Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day
David Levithan
Published: 2012
YA Contemporary/Fantasy

image: Goodreads
This book is high concept, so once you accept that the character "A" moves in and out of other bodies for 24 hours at a time--with little explanation--then this story is pretty much amazing. The body switching is the central issue, so it isn't like it's not explored, it's just if you're looking for a lot of details and scientific speculation, you won't find it. A has always been this way, has never had his own body, and didn't fully realize how strange it was until he was about five. He always shifts into bodies that are his age, so he ages the same as everyone else. He's simply accepted this reality.

So, what happens when A falls for a girl? What would that relationship look like, given he wakes up as someone else every day, and often several hours away from the last person? Possibly more fascinating, is the cast of characters A inhabits; this is why I'm so glad this book was in David Levithan's hands, because he manages to show so much through the eyes of A. We experience drug addiction right along with him as a teen coming down from a high. He shares a body with a morbidly obese guy, a tough football player, a Queen Bee mean girl (he inhabits both male and females), and even a teen who is one gender but identifies with the other. Empathy is shown for so many different people without delving into preachy territory.

The trouble comes when A takes over a guy named Nathan who knows something happened to him--most of his host bodies don't--they just have a foggy recollection of the day. Nathan remembers he wasn't in control, and decides to take action. Suddenly it's all over the local news about a teen who was possessed. An on-fire reverend starts a website looking for more demonic possession stories, and Nathan won't stop emailing A (since A left the computer abruptly and forgot to log out of his own email). A feels threatened, like he's the oppressor, although he has no control over what he does. Or does he?

The story is truly heartbreaking, since the odds are against A from the start. It's more of his personal journey with himself, to find purpose, and to experience love, although not in the way most people do.

1 comment:

  1. I've been making the rounds on my Blogger reading list and this review caught my eye b/c I just posted about David Levithan earlier today. I'm not normally into supernatural stuff but I've wanted to read more of his (solo) work and this sounds like an interesting one. I'm adding this to my 'read' list! :-)


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