Monday, January 14, 2013
Review: Every Day by David Levithan
By David Levithan
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: 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.
It’s all fine until the morning that 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 finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day
This book. I'm warning you now, this review is going to be nothing but gushing about this book. I adored this book. I want to marry this book.
I say I love books all the time. If I really liked it, then I loved it. But there is a difference between loving a book as a whole, and loving the entire book. Loving a book as a whole is loving it after you've finished. It's overlooking anything that mildly irritated you, like a pointless plot line or a dull chapter. Loving a book as a whole is saying that once you've finished, it was worth reading. Loving an entire book, on the other hand, is loving every single part as you're reading. It's feeling like you can't possibly put this book down because you simply must read the next chapter, the next sentence, the next word.
I loved this entire book.
I loved reading about A's life, and I love A's character. I loved the way Levithan made each day a new chapter and each chapter a new day. I love how he spent a lot of time on some days, and only a paragraph on others. I love how he explained what was usual for a day in A's life, and how the events of this book were the exception to the rule. I love how all my questions about A were answered as the book went along, but I never felt like I was being force fed information.
I read this book over two days, in three separate chunks. As soon as I started I didn't want to stop unless I absolutely had to. I was enamored by the way each chapter was a new day, a new person, a new challenge. It was addicting.
But the really remarkable thing is, as I approached the end of the novel, I stopped feeling as excited when A changed bodies. I stopped seeing each new person as a new adventure and started seeing how awful A's life really is. The people didn't get less interesting. A's attitude never changed. I certainly never got used to the concept. What changed was me. The more I cared about A, the more I realized how horrible A's existence is, and the more weary I became each time A had to navigate the challenges of a new body.
Levithan handled the concept of this book amazingly well. As I mentioned above, all my questions were answered, but I never felt like time was being taken out of the story to explain the details. It was natural. The pacing is fantastic; I was never bored. We are given enough information about the new body each day that we don't forget it's a new body, but it never takes away from the plot. It was a perfect balance.
Levithan is careful to not make any gender boundaries for A. A can be either male or female, gay or straight. Once, A is a female who identifies as a guy. That was very interesting to me. looking at the concept of A as more than an interesting plot device, there is a strong message; the most important part of a person is the inside, not the outside.
Every Day is a fantastic novel with a flawlessly executed concept. I loved every page, and although I borrowed this book from the library, I may have to buy a copy for my shelves. I highly recommend it.