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Every Day Paperback – September 10, 2013
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2012: Every Day is technically for young adults, but the premise of this unusual book goes much deeper. It asks a question that will resonate with the young and old alike: Can you truly love someone regardless of what they look like on the outside? The main character, A, wakes up every morning in a different body. Day to day, A can be male or female, any ethnicity, any size, and in any type of household. The only constant is that he (we'll go with that pronoun for convenience) is 16. A has been body jumping for as long as he can remember, and he has learned to not leave behind any trace of his presence--until he meets Rhiannon. For the first time in his life, A feels a true connection with another person. But can she love him back? Levithan handles their romance with great aplomb, building to a poignant and beautiful ending that took my breath away. --Caley Anderson
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
Gr 9 Up-Levithan uses a straightforward hook-a 16-year-old soul named A wakes up in a different teenage body everyday-to explore identity. While the mechanics of A's ability are intermittently examined, they quickly become the backdrop to the myriad lives A inhabits and the strong identity he (or she as A does not identify with either gender) has created to survive this transient existence. His strong moral code is based on respect for the person whose life he disrupts and the consequences he doesn't have to face. That code is challenged when he falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon after spending a day in the body of her slacker boyfriend, Justin. Complexities arise when one of A's subsequent hosts, Nathan, has an awareness that he was possessed (presumably by the devil), and the story goes viral. Navigating a new body daily while attempting to build a relationship with Rhiannon and make sense of his condition leads to many philosophical quandaries that Levithan infuses with intelligence and poignancy while remaining nondidactic. Indeed, every step of the narrative feels real and will elicit a strong emotional response from readers and offer them plenty of fodder for speculation, especially regarding the nature of love.-Nicole Politi, The Ocean County Library, Lavallette, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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What is it about the moment you fall in love? How can such a small measure of time contain such enormity?
Every Day is a moving book about A, who wakes up in a different body for one day only. The way that it's explained in the book is graspable, but it brings up questions that I'm seeking answers for. For example, if he was born that way, does that mean he wasn't actually born into the world, but instead... just ended up existing in that moment? If he was actually birthed, what happens to his body?
Anyway, the story and plot, despite unanswered questions, was perfectly executed. I absolutely loved the diversity of lives and seeing how each one lived was different from the next. It really makes you realize that not one life is the same as another... (More via website)
Every Day is well written, and it is more than just A’s story, because A is like just a consciousness, no gender. And getting to know A is like getting to know someone who doesn’t see the world the same way most people do, both because of changing every day, and also because of not knowing why this happens, how to deal with it, or if it’s possible to stop moving around from body to body each day. The story is both a love story and a mystery, and once A meets Rhiannon, there is a new kind of life that coud open up for A, but it would be at the expense of someone else.
I enjoyed learning about A and that solitary life of waking up in a new body each day. Rhiannon was mostly a normal girl, with a boyfriend who didn’t necessarily love her all that much. Her life was complicated in some ways, and rather straight forward in others. When she first met A, it was as if her boyfriend had completely changed, and she spent the best day of her life. When A needed to find her again, and showed up as different people at her school, she found it difficult to believe A at first, up until a moment when there were just too many things strangers knew that only A could know about.
I’m not even sure what genre I’d put Every Day in, it’s a strange story, unique, and it shows that our true nature has nothing to do with the body our conscience is inside of, and that while we may be shaped by our environment, that’s not the only thing shaping us. Written in first person point of view from A’s perspective, and in present tense, the story is moving and both tender and a little sad.
This book for my opinion had its ups and downs. One thing that happened what made me wants to read this book more was when A was in a different body every day of his life. No ending. A down on a book was that he never knew how to tell it to people. He wanted to be normal, but no luck with him. I started off thinking Every Day was different, but I wasn’t sure whether I was enjoying it, yet I ended up not wanting to put it down. You may be pleased to hear that David Levithan is planning to write a companion novel to Every Day, which follows the story through Rhiannon’s point of view.
I don't even know how to put into words how I feel about this book. It's like nothing I've ever read, but also like so many YA romances I've read.
While reading, I had to take a break to discuss it with a friend of mine, just so we could talk abotu what one would do in A's situation. I had to put it down many times just to think about what was going on and really let it sink in.
Part of me feels sorry for A. Not having any sense of stability is one of the worst things for me. Never knowing where I'll be tomorrow... or even who I'll be... I'd hate that.
This book really made me think. It's such a different concept, and there's much I'd wish had been explored. There's so many options, and I can literally spend hours just thinking about it.
One thing that kinda frustrated me was during the discussion with my friend, he had come up with something and said A would be wasting their abilities if they didn't do a certain thing. Which happened to be exactly what happened. I wish he'd have actually read the book before saying this, so I could have smacked him for spoilers.
Anyway, I noticed there is a companion book available at my library. I'm going to put a hold on it so I can read it soon.