Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

every day cover

View from the window seat:
Every day, A wakes up in a new body. There’s no way to know who A will be next. A has learned to accept this life, trying to never get attached or be noticed. Those rules seem less important when A wakes as Justin, the boyfriend of a girl named Rhiannon. A has finally found someone he wants to be with for more than one day.

I’ve had success with David Levithan’s collaborations before (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Will Grayson, Will Grayson), but I’ve never read one of the books he’s written alone. I hate to say it (especially since this book has been hyped up and down the Internets), but I just didn’t connect with this book at all. 

What saved this from a lower rating was the strength of Levithan’s writing. His prose is so lyrical and evocative. The premise of a different body and life every day just sounds like it wouldn’t work, but Levithan makes it seem so natural. This is simply the way A is, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Each day, and each person, is so unique; the people could’ve blurred into one through the common thread of A’s soul inhabiting the bodies, but every person stands on his or her own. This style of changing between people could’ve been jarring, but Levithan excels at making the transitions as natural to the reader as they are to A.

This book’s strength lies not just in the writing itself, but in the characterization of A. A has to assume each person’s characteristics as much as possible to avoid anyone in that person’s life noticing any difference. A somehow still remains A despite acting as different people. His soul shines through every time. I found the ending, which I won’t spoil, to be perfect. A has a choice to make, and what he chooses is so very much A, that I found it be the right way to finish the novel. For him to choose otherwise would negate every choice and thought he makes throughout the entire story.

My main problem with Every Day, and what ultimately led me to form a not-so-positive opinion of the book, was with A’s relationship with Rhiannon. A decides he’s completely and irrevocably in love with Rhiannon after one day. Their love never rang true for me. A also makes a decision for Rhiannon at the end (a part of the choice he has to make, but not the good part that I described liking above) that infuriated me. It’s presumptuous and reinforces the perception that Rhiannon can’t make decisions on her own when it comes to men, that her choice doesn’t matter because A, her supposed soulmate, knows better. Maybe I just read this wrong, and I’m sure many others disagree with me, but unfortunately that’s the opinion I came away with.

Overall impression:
Despite strong writing, Every Day left me with an empty feeling.

Rating:
6

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

  1. Very interesting! I’ve heard a lot of different reviews for this book, most of which really enjoyed them. I’m quite curious to see how I feel about it now! I just picked up a copy so I definitely want to get to it soon. I love the idea, but I’m not sure how well it’ll come across in the plot.
    Great review!

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