Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Every Day by David Levithan
I'm using the pronoun "he" because that's what we default too, but there's actually nothing that suggests that A is a boy or girl. A is just as likely to be in the body of a male as a female, and does not have a preference for either one. A is genderless, but since we don't have a pronoun to go with that, I'm using "he" because that's what they do on the book flap.
This was certainly an interesting and unusual story. A has always been like this, and accepts that it will always be the same. It is of course a difficult way to live, but A has learned much from always being in someone different. But it has not allowed A to form any kind of lasting attachments, because of course they can't be kept.
A never travels far, from body to body, he is always in the same area, and always in the body of someone his "own age" which right now is about 16. While in the body of a boy named Jason, A falls in love with Jason's girlfriend, Rhiannon. Before, A was always very conscious of not messing up someone's life while in their body, but Rhiannon changes all that. Now A's focus is all on finding her each day, disregarding the commitments of the person whose body he is in.
Probably most people would be caught up in the hopeless love between A and Rhiannon, but I was mostly focused on how terrible it was for the people whose bodies A was in. I felt terrible for them, for the chaos that A left in their lives. Friends and family snubbed or confused, plans disregarded, commitments ignored, as A goes chasing after Rhiannon each day. It was interesting to think about how one day can have serious consequences in someone's life. Just one day can make all the difference to someone.
A tells Rhiannon about his strange life, the first person he's told. Naturally Rhiannon finds it all difficult to believe, but as she sees A each day in different bodies, she begins to accept it. A tries to figure out how to be with her, which Rhiannon knows from the beginning is a fantasy. Rhiannon also has difficulty feeling the same about A with each body switch. She knows the person she cares about is the same, but it doesn't change the fact that she isn't always attracted to A. And sometimes the body he is in makes her uncomfortable. A is crushed by this, shouldn't love conquer all? But sometimes it doesn't.
While A and Rhiannon try to figure out their relationship, A is also dealing with the aftermath of a boy who seems to actually remember A being in his body, which is unusual. This leads A to finding someone who might be like him, and might know how to stay in a body for more than one day. If this is possibly, A must make the decision of staying in someone's body in order to be with Rhiannon forever.
So it was quite a book. Thoughtful. Unique. I enjoyed reading it, and it made me think. Fans of David Levithan's other books, and John Green fans, will be eager to read this one.