Book Review: Every Day

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Author: David Levithan
Published: 2012, Alfred A. Knopf; 2013, Ember.

Pages: 322
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult.
Read about it on Add it on Goodreads
4
 out of 5 starsEvery Day
Imagine waking up every morning to find yourself in a new body; to be taking over someones’ life for a day. This is A’s life. The one guarantee is that ‘he’ will always be occupying the body of someone the same age and ‘he’ won’t have traveled that far (usually no more than four hours away). A had become accustomed to this life, it’s the only life A has ever known, so from day to day A lives, not really expecting anything else. When A meets Rihannon while inhabiting the body of her boyfriend Justin (who is an arse), everything changes.

A is drawn to Rihannon and sees a sadness in her. This is the reason I couldn’t bring myself to rate it five stars: insta-love. I will never really understand insta-love. A in many respects lives a lonely life, so maybe he sensed this in Rihannon, who I feel, is lonely in her relationship with Justin. A has become skilled at observing people and noticing things that others might not, so obviously saw something that made ‘him’ feel connected to Rihannon. Given the life that A lives, it’s understandable that ‘he’ would want to grab hold of this. Four stars was the rating that stuck in my mind, which made me think: Why four stars? Why not five? It’s a great book! If you like it that much, why not five stars? And upon reflection, it is this element  of insta-love that prevented me from giving it five stars. Also the fact that it doesn’t, in my opinion, have a complete conclusion; the book left me wanting to know what happens next.

This is certainly  a unique and thought-provoking story. You may have wondered why I keep using A’s name, and have instead tried to shy away from assigning a gender. This is because A doesn’t really identify with a gender; waking up in the body of a boy or girl doesn’t matter for A. A is just A. (Although, to be honest, I do keep leaning towards identifying A as male.) This is an insightful book, full of diversity; the book isn’t just about being straight, gay or a person of colour etc., it’s essentially about the essence of who we are and seeing past labels, I think – so the book encompasses many elements of that.

“If you stare at the center of the universe, there is a coldness there. A blankness. Ultimately, the universe doesn’t care about us. Time doesn’t care about us.
“That’s why we have to care about each other.”

A wants Rihannon to be able to see just him, not what’s on the outside because ‘he’ is so much more than that. I like this about Every Day; I like how it makes you think. People get so hung-up on labels: gay, straight, fat, thin, asian, drop-dead gorgeous. But, people are so much more than any one thing; being gay isn’t all that person is; being beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean that’s all you are. A, I believe, was longing to be really seen; ‘he’ was funny, kind, principled and intelligent, which really makes up who ‘he’ is and this is what ‘he’ desired for Rihannon to see: The essence of ‘him’. You know it’s a special book when it makes you think.

Every Day is heart-warming, heartbreaking, original and if you are like me, will leave you longing for more.

Have you read Every Day? What did you think? Do you like books that make you think?

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Every Day

  1. I’m totally with you. Insta-love just is not realistic. I mean… the characters might THINK they are in love, but from a readers’ point of view it’s really hard to understand that unless it’s written really well. I loved the idea of this story — and my, the writing was beautiful — but on the other hand I’m not sure at all about a sequel. Like you it left me with the feeling of wanting more but I feel like a sequel would either make or break it.

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    1. I know, right? It’s more like insta-lust, not love. I would like a sequel because I want to know why he keeps switching bodies. I need closure! But, I don’t see there being a sequel.

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  2. Ah, this was a strange read for me. I like the concept, but I thought the whole thing was a little wishy-washy. I also really disliked the insta-love, but it kind of also bothered me that A never became that much of a character for me. I mean I know it might be a bit hard to do that what with A changing bodies every day, but I can’t really remember any distinct character traits, likes/dislikes etc. I’m sure part of that just comes from the premise, but the character still wasn’t tangible enough for me. And then there was this sort of-not quite enemy, and we never really find out what’s happening there… and then the ending bothered me too, because (SPOILER) I thought it was a bit presumptuous of A to choose a boyfriend for Rhiannon. Also, everyone keeps calling the concept original, but I’m SURE I’ve read a book called Switch (at least that’s what it was called in German) more or less exactly like this when I was younger, and I’ve seen the concept mentioned in another book as well. Aaaanyways, could have been a great book, but didn’t really do it for me. I’m glad you seem to have enjoyed it though!

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    1. Aw, it’s a shame you didn’t like it, but not everyone will. I think it’s probably one of those love-or-hate books. I haven’t read any books like this, but there’s bound to be at least one other book out there with a similar concept.

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  3. I remember thinking, after closing the last page of this book, wow. This makes me feel more alive. So yeah, Every Day is a special book. In a lot of ways, but especially for the fact that it crushes the labels. Although, unlike you, I like the ending. But did you know there’s Book 2? This year, I think.

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    1. I had no idea that there’s going to be a second book. I just assumed it was a standalone – especially because it was first published 2 or 3 years ago. Maybe I’ll finally get some closure. I just looked it up and its expected publication is in August.

      Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

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