review: every day by david levithan

Author: David Levithan
Publication Date: 08/28/2012
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 322
Source: ARC

Every morning, A wakes 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 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.
As a baby, A woke up with different parents, siblings, and in the happy, careless way of children, thought nothing of it. A was always taken care of and that's all that mattered - until the rotating cast of family started mentioning a concept A couldn't grasp: tomorrow. "See you tomorrow!" "Good night!" For A, these things could never exist. Good night was good bye. There was a painful transition period where A had to come to terms with existence. A's rotating life never posed much of a problem after that. Until Rhiannon.

I absolutely loved this book. Some writers have a way of speaking so easily to the humanity within everyone that their books have a way of touching people on an individual level even if there is no one situation described that you as a person can identify with. David Levithan made that humanistic connection so easily that there were moments that I had to read passages over and over, in awe of how much I felt I could relate to the words or circumstance that A was going through. Though the premise is implausible, his ability to do so made it one of the most realistic books that I've ever read. Every Day is realistic, believable, and strikes you in your core. A is no one and everyone and that is why A is so genuine.

One of my favorite things about this book is that gender is completely unimportant. A is not male nor female; A is a person, human. A was able to relate to all of the bodies inhabited on such an instinctual level because A has lived by proxy hundreds of different lives in varying situations. And so it was interesting to see Rhiannon's reaction to A's ever changing landscape - A is the epitome of the ability to love someone for who they are, not their aesthetics. In this manner Levithan is able to make the story universal; everyone wants to be loved, to be able to live as themselves, and everyone has some sort of obstacle in their way. In this way, A is sort of the every-person, able to showcase the different issues people have in interacting with others. This is the beauty of Levithan's craftsmanship.

Though Every Day is about A and the way A experiences the world, there's a fascinating cast of background characters that A meets along the way in different lives that help to flesh out the different experiences and help A create a unique way through which the world can be viewed. And though A has sworn not to interfere in the lives of the bodies that A wakes in, there are a few times where I was inordinately pleased at the way tricky situations were handled without changing too much, and in a respectful manner.

Reading David Levithan is like swimming in a sea of poetry. I kept on wanting to write quotes down, but then I realised I'd be quoting the entire thing. Every Day is no different, which makes it easily one of the favorite books that I've read this year. Its ability to be universally applied, with poignant and realistic descriptions, makes it a book that I would recommend to anyone. Regardless of the fact that Every Day is published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, this is a book for any person simply by virtue of being human.

5 comments on "review: every day by david levithan"

Jenny wrote: Tue Aug 28, 10:56:00 AM

I might have to try this one. Everyone is raving and I'm a sucker for peer pressure. ;)

Alexa S. wrote: Tue Aug 28, 03:55:00 PM

Your review is written so beautifully, and I just know that I'm going to love this book as much as you do. It sounds absolutely lovely.

We Heart YA wrote: Tue Aug 28, 05:18:00 PM

Ditto what both Jenny and Alexa said! We only dipped our toe in the David Levithan waters with WILL GRAYSON WILL GRAYSON -- and his tweets @loversdiction, if that counts -- but this is probably the first book of his and his alone that we've been this excited for. Thanks for ramping it up even more!

Lauren's Loquacious Lit wrote: Fri Sep 07, 06:03:00 AM

Wow, this book sounds great. Adding it to my TBR list now.

The Reading Enchantress wrote: Sat Sep 08, 04:26:00 AM

K, your words are truly lovely! You have a way with words, just as Mr. Levithan does. Your review is so beautifully written, that much like with the book itself, if I quoted you for everything that resonated with me, I'd be quoting the review in it's entirety. Stunning review! <3

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