My Thoughts About Every Day by David Levithan (Book Review #76)

This realistic fantasy combined with a contemporary romance novel is about an unusual, bittersweet and thought provoking love story that talks about what it is to become human, the prerequisites of existing and what defines true love.

“I want love to conquer all. But love can’t conquer anything. It can’t do anything on it’s own.
It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf.”

― David Levithan, Every Day

And yes, my first David Levithan!

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Everyday, “A” wakes up in a different teen’s body. It is inevitable. The novel opens on “A’s” 5,994th body. Everyday, A has to adopt to the body that he’s into. Everyday, A has to acquaint himself to his surroundings. Everyday, A has to live a different life. But A has gotten to it now. He has long resigned himself from attaching himself to people. He has no one to call his own – no family, no friend or partner. Until he met Rhiannon. A girl who makes him want to bend the inevitable. What will happen if A fell in love?

“A” has no gender but he grows mentally. (I am using “he” throughout this review as the pronoun for A in relation to his romance with Rhiannon and for consistency). After 12 midnight, no matter how he wants to stay in a body, he can’t control it or do anything about it. A wakes up everyday in all sorts of bodies, gender and ethnicity. For instance, today he can be a crippled Asian American boy, tomorrow he can be an African-American basketball varsity player at school then the next day he can be a mean girl who only thinks about what to wear to school. He doesn’t know why it happen (and the book doesn’t talk about it either but that is not a let down). In the story we follow A’s struggle to be complete and normal as a person and his need to belong and be acknowledged.

“I wake up thinking of yesterday. The joy is in remembering; the pain is in knowing it was yesterday.”
― David Levithan, Every Day

He moves from body to body of teens that are of his age in a certain geographical radius. If the body that he’s at moves at a distant location, the bodies of people that he’ll inhabit will also be now on that certain area. He has control over their physical movements and has a way of checking the memory and history of that body where he’s at making him act normal to the people around him. The one thing that A doesn’t have any control at is the emotions of the owner of the body. Each day he has to weigh and control the feelings of each person that he inhabits. He has to be careful on how to react to situations and be mindful of his actions. A moves from body to body with only him noticing and when the original owner of the body wakes up the next day, it’s as if nothing happened. A always makes sure that he leaves each host body with the least amount of impact.

“It would be too easy to say that I feel invisible. Instead, I feel painfully visible, and entirely ignored.”
― David Levithan, Every Day

One of the things that I adore about this book is how the readers get a glimpse on the life of the people that A gets into. The author was able to show broad variety of teen lifestyles. I am not sure how the author does that but he was able to capture the right lines and emotions of each body – different people under different circumstances in their different backgrounds and environment. I like how each chapter is for a different person that A gets into and for each you get to learn the situation of each and you get the chance to get some pieces of wisdom. You get the chance to get inside their mind and understand them. There’s a geek, a blind, a gay, a lesbian, a metal-head, an obese, a transgender, a brat, a drug addict and more. It was a roller coaster ride as A moves from body to body and with it are the emotions that comes with it, from sorrow, to doubt, to hopelessness, to hope and to the feeling of being loved. I like how the book effortlessly and unintentionally teach readers how to be good to others and makes you appreciate your life. Each action has its own consequences no matter how big or small it is.

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I also enjoyed reading the romance between A and Rhiannon. A met Rhiannon after he wakes up in the body of her boyfriend, Justin. A wakes up in different bodies and finds way to meet up with Rhiannon no matter what body she’s at. He navigates from body to body and at the same time trying to build a relationship with Rhiannon. The day that A met Rhiannon is where the story picked up momentum. It’s the day that changed everything for A. I like how different it is from the usual teen love story. I like how it makes me think because it is uniquely intriguing. Here, we have two lovers wanting to be together but they can’t no matter how they try because the other longs for physical connection while the other believes that emotional connection is enough. It was challenge every step of the way. Another complication arises when one of A’s hosts, became aware that he was possessed, who he assumed as the devil, and the story goes viral. The ending is just totally unexpected and tear jerking, have some tissues ready especially for those who easily tear up.

“I notice you, I want to say. Even when no one else does, I do. I will.”
― David Levithan, Every Day

“Kindness connects to who you are, while niceness connects to how you want to be seen.”
― David Levithan, Every Day

“It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a responsibility toward that love.”
― David Levithan, Every Day

Overall, I must say that reading this book is a surreal experience. How the author weaved A’s movement from body to body, his romance with Rhiannon and how A handled his secret from becoming viral was flawlessly done. The book also has a lot of ideas that got me thinking. It’s smartly written with themes about the true meaning and nature of love. True, it has a weird premise and at times complicated but with the author’s captivating storytelling, I was hooked. Smartly written. It’s satisfying and enlightening as it explores the true meaning of identity and self and the complexities of life and love. The book may sound depressing but no, it is a celebration of love written profoundly using simple but meaningful words. The book that I got also includes six additional stories of A before the book started which was put at the ending of the book. The stories were deeper and gave more depth to the character of A. It gave a glimpse of A’s life before his teenage years and I got to sympathize more with his situation.

The ending, as how abrupt it is, hints that there might be a sequel and I’ll for sure read that one too. I hope it will tackle A’s background like how he came into existence, possible ways that he can stay more than a day on a body, and also the possibility of others like him. While waiting, David Levithan released a companion novel to the book with the title Another day which follows the story through Rhiannon’s point of view. I already have my copy and I’m excited to read that one too.

4 star out of 5.

“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.”
― David Levithan, Every Day

BOOK SPECIFICATIONS:

Author: David Levithan
Format: Trade Paperback
Part of a Series: Series
Release Year: September 2013
Publisher: Ember
No. of Pages: 324 pages

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7 thoughts on “My Thoughts About Every Day by David Levithan (Book Review #76)

  1. Ah, what a brilliant review Mark! I’m really looking forward to this one since it’s been a long time since I’ve read any of Levithan’s work (though I think Levithan contributed a short story to My True Love Gave to Me, an anthology I’m currently reading). And yes, there is a sequel to this one. I got a hold of Another Day back in November actually. Hopefully the sequel will be just as enjoyable for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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