Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ARC Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  August 28th, 2012

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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I don't really have words.  I've been a fan of David Levithan's writing for awhile now, and although his work often surprises me, I was not prepared for the impact Every Day would have one me.  This book will hopefully be one of those books that, through word-of-mouth, ends up being read by everyone.  It deserves to be.  It is just so... Again, NO WORDS.  That makes writing a review rather difficult, so I guess I will start by quoting some of my favorite words from the book.  I don't often do this, but while I was reading Every Day, there were several occasions where I felt like I wanted to remember something that was said- something that struck a chord with me.  These quotes are full of the kind of truths about humanity and love that few people are able to articulate, and I love David Levithan for being able to do it.  I bookmarked a few of my favorites to share with you.

"I no longer think she's just being nice. She's being kind.  Which is much more a sign of character than mere niceness.  Kindness connects to who you are, while niceness connects to how you want to be seen."

"Falling in love with someone doesn't mean you know any better how they feel.  It only means you know how you feel."

"This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world.  It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot.  The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible."

"I wanted love to conquer all.  But love can't conquer anything.  It can't do anything on its own.  It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf."

This book is a love story, but it is SO much more.  This book is about A, a person without a body, who inhabits a new body every day of his life, for only one day.  A is not male or female, and is not defined by a body.  A is a voice; a soul.  A just IS.  When A comes across Rhiannon one day, while in the body of her boyfriend, there is an instant connection.  As A jumps from body to body, day to day, there is an inexplicable pull toward her.  A shares the circumstances of his existence with her, and they embark on an exploratory journey; can Rhiannon love A for the person, regardless of the body A is in?  Their journey is uplifting, beautiful, poignant, and heartbreaking.  These two characters became a part of my person and made me want to be better inside.  They made me rethink what I consider important- made me want to look deeper into who people are. 

This book is full of wisdom and depth.  It asks a lot of questions that can't be answered in black and white, and I found myself thinking about the story well after I finished reading it.  In fact, it's over a week later, and I'm still thinking about it.  I wanted to hold off reviewing Every Day because I knew David would be at the Decatur Book Festival, and I wanted to hear him speak about it first (I was also hoping to have a finished copy signed for a giveaway, but they sold out of them).  I'm glad I did.  Hearing him read his own words added another layer of depth to A's character.  Hearing him talk about his personal thoughts on this story, his characters, and love and humanity in general- I love the book even more for it.  I remember once reading a blog post where someone was saying that YA literature would be the death of Literary Fiction; I wish the author of that post would read Every Day.

In the end, I'm not sure this can even qualify as "review", but rather, I think of it as a reflection.  Until now, Love Is the Higher Law was my favorite of David's books, and I didn't think he could possibly top it.  Well, he did.  Not only is Every Day my favorite book of 2012, but it will go down in the ledger as one of my favorites of all time.  This is a book I think everyone should read.  Young, old, straight, gay, male, female, Democrat, Republican.  I challenge anyone to read this and not come away from it changed in some way.  Well done, David Levithan.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Grade Level Recommendation:  I would normally say that this type of book should be read by older teens.  Not for content, necessarily, although there are a few mature situations, but because I would normally say that older teens would get more out of it.  I don't say that about Every Day because I think it is the type of book you could read more than once, at different points in life, and get something different each time.  I think this book should be read by EVERYONE, and I think its appropriate for readers ages 12 and up (7th grade+).


  1. I'm excited about this one! I'm going to meet him next week!!!!

  2. I totally agree with you on the rating for this book. It certainly rocked my socks off.

    The topic is just so, so very far out there that it really does make you think about things. All of the challenges you might be up against, the good, the bad and I think it's a real lesson on how you should realize what you have and appreciate down to your very soul because it could all be gone one day when you wake up as someone else, and have no one. In my opinion EVERY DAY is just a stellar book and I want everyone I know to read it!



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