When I was a teenager, I read all the books that David Levithan and Rachel Cohn wrote together: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. I always meant to read some of their individual work, but I never got around to it. Then, the other day, I randomly stumbled across the book Every Day by David Levithan. I read the whole thing in a few hours. It was weird. I don’t know how I feel about it. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot, so now I’m going to write about it.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m going to keep this generic. Basically, the story follows “A,” who, every morning since being born, wakes up in the body of a new person. A can’t decide who it (I’m going to refer to A as “it”, since it’s not a he or she) becomes – male, female, gay, straight, black, white. It just spends the day in that person’s consciousness, living their life for the moment. A only jumps to people the same age as it – when A was a baby, it lived in other babies. Now A’s a teenager, so it jumps into other teenagers. No matter what, at midnight it gets taken from one person and that person goes on living with vague memories from that day. A wakes up the next morning as someone else, getting to see how all different kinds of people live. For whatever reason, A can only jump from person to person within a certain area – the book takes place in Maryland. The only way it would end up somewhere else is if the person it is inhabiting travels on that day. Then A would be stuck jumping around people who are in the new area.
Sound confusing? It is. Levithan does a pretty decent job explaining the process, but we never actually find out what A is. Probably because A doesn’t know itself and the book is told from its perspective.
Like I said, it’s a weird book. It’s also kind of a beautiful and captivating book. A falls in love with the girlfriend of one of the people he inhabits and has to navigate how that will work once A moves to other bodies. Then A meets someone else with the same ability who knows how to make it last more than one day, and A struggles with the ethics of that.
I feel like there was a lot of uncovered potential in the mythology of who and what A is. However, I appreciate that Levithan made this a love story, while also addressing sexuality and gender. It’s honestly a really interesting book. I just can’t decide how much I liked it. It does have the potential to lead to a lot of good conversations, though. It is also full of pretty great quotes, which I have sprinkled throughout this post as an incentive for you to read the book.
Every time I read a book that I want to talk about, I usually try to force someone else I know to read it too. My best example of this is when I forced my dad to read the Hunger Games before anyone else I knew had even heard of it just because I needed to talk about it (only the first two books had come out) and he was there. So instead of asking a personal friend or family member to read this book, I’m asking anyone who comes across this blog.
If you haven’t already, please read Every Day by David Levithan. Tell me what you think about the story, the idea, the message. And, please, tell me if you like it. Because I honestly have no idea if I do. I think the more that I think about it, the more I’m starting to like it.
I know this is kind of an odd post, but this book put me in an odd mood.