Every Day by David Levithan
Every DayIt’s not easy trying to figure out who you are as you grow up. For A, it’s even harder. A never knows who she will be from one day to the next. He moves from body to body on a daily basis. Her consciousness takes over someone else’s body for a day, then moves to another. He never knows if a girl or a boy will look out of those eyes each morning. What type of family? What race? Is the body on drugs? An athlete? Fat? Anorexic? English speaking? The only thing to count on is the person will be a teen around the right age. In order to keep track, A keeps email accounts and uses a computer almost daily. She has to remember to erase the history each day before midnight.
One morning A wakes up in Justin’s body. Justin is dating Rhianna. A believes Justin doesn’t care for Rhianna as much as she cares for him. A feels an immediate bond with Rhianna. He takes Justin’s body and car, convinces Rhianna to skip the rest of the school day, and they go to the beach. By the end of the day, A wants to know Rhianna better. But no one knows A’s secret. How can she form a relationship when jumping from body to body each day?
A tries, though. The next day he is in a new body but sends an email to Rhianna. A wants Rhianna to understand she is better than she thinks and she doesn’t need Justin to bolster her self worth. A starts a correspondence with Rhianna, all the time feeling closer to her – falling in love?
David Levithan’s Every Day hits about every emotional problem a teen can face. In the month or so this book covers A is a metal head guy, a Spanish immigrant girl who cleans hotels with her family, a 300-pound boy, a mean popular girl, a home schooled boy with strict parents, and even Rhianna on one day. The only constants in A’s life are the Internet and books. Everything else changes each morning.
A usually tries not to impact the person being inhabited for the day, keeping that person’s life fairly close to what he/she would have done. But occasionally A lets herself take over, such as on the trip to the beach with Rhianna. When A follows his inclinations to meet Rhianna at a party a week or so later, the boy A inhabits gets in trouble for overstaying curfew. Another person misses a flight to Hawaii because A doesn’t want to leave Maryland.
Building a romantic relationship with someone else is difficult (at any age…). A’s situation makes it even more difficult. How to explain to Rhianna that A could be a boy one day, then three different girls over the next three days?
Levithan strikes the right notes throughout Every Day. The novel stays fairly light in tone despite the different issues A faces from day to day. Every Day is written in first person narrative from A’s point of view. The reader is quickly able to identify with the main character and try to find a solution to the growing romance with Rhianna.
Although written for teens, Every Day is excellent for anyone who is trying to figure out who he is. I don’t think that ever stops, so Levithan’s book appeals to the adult reader as well.
Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations