Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on 8/28/12
Genres: Tough Issues, Young Adult
Source: The Smashtastic Library
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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.
This is one of the most unique stories I’ve ever come across. David Levithan is a contemporary writer, but this story has a supernatural twist to it. This aspect of the story, however, is never explained nor is it ever the focus. I was ok with this. The How and Why were of no interest to me because of how engaged and engrossed I was in the Now. I categorized this one under Tough Issues because of the wide array of people and situations that A experiences day after day. I really loved that the author choose to give us the good, the bad and the ugly, in terms of human behavior and circumstance. It really catapulted the story into amazing.
A goes through each day trying to remain impassive and causing as little disruption for the host as possible. A has long ago come to terms with daily change. Then A meets Rhiannon when A is inhabiting her boyfriend’s body. A no longer wants to stumble though life as Jane, Dick and Mary. A wants to be with Rhiannon and A does what A can to see her as much as possible. A remains careful and thoughtful about the hosts but begins to step outside the code A has set up for A’s existence, all in the name of love. I think this aspect of the story felt so real, because people really do lose some of their logical reasoning when they fall in love. The mind becomes obsessed with doing whatever it takes to be with that person.
This is not your typical love story. It’s raw and personal, simple yet extremely complicated. You can’t help but wonder what you would do in Rhiannon’s shoes, how you would feel to love someone who is a different shape, size and sex every day. For love to transcend such stiff boundaries is an incredible feat. Rhiannon definitely struggles with the situation, but in very different ways from A. Their perspectives are unique because Rhiannon cannot compare life to A’s, and though A has been in human bodies since birth, A simply cannot understand what it means to really be human because A is not around long enough to feel the impact.
The author’s grasp on the emotion, vulnerability and pain of some of the character’s that A inhabits for a day was meaningful and intense. I became those characters for a day. I felt their joy and pain and laughed and cried during their experiences. I found this paragraph about addiction to be extremely touching.
There comes a time when the body takes over the life. There comes a time when the body’s urges, the body’s needs, dictate the life. You have no idea you are giving the body the key. But you hand it over. And then it’s in control. You mess with the wiring and the wiring takes charge.
I want to thank Amy (bookgoonie) for her thoughtful review that had me pull this book off my shelf and read it. One simple line in her review – “A’s heart will win yours, but A’s journey will break it.” – grabbed me. I met David Levithan at Decatur Book Festival last year and he read a passage from the book. It was hella intriguing and I definitely wanted to read it, but it got put on the shelf with all the other lonely books I have yet to read. I’m glad I picked it up sooner rather than later. It was an experience that will stay with me.
Amy also posted the book trailer for Every Day, which I had never seen. I am posting it here for you because it is also an attention grabber.
We watch the trees, the sky, the signs, the road. We sense each other. The world, right now, is only us. We continue to sing along. And we sing with the same abandon, not worrying too much if our voices hit the right notes or the right words. We look at each other while we’re singing; these aren’t two solos, this is a duet that isn’t taking itself at all seriously. It is its own form of conversation- you can learn a lot about people from the stories they tell, but you can also know them from the way they sing along, whether they like the windows up or down, if they live by the map or by the world, if they feel the pull of the ocean.
© 2013, Smash Attack Reads. All rights reserved.
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