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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

--David Levithan

Download the short story [PDF]

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.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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 the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449015203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449015209
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (977 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,450,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sab H. VINE VOICE on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book will make such huge impact on teens today. It's one of those one-in-a-million books that has an outstanding message, a super cool premise and an unputdownable quality as the cherry on top. Levithan manages to tackle equality, humanity and, above all, LOVE in this gorgeous and utterly thought-provoking story. It's like a thousand stories packed into one, wrapped up and toppled with the most beautiful aftertaste. So much LOVE. I kind of knew I would't have much to say except ongoing praise.

"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.
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Format: Hardcover
Every Day by David Levithan tells the story of `A'. `A' is a person with no body. Every day `A' wakes up in the body of a new person. For sixteen years this is the way `A' has lived: everyday a new life with new people and relationships. `A' has rules: try and keep things normal, don't do anything that could change things too much. Then, `A' wakes up in Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. That's when everything changes.

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?
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've told the story before. Years ago, I'd come to retail books from a career in early childhood education. I knew firsthand about ages and stages in developing children.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A is sixteen, but not the average sixteen year old. While A goes to school and has friends, A's issue is that every day, A wakes up in the body of a different person: A has been male, female, gay, straight, different races and religions. There is no known reason for why this happens. One day, A wakes up in the body of a boy named Justin; when he meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon, A falls in love. But how do you maintain a relationship with someone when you constantly change?

EDIT: This is the first novel I have read by author/editor David Levithan, and I was blown away by this story. Logic need not apply, not that it matters, since this book is so fascinating in its ideas. Mr. Levithan presents a character who is neither male or female, who just is, and is able to create a beautiful voice which brings the lives of different people together. A is flawed, but is so relatable, with an interesting tale to tell. Rhiannon, while equally flawed, was a character that could be empathized with. These two discover the different facets of love together. There is also an interesting subplot involving one of the persons A occupied. This was expertly woven into the book.

The narration is never preachy but there is a message about love and what it means to love and care for someone for who they are. The love story presented here is not obsessive or demeaning with the "I can treat you like garbage because I secretly 'love you'" vibe, which is an unfortunate trend in books for young adults. This is the type that builds you up. I can't thank Mr. Levithan enough for restoring my faith in the young adult love story genre.

Some readers might be turned off by the idea of this book. Some might find the jumping around from body to body disorienting (I did sometimes). However, this book is beautifully told and should not be missed. Highly recommended!
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