by David Levithan
Every morning, A wakes up in a different body. Everything physically changes – hair color, height, weight, gender – everything.
A rather lonely existence, getting a 24 hour glimpse into a person’s life. Then being yanked away without ceremony and finding another body, another family, another life.
A has developed rules. About interfering. And surviving. And he follows them to a T.
Until he meets Rhiannon.
Fascinating, fascinating concept. And utterly lonely. Think about it: you are not anchored by anything or anyone. You are an island. Anytime you make friends, they are gone the next day. Anytime you react to something, all other people will think it is the body’s owner reacting. A tragedy. Truly.
As usual, Every Day is gorgeously written by Levithan. And he invokes fascinating thoughts about gender, sexuality, drug addiction, what is good, how much a person should interfere, etc., etc. But the larger question is how much should A get to own his life.
For most of the book A is following his pretty strict rules about borrowed body and life maintenance. Trying not to change to much, stick to schedules, only accessing information necessary for existence. His life is, for the most part, mimicking other people’s lives. And it’s both interesting and amusing how A has had to adapt to the different situations – A’s stories about learning different things or being thrown into something in the past are amusing and I could’ve read a whole memoir by A.
But what I most applaud about this book are the boundaries Levithan set up for A’s “ability.” There are rules to what happens when the clock strikes midnight. And Levithan acknowledges and plays along with these rules – as he should. A is old enough to have figured some things out. It would be almost inexcusable if A didn’t have SOME answers about what happens to him. But A has also figured out how to mess with the rules. And I think that’s also great. And wonderful. The fact he has an email account delights me.
When it comes to the bigger questions Levithan asks about A’s interference into the lives of others and religion and whether there are others like A out there, it’s pretty nebulous. I expect it will invoke some strong opinions one way or the other.*
Regarding the religious stuff, I have to say that was secondary to me. I didn’t find it nearly as eye-catching as A’s daily life – until the big reveal. Then I Got It. But for the most part, I was annoyed with it. At the beginning. So, there is that.
All in all, a great book – gorgeously written, strong characters, fast-paced plot. The best part, though, was how many different questions and thoughts it generated in ME. Meaning it probably would make a fascinated book for an (open minded and awesome) book club.
Where this book came from: egalley from the publisher
*Personally, I am cool with A taking over for one day as long as it isn’t major. I still have trouble accepting his interference with a trip to Hawaii…