Book: Every Day by David Levithan
Published August 2012|Published by Knopf Books For Young Readers|219 pages|e-book via the library
Part of a series? No
Goodreads.com Summary: A has no friends. No parents. No family. No possessions. No home, even. Because every day, A wakes up in the body of a different person. Every morning, a different bed. A different room. A different house. A different life. A is able to access each person’s memory, enough to be able to get through the day without parents, friends, and teachers realizing this is not their child, not their friend, not their student. Because it isn’t. It’s A. Inhabiting each person’s body. Seeing the world through their eyes. Thinking with their brain. Speaking with their voice.
It’s a lonely existence–until, one day, it isn’t. A meets a girl named Rhiannon. And, in an instant, A falls for her, after a perfect day together. But when night falls, it’s over. Because A can never be the same person twice. But yet, A can’t stop thinking about her. She becomes A’s reason for existing. So each day, in different bodies–of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, walks of life–A tries to get back to her. And convince her of their love. But can their love transcend such an obstacle?
I really wanted to like Every Day. It’s such an intriguing concept, but I have quite a few issues with the book that I just couldn’t get past, no matter how hard I tried.
Like, I like the idea that A is in a different body every day and that everyday, he is still in love with Rhiannon, no matter who he is inhabiting. But I felt like a lot of those characters were really superficial and like he relied very much on stereotypes. You have the suicidal girl with no friends, the boy who’s home-schooled and has a crazy mom, and a person who’s over 300 pounds and gets a lot of looks of disgust. A lot of the characters felt like the token fill-in-the-blank group. Interestingly enough, the only characters that didn’t feel like the token whatever were the GLBT characters. They were easily the most believable characters, but even with being more believable than the other characters…they too felt superficial.
Every Day just felt one-sided and kind of preachy. I think having a couple scenes (or maybe even a chapter or two) from Rhiannon’s perspective would have made it interesting. You don’t really get what Rhiannon’s really feeling or thinking, and you don’t see her trying to deal with loving someone who’s in a different body every day. And the book being kind of preachy? It really felt like Levithan wanted the reader to know that race, gender, appearance and sexual orientation don’t matter, but it got so irritating by the end of the book that I just didn’t care about how much they loved each other. The whole thing- the romance, the clichéd characters, the gender-neutral A who switched bodies- felt really forced.
You do think about accepting people for who they are but it really felt like A wanted Rhiannon to love him no matter what, even when she didn’t seem completely into A. I just don’t get why they’re attracted to each other, and I think that’s something that should have been explored a little more.
And we do have to talk about the body-switching. We just know it happens every day, but we don’t learn about why or how it happens. We just know that it does happen. And it isn’t until the end that we get hints that it happens to other people too. It seems like there might be a geographic limit, but I’m not completely convinced of that, because A is never more than 4 hours away from Rhiannon. It seemed more convenient than any other reason.
I get why people love Every Day, and why it has so many rave reviews. The concept is intriguing and A having no gender is really unique. The characters and plot were really superficial and it just didn’t work for me. Every Day gets 1 star.