Books Magazine

Grimes & Rowe Read a Book: Every Day

By Storycarnivores @storycarnivores

every-day-book-coverTitle: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Series: N/A
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: August 28, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary, Fantasy
Pages: 336
Source: Bought and Shared!
Buy the Book: Every Day

Synopsis: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

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, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, 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. (Via Amazon)

Brian: 2012 will forever be remembered as the year of Green and Levithan. It’s hard to believe I started 2012 without the knowledge of who either of these authors even were. In March Shaunta and I started a YA book club, and then in June started this blog, and now I know it’s for authors like Green and Levithan why I started all this. These two authors have changed my life, in both my reading and my writing, and I’m forever grateful. I started the year off by reading Looking for Alaska, far and away my favorite book of the year, and I’m ending it by reading Every Day, one of of my favorites as well. Green and Levithan freaking co-wrote a book together — Will Grayson, Will Grayson — which I keep finding myself saving because I know the remaining books I have yet to read by these authors is diminishing by the month. But I can’t wait to read it. I’ve loved Green’s work I read this year, but I’ve been especially in love with Levithan because he writes gay YA, and he’s gay, too! Boy Meets Boy was a gem, the kind of book I wish I could’ve found during my freshman year of college, when I really needed it. Boy Meets Boy was his debut novel, from 2003, and Every Day is his newest book, released just last August. The quality hasn’t lessened in any way; it’s even improved. Every Day is a magical novel, one that takes an excellent premise and takes it to every extreme imaginable. I loved, loved, loved this book!

Shaunta: Brian is right. This is a magical book. The premise is one that requires so much suspension of disbelief, that I worried at first I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I was. The writing is incredible. I was fully engaged, totally in love, for about 7/8ths of the book. I did struggle to believe that someone who never had the opportunity to connect or make an attachment to any other person would grow up to be the world’s most well-adjusted teenager. But, I read it almost like a metaphor, rather than a story that’s meant to be taken at face value. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which Levithan wrote with Rachel Cohen, is one of my favorite books. I read most of Every Day in two sittings. And then, I reached the chapter where A jumps into the body of a fat boy. And it was physically painful. After being incredibly empathetic to every single host he finds himself in throughout the book, we get this from A when he finds himself fat: “Finn Taylor has retreated from most of the world; his size comes from negligence and laziness, a carelessness that would be pathological if it had any meticulousness to it.  While I’m sure if I access deep enough I will find some well of humanity, all I can see on the surface is the emotional equivalent of a burp.” As a fat person, that whole chapter felt like a personal attack. It came so out of the blue. And was so vicious. A and Rhiannon, apparently, could overcome anything but fat. She can’t even stand to hold his hand, and him having a 46-inch waist is the straw that broke the camels back for both of them.

Brian: I was also confused why Levithan couldn’t allow A to emphasize with the overweight character. It was to me the only flaw in the book, and kind of a mind-boggling one at that. But otherwise I was with this book from beginning to end, partly because I related to it on two very strong and different levels. One is that I wrote a novel last year called Happy Birthday to Me that had a similar structure: a high school senior starts aging a whole year of his life with each passing day, with each day a chapter in the book. In this novel, a man (or a woman?) wakes up every day in a different person’s body. And I’m also a substitute teacher. Funny enough, I feel like A in many ways because every day I substitute teach in a different school, in a different subject, in a different classroom, for different kids. I’m always thrown into a situation that’s unfamiliar to me. So from the get-go, I was immediately able to connect with the fantastical premise and this main character’s journey; what I didn’t expect was to embrace the unusual but moving relationship between A and Rhiannon, the girl of his/her affection. A wakes up in a different body every day but now he has a reason to truly live, and the way he tries to make a relationship work with Rhiannon, in the body of a drug addict, a gay person, even Rhiannon herself (!), is fascinating. And it all leads to an ending that actually works. With fifty pages to go I had no idea how Levithan was going to bring this tale to a satisfying conclusion, but he managed to pull it off. I loved this story. I loved this book. It’s one of my highest recommendations of the year!

Shaunta: I guess there is something to be said for a book that really affects you, even if the affect is negative. But I can’t believe that along the path to publication, no one said to the author that perhaps such blatant, mean-spirited hatred toward a group of people was a bad idea. I mean, that chapter wasn’t even just about the one boy that A woke up in. It is clear that A is so disgusted that he doesn’t even want to try to learn anything about the boy, even though he has wanted to learn something about every single other person whose life he appropriated for a day. I was left hurt and sad, and feeling like one of my favorite authors would find me disgusting if he ever met me. If he could have managed some empathy for the fat kid, this would have been one of the best books I read this year.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog