I have read a number of books by David Levithan and I have loved them all. He has a unique story telling ability. Each of his stories explores an interesting concept and the characters are ones that are lasting. Every Day was no different. The concept is what drew me to the book. The idea of someone waking up everyday in a new body and a new life seemed like a very fresh idea to me.
I wasn’t sure how this book was going to play out. I wondered what the over arching story was going to be. I also wondered if it was going to be more like a documentary, following a number of lives and seeing the ways people are different and the same.
Every Day was ultimately a love story. It was a story that explored the concept of what love is and what love can do. Can love really conquer all like many say or are there limitations? What can’t love do?
A is someone who has been waking up in a new body everyday for their entire life. (I will be using the pronoun their while talking about A because A does not have a specified gender. They change bodies everyday and thus change sexes everyday). A only wakes up in bodies that are the same age as them, someone who is close by and they never inhabit the same body twice.
One of the things I really liked about this book was that there was no limitations to the type of person that A inhabited. They woke up in boys, girls, people who were gay, straight and transgender. They woke up in addict’s bodies and those battling depression. Some of the people were great people, full of compassion and kindness and some were cruel and angry. Levithan did a great job at showing the range of people who surround us everyday.
A falls in love with Rhiannon one of the bodies’s they wake up in girlfriends. They feel a connection almost instantly. A feels as if Rhiannon is not being treated as she should be treated. They create a perfect day even though they know they won’t be around the next day. At the end of the day before A goes to sleep and changes bodies they realize that they’ve fallen in love with Rhinnon. The question of the book becomes how do you maintain a relationship when you are in a different body everyday?
This book gave a great look into the power of love. I have heard a number of times that love can conquer anything. Love is this all powerful force that will win all battles. The power of love is more powerful than any other magic or idea, but is it? Can love really win all the time? Is there anything outside of love’s power?
This book suggest that there are something that even love can’t conquer. No matter how much the two people involved want it to win, love sometimes loses.
I know there are a number of readers who would be upset by the idea that love loses. I, on the other hand, liked the way that this all played out. I thought it was much more realistic that things didn’t end up perfect and cutesy. I have read so many books and seen a number of movies where the two people get their relationship to work even though it makes little to no sense. Some weird connection of events makes everything perfect. It becomes forced. This was anything but forced.
A is a new person everyday, literally. They wake up not knowing where they will be or who they will be. How can they or anyone maintain a real relationship like that? Rhiannon repeatedly says she has no idea how this can work and I agree with her.
They both try a number of ways for it to all work but it just doesn’t. I am a very open minded person. I want to see the impossible work out. I believe a lot of things are possible but for me I don’t think I could do this. I could not be with someone not knowing who they will be everyday. It’s not so much the gender (thought that does seem an issue for Rhiannon), but more the circumstances and logistics of the whole thing. How do you explain that to friends and family? How do you explain it to anyone? What about those who know the other person how do you explain it to them? And what happens the next day? You can’t derail a life for a day in order to make yourself happy. It is all just too complicated.
Rhiannon realizes quickly that there is no future possible for her and A. Marriage and kids is not a possiblity. There are just too many things that get in the way, making the situation impossible to navigate.
I felt bad for A. They live other people’s lives. They don’t have any of their own. Their bodies aren’t their own. All they have is their thoughts and feelings but no real life to live. They can’t drastically change anything because it could hurt someone else. This created a good tension within the story. Watching as A decided how to navigate the world they lived in was interesting because it so different than other stories I have read before.
I really did want A to be happy. I wanted them to some how figure things out but I also didn’t want A to destroy other’s lives in the process. I liked not knowing who I was rooting for the entire book. This back and forth between what I wanted to happen made me keep reading. I didn’t imagine this book having any real suspense but it did.
In the end Every Day was a great read. You get a glimpse into a number of different lives, and see that while we are different in a number of ways we are also very similar as well. With the issues our world is continuously facing today I think all could benefit from living inside someone else’ life for a day. Everyone would gain a new perspective and hopefully have a more open mind.
I definitely recommend this as something to read if you are looking for a quick and easy read. I highly enjoyed this book, even though A was a bit pushy at times, I was able to overlook that because of the age they were. If you want to experience a number of lives and character while also exploring how powerful love can be you will enjoy this story.
I have been adding a number of books to my “want to read,” shelf on my Goodreads account over the last few months. Between recommendations from blogs and BookTubers I watch, the list has been growing quick. I decided it was time to go on a bit of a book splurge and buy a few of them. I really shouldn’t have because I do have a big trip coming up that I should have been saving my money for but I have zero self-control when it comes to books!!
First up is A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I just finished the first book in this series (A Darker Shade of Magic)and loved it. ( I will be putting up a review sometime soon.) When I like a series I need to continue reading it. I won’t read a book in-between if I can help it. So this is the one I am currently on and am excited to see what happens next with our characters.
One of my favorite paranormal authors is Gena Showalter. Firstlife is the first in a new young adult series she is writing. It is about a world where your first life is just practice, your real life begins after you die. You have to choose where you will go once you die and a young woman has to decide between two factions and worlds that want her. The concept of being able to choose your afterlife, and that being what is important was an interesting concept to me. I am interested to see what this story is like.
Another Gena Showalter that I bought. This is the next book in The Lords of the Underworld series. I have reviewed the previous book on my blog, (here). I love this series and am so excited to read Bane’s story. I am eager to see where the story goes. Though I was confused when I got this one just because all the other books have been in paperback; but this one is hardback. It won’t detract from the story, it will just look very odd with the other ones from the series on my shelf.
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is one I actually saw a review for by a BookTuber I watch and it sounded really interesting. It is about a sixteen-year-old who is struggling in his life. His girlfriend is helping him but he is falling for his male best friend. He is struggling with what it means and is given a way to help himself. A memory-alternating procedure can help him but leaves him wondering who he truly is. I love the concept of the memory-altering idea and what it means for person and who they are. The reviewer said this one was emotional and gave a lot of “feels.” I am hoping for an emotional journey.
Everyday by David Levithan is one of those books I have been wanting to get for a long time. I really love the other books I have read by Levithan and this one sounded really interesting. It is about someone who wakes up in a new body and a new life each morning. This concept is fascinating to me. I really liked the show Quantum Leap and this sounded similar. I am interested in what this story will end up being about.
On the cover one of the featured reviews just says, “Poignant,” (Entertainment Weekly). This is the perfect word to sum up this novel. It is a novel with a glimpse into triumphs and struggles of a handful of young gay men. David Levithan writes a story where you as a reader slip into many lives and feel a distinct connection to every one of them. You feel their struggles and their triumphs. It is a book that gives you a very real and important glimpse into the lives of these young men.
The story revolves around two teenage boys named Craig and Harry who are out to break the world record for the longest kiss. They are ex-boyfriends who have remained good friends. They choose to break this record to make a statement and as a sign of solidarity for a friend of theirs who was assaulted for being gay.
Orbiting their story are three other stories. There is Peter and Neil. Two teenagers who are in a well established relationship but are struggling to determine what the future holds for them. Avery and Ryan have just met at a dance. They are in the process of getting to know one another and deciding what, if anything, is going to happen with them. And there is Cooper a young man who is lost and desperately looking for a place to belong and feel like someone cares.
The story is mostly told in the second person view point. The narrators are the spirits of those gay men who have passed away. It is heavily implied that they are the spirits of them who died from AIDS. At first the voice may throw some people off, since it is an uncommon point of view to use for a narrator. But it is what makes this novel. These voices are speaking not only to these young men but to us as readers as well. They want to tell us how their lives were and to show us how far things have come. They also want to make sure we understand how important a struggle is and how it important it is to never hide from your emotions. They want to pass on the lessons they learned during their own lives. They express what we need to see, understand and takeaway from the story.
The viewpoint also makes it easier to connect to our characters as well. For me it felt like the narrators were caregivers or parents of these teenagers. They want to tell them so much, to make them see that their low points will not last forever. I wanted these teenagers to be able to hear the narrators. To be able to hear them tell them that life is getting better even if at times it doesn’t seem so. The narrators are passing on hope and telling the characters to not give up. They fought and struggled and the fight is not over yet.
The voice also provides us a time frame of the struggle for gay rights. For some it may seem like we have not come far but these narrators tell us otherwise. Many of them died alone. Many of them lost their families and many were never able to be out. Always had to hide away a very important part of themselves. Yes, many of these problems still exist today and unfortunately will probably exist for quiet a while. But the narrators give us a context of how far this fight has come. The fact that these boys can even attempt this kiss in a public place is a testament to that. They know the fight is far from over but they implore us and the characters to never give up.
The other aspect of the novel that I enjoyed was the variety of characters. Every one of them faces a struggle and portrays a significant type of story. Neil is in a relationship with Peter which seems ideal. But we see that his life is not. His parents “accept,” him but they are reluctant to speak out-loud about their son’s sexual orientation.
Ryan lives in a small town. He has friends and accepting family but he is struggling against a bully. One classmate is out to get him and make his life miserable. Ryan is struggling with not allowing the actions and words of one ignorant bully define him. He is angry and he lets this anger control his life too often. He is desperate to escape and find a life where he does not have this daily struggle.
Avery is transgender. He is struggling to find a place in the world. We see that he is somewhat comfortable in his skin and life but also has many insecurities. Avery is desperate to find a way to have a life that he enjoys and one that doesn’t involve him questioning everything all the time. His character is interesting because his story isn’t about him transitioning or making the decision to transition. He has been living this life for a while and we get to see that the struggle to find a way to belong never goes away.
Craig is not out to his family until the attempt to break the record begins. His family finds out in the middle of it and do not react well. They are confused, lost and upset. Craig can’t explain and talk it out with them. He struggles to find a way to deal with their reaction. He wants them to be on his side and he has to find a way to accept how they reacted. He also has to find a way to understand their position and a way to make them understand and see that this does not change who he is as a person.
Cooper’s story is the hardest to take. Cooper is a closeted young man. His parents discover his sexual orientation and react in a negative fashion. Cooper runs away and spends the novel searching of a reason to continue living this life. He is like so many of the lost youth who do not see where they can do or what is left for them in this world.
Levithan does a fantastic job at giving us a glimpse into multiple lives. We do not need to have an entire novel for each of these characters. This brief looks gives us what we need to understand the struggles and lives of gay youth.
I enjoyed the emotional impact of these story. I enjoyed the multiple story lines and the ability to see what other lives are like. This novel tells us that everyone has a story and that every story matters. It also tells us that the fight for equal rights and acceptance is far from over but it has come far. Things have changed and will continue to change.