Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. 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. And then 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 A has found someone he wants to be with - day in, day out, day after day. Can you love someone who is destined to change each day? David Levithan brings all his trademark insight to a novel that is edgy, romantic and page-turning. Every Day has a touch of the paranormal and a grounding in the real world.
This is a difficult book to review – not because I didn’t like it, I certainly did, but how to write about a protagonist, ‘A’, who mysteriously inhabits the body of a completely different 16-year-old every single day?
During the course of the story the host is male, female, fat, drug-addicted, thin, black, white, gay, straight, home-schooled, depressed, kind, angry… But A’s voice is that of a young person, experienced beyond their years and shouldering the burden of a great responsibility. Thoughtful, conscientious and incredibly respectful of the host, A is without a doubt extremely likable.
Over the years A has managed to adapt to this unorthodox life and its impossible situations. But when A falls in love and begins to desire a real future, the true challenge arises.
Long after this story’s enigmatic ending, I found myself pondering A’s unusual experience of life through so many different perspectives – that of gender, physique, health and sexuality. Does A’s character somehow represent the lack of control experienced by most teenagers at some point in their lives? Am I reading too much into the story? Perhaps.
What I do know is that David Levithan is an incredibly thoughtful and perceptive writer with an uncanny ability to explore and distil the essence of feelings and relationships in the most unusual and creative way. Highly recommended for ages 15 and up.
Athina Clarke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Malvern.
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