Description (from Goodreads):
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day
David Levithan has tried something innovative and risky in Every Day: his main character has no sexuality, no gender, no physical body. The main character is meant to be a free-floating intelligence, fully formed as a normal person, but who switches bodies each day. The character, “A”, inhabits a different person in the same geographic area who is the same age as A. A has been resigned to never having permanence, having no family and no attachments, but trying to live the lives of others as respectfully as possible, and without disrupting those lives. A is simply a guest for the day, filling the physical form with its consciousness. Until A encounters Rhiannon. After a perfect day spent with her, A is in love and is determined to continue to see her, no matter what. The question is how.
I like that Levithan tried. I like that he went for it with a strange idea and created a story that worked, for the most part. I couldn’t help as a reader, though, to constantly sit back and unsuspend my disbelief to say, “Huh!?” I like weird, but this was weird in a place where I had a hard time reckoning it with the normalcy. A’s character felt like it would have been more at home in a world that was more obviously odd and surreal, but instead the reader is led to believe that A is a totally normal person in a normal world whose life is just a different form. The fact that Rhiannon seemed so easily convinced and was able to fall in love (hopefully this isn’t really a spoiler because it alludes to this in the blurb) was kind of outrageous to me. I guess what I’m saying is that I went along with it, because I wanted to see what Levithan would do, but I never truly bought in to the idea.
Much more interesting to me than the love story were A’s insights into the lives of people, which are gained by living as a different person each day. I liked seeing how it would feel to be in the body of an obese teen one day and to be in a model-gorgeous black girl the next. Levithan really tries to portray how even though we’re all different and going through our individual lives, deep down we all have a lot in common. I liked that. Levithan’s prose is nice to read, as always, if a little overdramatic sometimes. Still, I kept nodding along at the moments of real truth he shares from time to time.
Overall, I liked this book but I didn’t love it. I just couldn’t get past what A is, and the ways that the plot had to accommodate the idea of the character. It felt a bit contrived. I also had issues with the ending. I’m not sure how else it could have ended, but it petered out and felt a bit like, “Okay, I have to end this somehow. I guess this is how I’ll do it.” I know this book will have its fans, but I’m not enough of a romantic to let go of my hangups and fully embrace it. Right on for trying, though, Levithan. Points for originality.