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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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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 loved following A, who wakes up in a different body every day, that body always the age that he currently is. In this case, he's always sixteen years old. I loved, loved, loved the world building for which A is built on and the little elements such as A being able to access so easily the memories of the person they are that day and A being able to carry on the knowledge that they gain each day. Because A learns so much as so many different people not just because he's a boy one day, she's a girl the next, a caucasian one day, a minority the other. David Levithan really goes there and leaves no road unmet. We see A in a transgender body. We see A in a morbidly obese body. We see A at their first funeral. We see A struggle to stay as close as he/she can to the girl he/she finds himself/herself falling in love with. Because one day A surrenders and simply gives life a shot for no one other than themselves, something A hasn't done in a very long time.
Watching A on this journey as he/she struggles to find out what selflessness is, struggles to learn what truly knowing one self and someone else means and what's enough to give and take when you know, struggles to know what love is for someone in their predicament, and how to love once you've fallen...wow. I am left speechless. This was a flawlessly executed story, the structure of it so absolutely beautiful. Each day flowed so smoothly to the next, even when A woke up in less than ideal environments. This story, A's journey was so fluid, so raw, so emotionally gripping. Every Day is a lovely, heartbreaking, mesmerizing story that everyone of every age should read. You will be so, so glad you did. Don't put it off like I did. Experience the magic of David Levithan today. You will be blown away.
― David Levithan, Every Day
What a beautiful, tragic story of star crossed lovers. I honestly didn't really know what to expect when I started this book, but it turned out to be really cool. Like any story with this type of plot(possession), I end up with millions of questions regarding the “how” of it all. How did this happen to A? Who are A's parents?
What happens if you die while in a body? Is it moral to use someone's body to kiss other people, or run away or drink beer, do drugs ect? If body swapping is geographical does that mean that if you inhabited a body and moved to a desert island, that you would stay in that body forever? What happens to the original person when you inhabit their body? I mean, I could go on forever.
One of this novels saving grace is that we never know more than the main character, so while it is frustrating to be left in the dark, the mc is just as frustrated as we are. However, I think that the promise of answers is enough to keep me following this series for as long as the author decides to write it.
While this is a love story, it did take me a while to feel the love. To be honest, for a long while it read more like an obsession to me, and that was a little creepy. You always want to be on the hero's side and have everything work out for them, including their love interests. However despite my initial annoyance at Rhiannon for giving our (boy?) a hard time, I still understood all of her issues with their relationship. Rhiannon is the voice of reason and A is the hopeless romantic in us all.
The story's conclusion was probably the most bittersweet ending that I have read in a long time. And while I saw some of it coming there were still some really great twists in the plot.