Saturday, April 13, 2013

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan


Published: 2012

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Copy: Library

Pages: 324

Summary: Goodreads


Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

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.

I’d never read a David Levithan book before. And the only reason I tackled this one was because of a recommendation from my favourite author (Orson Scott Card), who’s “Uncle Orson Reviews Everything” column I stalk a little too regularly.

And so I was introduced to A. And at first I thought, this is going to be weird. How can you have a non-gendered individual in a story line? Something that is corporeal but not? But David Levithan’s prowess as a writer has not been overstated, and it was wonderfully written (and there were no slip-ups on gender assignation...I watched for them!).

A is essentially a body snatcher. Every day, for as long as s/he can remember, s/he wakes up in a new body. Mercifully that body is also close to what s/he assumes is his/her real age. (That was confusing  - Mr. Leviathan does it better than I do, so for the sake of convenience, I’ll refer to A as “he”). A doesn’t think this is strange – but manages to keep it a secret. He’s been fat, thin, popular, shunned and everything in between. He takes over their life for one day – and he’s always been content to continue to move on every night.

Until he meets a girl who shakes him. That makes him drag the bodies he possesses to run into her, to see her. Because although he changes every day, he wants her to stay the same.

Levithan approaches this subject and covers almost every loophole you can imagine – he also hits all the plot lines you can think of, and his characters take them on realistically (as you can get in these scenarios) and with grace and poise. They struggle; A’s love, Rhiannon might just love him too – but can she shed all the preconceptions and love A when he’s a girl, despite her being straight. Or when he’s a 400 lb teen that has kind of given up on the whole “image” thing? And what happens when the possession doesn’t go smoothly – usually A makes as few ripples in that person’s life as possible – but being left unconscious on the side of the road or bailing on a wedding can have some big repercussions.

But it works. And it was beautiful and everything I expected, not only from a review by OSC himself, but from the reputation that has preceded David Levithan in my literary world. Another great ISU read, and fabulous one for teens looking to step into David Leviathan’s writing, but afraid he’ll be just another gay author.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a really intriguing book. What a challenge to write about a non-gendered character. I'm glad Levithan pulled it off. Will definitely have to look this one up. Thanks for the review.