Title : Every Day
Author : David Levithan
Publisher : Knopf Books for Young Readers
First Published : 2012
Pages : 322
We all contain mysteries, especially when seen from the inside
Every day, A wakes up in different body. Every day, A has to leads a different life–someone else’s life. There’s no clue on whose body he will inhabit the next day. One day he’s a drug addict, the next day he’s an obese boy, the other day he’s a boy born in a girl’s body. A has accepted his condition, he has stopped questioning about what’s exactly going on his life and just play his role as whoever he is for that one day. He avoids getting attached since he will be gone the next day. But one morning, A wakes up as Justin. As A lives Justin life for that one day, he meets Rhiannon, Justin’s girl friend. A falls in love with Rhiannon immediately and suddenly A’s life never be the same again. He starts questioning his life again. Now that he finds someone he wants to be with, he wants to stay, he wants to be attached. And now A tries to figure out a way to be with Rhiannon while still moving from body to body, day by day.
It's one thing to fall in love. It;s another to feel someone else falling in love with you, and to feel a responsibility toward that love
The premise of this book really got me since the very first time I laid my eyes on the blurb. The story about someone who moves from body to body really tickled my curiosity. So the book started with A waking up in Justin’s body. Then he meets Rhiannon, which he thinks is really attractive and stuff, but apparently has been treated badly by Justin. Not in the abusive way, he just constantly gives Rhiannon cold shoulders. So for that one day, A decides to treat Rhiannon like a princess, to make her feel special. But his feeling doesn’t go as his body swaps the next day.
I struggled a bit to read the first few chapters. Maybe because the bodies A inhabits aren’t specially interesting and instant romance just not really my thing. But this is where Levithan’s writing charm take the biggest part. Even though I felt bored, I just lost into the story and couldn’t stop reading it. I kept reading and reading until the very last page. I believe it’s not easy task for an author to make the reader drawn into the story.
For me, it was this huge challenge. For her, it was just life
But the whole story actually gets more interesting when Nathan, one of the body A inhabits, can actually contact A and realize that he’s not himself for that one day and spread rumors that he might have been possessed by a devil. That is not entirely wrong, actually, since A doesn’t have his own body. A’s some kind of... I don’t know, soul? A really takes over and control the body he inhabits,and the body will be left clueless when A’s gone. So, yeah, it really sounds like a case of possession. But seriously, about this possesion story, I really didn’t see this coming.
I don’t really like the characters in this book. I feel bad for A because he has to live a terrible life. But his obsession towards Rhiannon scares me a bit. There are days when A comes to Rhiannon’s school just to take a look at her. What’s more scary than being followed by a creepy stalker who changes body everyday? And I don’t feel that Rhiannon is lovable either. Even though A says it over and over again that Rhiannon is special, I couldn’t see or feel what’s so special about Rhiannon. That’s why I don’t really understand why A falls in love at the first sight with her and goes through all the trouble to be with her in the very first place.
Even though the center of this book is romance between A and Rhiannon, but for me the romance doesn’t really work. What made me drawn into this book is the story about the bodies A inhabits. There are people with mental illness, with body issue, people in love or people in abusive relationship. They are all human being and this story helps me to see through a person's heart and not merely their physical appearances. I think this is more of a story about people, about acceptance, about walking in other people’s shoes (which in A’s case, very literally).
Some people think mental illness is a matter of mood, a matter of personality. They think depression is simply a form of being sad, that OCD is a form of being uptight. They think the soul is sick and not the body. It is, they believe, something that you have some choice over.
So overall, even though there are things that I don’t like, this book is still a great book. It’s just since the previous Levithan’s books I’ve read really blew my mind, I expect too much from this book. So if you are looking for a book with a unique theme and character, this book is the right choice for you.
I wanted love to conquer all. But love can't conquer anything. It can't do anything on it's own. It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf.