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Every Day Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Amazon Exclusive: Day 5909, a Story by Author David Levithan
Every morning, [the book's main character] A wakes up in a different body and a different life. The novel Every Day starts on Day 5994 of A's life. For this story, I wanted to go back to a day in A's life before Every Day. Think of this as A recounting a few passing moments from his past.
An Essay from the Author: A Similar Kind of Love Song
Recently I was reading an interview in OUT magazine with Romy Madley Croft, the lead singer of the band the xx. Croft, talking about coming out, told the reporter, “If I was singing about a guy, I would probably be singing a similar kind of love song, really.” And I was struck that the same thing applied to my writing—especially with my new book, Every Day.
Every Day is about A, who wakes up each morning in a different body and a different life. It’s not giving anything away to say that in the first chapter, A falls in love with a girl name Rhiannon . . . and that their relationship is rather complicated.
So there I was—a gay man, writing from the point of view of a character who is neither gay or straight, male or female. A has no inherent race, no inherent religion. A has grown up without friends, without family. A is purely a self. Whereas I, in my culturally and societally constructed life, am not.
It should have been hard to write as A, but it wasn’t. Because I found that, no matter which body A was in, I was singing a similar kind of love song.
Ever since Boy Meets Boy, my first novel, was published, I’ve received thousands of letters and emails from readers. Some of the most interesting ones have been from people who were surprised that they, non-gay or non-male, identified so deeply with the love story. Love is love, more than one reader wrote to me. And I thought, yes, that’s it exactly. (I almost want to put it as a tip on my website, for all those students who write to me telling me their teacher has assigned them to identify the central theme in my work. Well, there it is. Love is love.)
In Every Day, I wanted to look at that theme from a variety of angles. I wanted to test that theme, and find its limitations. Where A starts in Every Day is where many of my other characters—my will grayson in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, for example—reach at the end of my other novels. That is, they recognize that in order to love and be loved, they must be true to themselves. A is always true in this way. Writing A made me realize that this is one of the more helpful questions you can ask about love—if I were truly myself, only myself, and not a gender, and not a sexual orientation, and not a race, and not any other external designation . . . what would I want? What would I do?
A gets to live this ideal. But Rhiannon, who doesn’t change bodies, is challenged to match it. This is the great conflict in the book, and informs one of the questions I posed to myself as I wrote it: Does love indeed conquer all? Or, in other words, does our world always allow love to be love?
Again, I come back to that phrase “a similar kind of love song.” I like that she doesn’t make them the same. I like that they’re similar. There are certainly different challenges, at some times, in some places, with a gay love story. I often try to illuminate that experience in my writing. But there are also the same universal emotions. Joy is joy. Fear is fear. Vulnerability is vulnerability. Just like music is music, writing is writing, and love is love.
From School Library Journal
More About the Author
Luckily, I am much happier talking about my books than I am talking about myself. My first novel, Boy Meets Boy, started as a story I wrote for my friends for Valentine's Day (something I've done for the past twenty-two years and counting) and turned itself into a teen novel. When not writing during spare hours on weekends, I am editorial director at Scholastic, and the founding editor of the PUSH imprint, which is devoted to finding new voices and new authors in teen literature. (Check it out at www.thisispush.com.)
With Boy Meets Boy, I basically set out to write the book that I dreamed of getting as an editor - a book about gay teens that doesn't conform to the old norms about gay teens in literature (i.e. it has to be about a gay uncle, or a teen who gets beaten up for being gay, or about outcasts who come out and find they're still outcasts, albeit outcasts with their outcastedness in common.) I'm often asked if the book is a work of fantasy or a work of reality, and the answer is right down the middle - it's about where we're going, and where we should be. Of Boy Meets Boy, the reviewer at Booklist wrote: "In its blithe acceptance and celebration of human differences, this is arguably the most important gay novel since Annie on My Mind and seems to represent a revolution in the publishing of gay-themed books for adolescents" - which pretty much blew me away when I read it. Viva la revolution!
My second book, The Realm of Possibility, is about twenty teens who all go to the same high school, and how their lives interconnect. Each part is written in its own style, and I'm hoping they all add up to a novel that conveys all the randomness and intersection that goes on in our lives - two things I'm incredibly fascinated by. The book is written in both poetry and linebroken prose - something I never dreamed I would write. But I was inspired by writers such as Virginia Euwer Wolff, Billy Merrell, Eireann Corrigan, and Marie Howe to try it. It is often said that reading is the greatest inspiration to writing, and this is definitely the case for me.
My third novel, Are We There Yet?, is about two brothers who are tricked into taking a trip to Italy together. The natural questions to ask when faced with this summary are: (a) Do you have a brother? (Yes.); (b) Is he the brother in the book? (He's neither brother in the book.); (c) Have you been to Italy? (Yes.); (d) Which city was your favorite? (Venice.); (e) Is this based on your trip there? (The sights are, but the story isn't; the whole time I was there, I took notes in my notebook, not knowing exactly what they'd be for.)
Marly's Ghost, my fourth novel, is a Valentine's Day retelling of A Christmas Carol, illustrated by my friend Brian Selznick. To write it, I went through A Christmas Carol and remixed it - took phrases and themes and created a new version, centering around a boy named Ben whose girlfriend, Marly, has just died. When he looks like he's giving up on life, Marly reappears in ghost form - and sends some other ghosts to get him to embrace life again. It was a hard book to write - it's about both love and grief, two very difficult things to capture truthfully. But I genuinely don't see any reason to write a book if it doesn't feel like a challenge.
My next book came unexpectedly. My friend Rachel Cohn proposed that we write a back-and-forth novel, with her writing from a girl's perspective and me writing from a boy's. The result is Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a kick- butt love story that we wrote over a summer without really planning it out. It just happened, and it was one of the best writing experiences I ever had. It has even been bought for the movies - stay tuned on that front.
A different kind of collaboration is The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities, an anthology I co-edited with my best friend Billy Merrell. It contains true stories from LGBTQ writers under the age of 23, and the Lambda Award for Best LBGTQ Children's/Teen Book.
Other anthologies I've edited or co-edited include: 21 Proms, a collection of prom stories by YA authors, co-edited with Daniel Ehrenhaft; Friends, an anthology of middle-grade friendship stories, co-edited with Ann M. Martin; and three PUSH anthologies of the best young writers and artists in America: You Are Here, This Is Now (2002), Where We Are, What We See (2005), We Are Quiet, We Are Loud (2008). Another PUSH anthology is This is PUSH, featuring new work from all of the authors who've written for PUSH.
My sixth novel, Wide Awake, starts with the election of the first gay Jewish president, and is about two boyfriends who must go to Kansas when the election results are threatened. In many ways, it's a "sequel in spirit" to Boy Meets Boy, since it's about many of the same things - love, friendship tolerance, and taking a stand for what you believe in. It was written right after the 2004 election, and published right before the 2006 election, which made me hope that a gay Jewish president was a closer reality than I might have thought. (No, I have no intention to run. But if you read the book now, it's sometimes how eerie how it echoes the 2008 race.)
My second collaboration with Rachel Cohn, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, was inspired by a phrase my best friend Nick and I came up with after he moved to New York City. It's about a straight girl and a gay boy who've been best friends forever . . . but have to deal with a lot of things that have gone unsaid after the boy (Ely) kisses the girl's (Naomi's) boyfriend. This time, Rachel and I decided to rotate the point of view between a number of characters, not just the titular two. The result was harder to write, but just as fun to create.
How They Met, and Other Stories, was published in 2008, which happened to be the twentieth anniversary of my Valentine Story tradition. It contains a few stories I wrote in high school and college, and more that I wrote more recently, some for anthologies, and some just for myself and my friends.
The first series I ever worked on (as a writer) is Likely Story, which I wrote with two of my friends, Chris Van Etten and David Ozanich, under the pen name David Van Etten. Chris and David both have experience working on soap operas, and had the idea for a TV show about the daughter of a soap opera diva who ends up running a soap opera of her own. I know nothing about writing a TV show, so I said, "Hey, that would be fun to write as a series of books, too!" And, voila!, Likely Story was born. It was a blast to write, and the main character, Mallory, is one of my favorites yet.
In 2009, Knopf published Love is the Higher Law. It's the story of three teenagers in New York on 9/11, and how their lives intertwine in the days and weeks and months that follow. I know this sounds grim, but it's really the story of things coming together even as it feels like the world is falling apart -- because that's how it felt to be in New York at that time, both tragic because of the events that happened and magical in the way that everyone became their better selves in the face of it. It's a love story between friends, a love story for a city, and a love story for love itself, and the way it can get us through things, however daunting or shocking they may be. Or at least that's what I aimed for. I hope you'll read it and let me know if I got there.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson started, in many ways, back in college, when I kept being mistaken for another student named David Leventhal. He was a beautiful dancer; I was not. So people would continually come up to me and say things like, "I saw you on stage last night - who would have thought you could be so graceful?" And I'd have to say, "Um...that wasn't me." Our paths finally crossed at the end of school, and we became best friends when we both moved to New York City - him to dance, me to edit and write. Fast forward ten years or so - I had the idea to write a book about two boys with the same name, and called my friend John Green about it. He said yes on the spot, and it took us five years from first conversation to publication day. The result? A novel about identity, love, and what it's like to make a musical out of your own life. You know, the universal themes.
My third novel with Rachel Cohn, called Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, came out in October 2010. It's a romantic cat-and-mouse chase through New York, with a special shoutout to The Strand, a bookstore I am particularly fond of.
The Lover's Dictionary, my first novel about post-teenagers, was published by FSG at the start of 2011. It's the story of a relationship told entirely in dictionary form. Once again, this started out as a Valentine's Day story, and grew from there. I'd often been asked if it would be different to write about adults than it is to write about teens, and I learned that, no, there isn't any difference. A story is a story. And when I write, I'm not thinking of audience -- just of being true to the story. My hope is Lover's Dictionary is as honest as I can be,
Upcoming? A different kind of YA collaboration for me -- a novel I wrote based on photographs my friend Jonathan Farmer gave me. I never knew which photo would come next, and he never knew what I was writing. The result is a very strange, somewhat dark, portrait of a boy on the verge of a complete breakdown. It's called Every You, Every Me, and it will be published in fall 2011.
Top Customer Reviews
"A" wakes up on a different body every day. Which makes A lack a specific gender and race and physical appearance. Which ends up being a wake-up call to us all. What is it that makes you love a person? This novel really made my mind go round and round while reading. It's so satisfying to read something so powerful and that actually changes you some. I can't imagine how mind-blowing this would have been if I'd read it as a teen.
Levithan is one of my top favorite authors because you can tell by reading just one of his books that he has a passion for language. He savors words and plays with the them in a way no other author I've read can. In many of his novels, he gives us that originality to his concept too. This is one of those.
If you pick up just one book this year, let it be this one. "Highly recommended" is an understatement. Hands-down one of my top favorite books of 2012.
I completely admit that I bought this book solely because of the idea. The idea that a person wakes up in a different body every day, always apart of the world but never truly in it - that interested me. I think a lot of the ideas in this novel are fascinating. And, I do think it could have brought up a lot of difficult questions. Sadly, the novel falls flat in that regard. There is the story line with Poole and Nathan, but that quickly goes somewhere, than ends up going nowhere important. Yes, A learns something, but it's not enough to be a solid ending to that story line. (Maybe Levithan is leaving it open to a possible book two?)
I liked the ideas presented in the novel, but I didn't care for `A'. The insta-love `A' felt for Rhiannon seemed obsessive and borderline creepy. It seemed the only reasons `A' loved Rhiannon was because she was always kind and because she needed to be saved from her jerkass boyfriend, Justin. That's it. I didn't buy this love story, and as I said, I found it obsessive and borderline creepy. At least Rhiannon was unsure of things; at least she acted normal. I nearly cheered when she told `A' that it was wrong of `A' to highjack peoples' bodies and daily lives just to spend time with her. Maybe that day was going to be important?Read more ›
So I was intrigued when I then attended a bookseller retreat at which editor Dick Jackson and librarian Michael Cart presented on teens and young adult literature, and talked about how developing adolescents wake up and reinvent themselves on a daily basis.
EVERY DAY employs this developmental cornerstone in a novel fashion. This is the story of a sixteen year old boy who has no body of his own. For his entire life, he has awakened each and every day in the body of a different boy or girl his own age and lived that person's life for a day. He has learned through trial-and-error what works for surviving this day-by-day existence. He has learned to steadfastly maintain an identity of his own, a boy known to himself as "A," primarily through having an email account in which he can write himself, when possible, and store his memories.
EVERY DAY is the love story of A and Rhiannon, the mistreated girlfriend of one of the sixteen year-old boys (Justin) in whose body A finds himself for a day. Falling in love during an afternoon at the beach with this young woman who, thanks to him, is, for one day, treated well by her boyfriend, A returns to his home du jour and saves in his own account the login and password to Justin's email, and Rhiannon's email address. Thus, in the succeeding days, A is able to see what Justin is up to with Rhiannon and then take advantage of opportunities to see Rhiannon again: a day of shadowing her at her school in a girl's body and an evening of dancing with her at a party in a (pretending to be gay) boy's body.Read more ›
Here's the story in a nutshell: "A" is a teen who wakes up every day in a new body. It's always age appropriate and in the same general geographical area "A" goes to sleep in. He knows no one else like him, and has no one in his life on a permanent basis. "A" lives by basic rules he's created of not impacting the lives of those he inhabits, until he meets and falls in love with Rhiannon.
Throughout the book the daily details of the different lives he experiences are recounted. "A" is sometimes male, sometimes female, and sometimes gay or transgender. "A" often lives out the relationships that the body he's in would be involved with. "A" lives life always trying to be with Rhiannon, and trying to get her to love him/her.
Here are some of my observations:
- The author did something unusual that didn't work for me. He started the book with a letter to the Reader. He tells how this story was conceived and and how he formed it. He explains that when he started writing, "he had no real clue about where it would go". He just started with questions and wrote the novel to find answers.
First, for me this took away from the fantasy of the story. When I read a book, I like to get lost in it and to imagine it's real. After reading the author's letter, all I could think when I started the story was that this was the author's voice speaking - not the character's. It took maybe 90-100 pages to get somewhat past that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sofia has been telling me to read this one for a while. I got it from amazon when it was on sale last summer, and I finally gave in to her whims. Read morePublished 3 days ago by J. Hooligan @ Platypire Reviews
i am so into this book! the story is so mind blowing and i cant get enough of A!!!! I want to know how it all started and how it happened oh go this is totally mind blowing!!!!Published 9 days ago by Michael
In the novel Everyday, the main character A is an undefined being who wakes each day in a new body. A is neither male nor female. Read morePublished 12 days ago by KC
The book did so much lead up and it just ends. I hate that. Causes a book hangover. Or hang under since I need more from it.Published 13 days ago by Kass
I was captured by the concept of being in a new body everyday. The book was interesting and cause me to refelect on things like love, family and how we see ourselves. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Theresa Roman
I never wanted the book to end! Life lived everyday in someone else's body ,but in love with one girl..great imagination.Published 16 days ago by Cupcake