Imagine that every day when you you woke up, you were a different person. Some days you were a girl, others a boy. Or you might by gay one day, straight the next. Maybe a drug addict on Monday and a Supermodel on Tuesday. Such is the life of sixteen-year-old “A”, the first person point of view character in the book Every Day by David Levithan.
I stumbled across this book awhile back on a reading list and the premise intrigued me. The plot of the books is as described above: our sixteen-year-old character inhabits a different body every day and has no control over where – or in whom – he’ll end up, although he does seem to stay within the same geographical area. I liked the fact that the author presents teenagers from all walks of life, prompting us to perhaps question the perceived notions and stereotypes we have of people. “A’s” personally doesn’t identify as either a girl or a boy – it’s different all the time. He never remembers a time when he didn’t occupy a new body daily – it’s always been this way.
What struck me while reading this book was the idea that this person could never forge any lasting relationships. There was nobody “A” loved, relied upon, depended upon. Not one person even knew who he was or that he even existed. This point was really brought home when one of the young men he was “possessing”, Marc went to the funeral of his grandfather. During the service, tears welled up in “A’s” eyes — not over any sadness for the stranger in the casket, but over the realization that “A” will never have a family to grieve over him. That he will never leave a trail of memories behind. That nobody even will even have known him. There will be nobody to attend his funeral when the time comes.
One day, “A” does the unspeakable; he falls in love. He inhabits the body of Justin, Rhiannon’s self-centered boyfriend and from that point forward A is smitten with her and his world changed. He decides that he is going to transcend his situation and tell Rhiannon his secret; he decides to let her how how he feels about her in the hopes that they can somehow build a life together.
This eloquently-written character driven novel has found a place among my list of favorite books. It causes us to think about the stereotypes we encounter in our daily lives and allows us to perhaps transcend our own biases and see the world in a different way. I loved “A’s” personality and enjoyed watching his emotional progression throughout the book. This refreshing novel pulled me in from the beginning and did not disappoint. Recommended!
You can check out the book HERE