By Lili Kendall
Imagine waking up every single morning for the rest of your life in someone else’s body: different family, different town, different school, and different life. Seems surreal, right? Written by New York Times bestselling author David Levithan, Every Day revolves around the experiences of a male entity, A, who knows nothing of his true identity; all he knows is that he becomes an entirely different person in a matter of twenty-four hours. When asked about this novel, Sophomore Jeff Harvey commented, “I’ve heard of this book, and I’m not sure how I’d feel about becoming a different person every day!”
Every Day is based on something we all crave- a fresh start, but with a twist. A is not just controlling a mere, empty vessel; he has to carry out the normal, daily life of whomever’s body he is self-contained. In short, A must be very careful not to fully invest his emotions into someone else’s life because otherwise, he risks the possibility of making connections with people he may never see again. However, A completely disregards his self-established rule when he wakes up one morning as Justin, a careless teenage boy undeserving of his beautiful girlfriend, Rhiannon. When A possesses another person’s body, he has access to their thoughts and feelings, which is how he realizes that Justin treats Rhiannon poorly. In a normal situation, A would go through the day acting as Justin would; instead, he allows his feelings for Rhiannon get the best of him and takes her to the beach. Rhiannon is obviously unaware that Justin is not really Justin, so she becomes wary but loves the scarcely given attention.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and A wakes up the next morning as another teenage boy. But every little thing about that beautiful girl is still etched into his memory, so A decides to search for her. While in his temporary body, A drives to a party where he believes he will see Rhiannon once again. “Adam” ends up having a great time at the party, but ends up losing track of time. A is then forced to abandon his body on the side of the road, and from there, chaos ensues.
What I loved most about Every Day was the construction of the storyline: although A keeps possessing different bodies as usual, his love interest somehow always reappears in the plot, whether physically or figuratively. Sophomore Taylor Long, after finishing the book, stated that Rhiannon was her favorite character. “I really loved A, but I could relate to Rhiannon a lot more; we’ve all been in a situation where we must pick one person over another, whether it’s in a relationship or a friendship.” In short, the novel is one big story compiled of a plethora of other stories. It could become difficult and confusing to follow for some readers, due to the multiple changes in the setting, but I experienced no troubles following the storyline.
Perhaps my least favorite part of the book was the ending- it was really disappointing! It was well-written, but the story did not feel finished to me. Also, Every Day did not end the way I had originally hoped it would. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt like the novel either needed a more conclusive ending, or possibly a sequel as an explanation for all the events that occurred. VHS Media Specialist Mrs. Harris admitted that she had higher hopes for the story. “In the end I just never connected with A and his/her love for Rhiannon.”
Overall, Every Day is a definite must-read. “Levithan keeps the pages turning not only with ingenious twists on his central conceit but with A’s hard-earned pieces of wisdom about identity, isolation, and love,” remarked Entertainment Weekly’s Stephan Lee, who rated the novel as an “A-.” Here at VHS, our Media Center owns copies of this novel, and students are welcome to check it out at any time. And as if students would need another reason to read this book, it is also a Florida Teens Read novel, so you can write about it on the FTR Blog and earn extra credit in your English class for doing so. Who knows, those few extra points could most definitely be enough to boost your bothersome 89.2 to an A!