would Like It: Fans of Levithan’s previous work, body switching fans (Freaky Friday), fans of Across the Universe or those who like tragic love stories.

(Be aware, this review refers to an unpublished ARC and there may have been changes before publishing.)

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