How would it feel if you woke everyday in a new body, in someone else’s with its own dramas, limitations and routines? Meet ‘A’. In David Levithan‘s book Every Day, ‘A’ has woken up on each day of his 17-something years in someone else’s body. ‘A’ can be male, female, transgendered, White, Hispanic, Asian or any other ethnicity and from any type of family. The only constant is that ‘A’ always inhabits a body of someone the same age for 24 hours.
Not all of these lives he lives each day is a happy one; he can go from a loving family unit to waking up in a slum as an addict or fighting a body’s strong desire to kill itself.
Along the way ‘A’ has developed some survival tactics and rules to live by. These have been serving him well until he meets Rhiannon, when he inhabits her boyfriend’s body for a day. Being with her has a profound impact on ‘A’. He sets about finding her and building a relationship with her each day when he wakes up as another new person, often several hours’ travel away. Can he find a way to be with her forever and how can she form a relationship with him when he changes his outside shell every day?
I found this intriguing premise fascinating to watch unfold as A’s life unravels when love comes calling. As a Young Adult novel, it’s a great study in the sense of self, of the way people are judged by how they look, and of the power of friendship and a good heart. As an adult, I loved the complexity of the character and the way the teenage experience was captured in all its variations.
Levithan has also written a book, Six Earlier Days, that gives an insight to the days ‘A’ has spent before the story above unfolded.
Every day was definitely a “lingerer” – the type of book that stays with you, as Knit1purl1 describes in her post Books that need space – and I will definitely search out David Levithan’s other works, such as Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. His book The Lover’s Dictionary was also a delight.