Rummanah Aasi
 Can you love someone beyond their physical appearance? I'm pretty sure most of us would hardly need to think twice before saying, "Absolutely. I'm not that superficial." I wonder if our answers would be just as strong if we met an entity like A who is destined to be someone different every day.

Description: 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.

Review:  Every Day is a thoughtful, touching story that will surprise readers with its sentient literary style. It is a story that makes us question ourselves with countless "what if" questions after we finish reading. Everyone longs for human connection, especially with those that can truly see us as a whole person with our flaws and all. For the protagonist A, this desire is overwhelming and all consuming given his special circumstances. Every day, for as long as he can remember, he wakes up in a different body regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, among other indicators that separates human from one another. He has long recognized the futility of trying to create lasting relationships, but everything changes when he meets Rhiannon, a girl who for the first time makes him want to achieve what he thought was impossible.
  A. has self-imposed policies to not to interfere too much in his "host's" life. He is mainly a visitor and observer for the day. For the most part, I thought A was a likable protagonist who doesn't wallow in self-pity or histrionic behavior, but there are times when I did want him to be a little less self absorbed. Levithan does an incredible job in retaining A.'s voice and personality consistently even though he is a different person in different circumstances. One of my favorite things about this book is how we catch a glimpse of all the lives that A. touches; each life is very different and allows us to see life through someone else's eyes. Some of the manifestations are humorous, sweet, while others are tinged with sadness and hopelessness. There is also a tension and urgency in the story from various different sources as A. struggles to become close to Rhianon every day. There is also someone who is relentlessly pursuing A. for his own dangerous reasons.
    Levithan doesn't spend much time answering how A came to be, which I'm sure would deter readers who want specific answers, but this is not what the book is about. Every Day spends more time ruminating and philosophizing about love and identity. When you say that you love someone, what makes you love them? If the object of your desire appeared less physically appealing, perhaps from a different race, religious background, or even financial background, would you love for he/she lessen? A. obviously makes some mistakes in his judgment, not unlike the ones we make daily. I think A's relationship with Rhiannon happened too quickly. While she seems like a good person, I didn't really understand what A found so fascinating about her. Perhaps that in itself makes us think that sometime we perceive a crush to be a bit more. 
    In addition to learning about A and the different life stories we are told in a daily snapshot, things become very difficult and complex as Rhiannon learns about A.'s unique circumstance. We witness how her comfort level changes each time she meets A in a different body. It's hard to fault anyone for having trouble accepting the fantastical premise, as well as the reality of living with it, because after all, a big, big part of love relies on both the thrill and the comfort we find in another person's familiar presence. Unlike other romances we've read so far, the struggle that these two have is to reconcile how to love ones essence without all the physical and superficial attachments involved. I couldn't help but wonder how Levithan would resolve this conflict but he does in a very pensive and bittersweet manner that shows how the purest form of love is perhaps when it involves some form of selflessness or self-sacrifice, depending upon how you look at it. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, scenes of underage drinking and drug use, as well as brief discussion of sex. Recommended for strong Grade 8 readers and up.


Description: In this digital-only collection Six Earlier Days, Levithan gives readers a glimpse at a handful of the other 5993 stories yet to be told that inform how A navigates the complexities of a life lived anew each day. In Every Day, readers discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day. In Six Earlier Days, readers will discover a little bit more about how A became that someone.

Review: Six Earlier Days is a novella that follows A through some earlier days that take place before the book Every Day begins. While we still aren't given any answers as to how A exists, Six Days Earlier does provide insight on how A approaches his hosts. Unlike in Every Day, A is a bit more detached but also can't help but yearn for the connections that his hosts have. The stories of living various lives in various ages are engaging and emotive. Though you are not required to read Six Earlier Days before Every Day, I would recommend doing so as it allowed me to be a little less impatient and frustrated with A. I felt as if I understood his situation and mindset much better.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None.

If you like these books try: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
7 Responses
  1. Annette Says:

    I haven't read this yet but it's on the ISLMA Abe Lincoln list for 2014, so I'll be picking it up soon. Great review!


  2. I have got to read this one. I love some of those philosophical questions you posed especially like what makes you love someone. I have heard so many amazing things about this book and I am happy to see you enjoyed it as well. I know I penciled it in somewhere soon.


  3. Jenny Says:

    I've only read a novella by David Levithan, but I really enjoyed and hope to make time for one of his books in the not too distant future. This sounds like one that really makes you think and question while you're reading, and I LOVE books like that:) In this context, I don't think I'd be all that concerned about how A came to be, like you said, knowing that information is vital to the story itself. Awesome review Rummanah!!!


  4. Lauren Says:

    "the purest form of love is perhaps when it involves some form of selflessness or self-sacrifice" <--Yes! This perfectly describes my feelings about what Levithan was doing with the ending! I loved this book so much, though I also wondered why he fell so hard for Rhiannon.

    I really want to read Six Earlier Days. I need to download it. Wonderful reviews!


  5. I've seen praise for Every Day and it really does sound like a thought provoking novel. I'm hoping I'll be able to read it soon.


  6. I didn't know about the Six Days novella! I'll have to pick that one up. I loved Every Day. I'm slowly building my collection of Levithan's books but still don't have the Lover's Dictionary, yet. Waiting for the right price!

    I didn't mind not knowing how A came into existence, the circumstances of how he was who or what he was. To me that just wasn't the point. Levithan's ability to create a being that had no prejudices was the point to me. And the fact that so far he hadn't met anyone that could feel the same was also the point. I'd like to be that person, but I'm sure I have prejudices. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

    Heather


  7. David Levithan's new book Every Day is just brilliant. It offers up a depth of emotion seldom seen in a genre often characterized by the superficial. Its unique premise effectively emphasizes how we are all similiar despite are differences, and examines love in such a way that will leave even the most jaded reader with plenty to think about and remember.


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