Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: Every Day by David Levithan

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Summary: Every Day tells the story of A who has lived everyday as a different person. A might be a boy one day, and a girl the next. A is never certain what tomorrow will be like, only that it will not be spent on the same body. For A, the only constant is change.

As the novel begins A is sixteen years old and has never known a different way of living. For the most part, A is sure this daily change is fine. A has long since stopped thinking that there should be something more, some sort of consistency. Until one day A meets Rhiannon.

My Review: 
As a typical Young Adult novel, Every Day portrays a romance that develops almost instantly. Since the story is told from A's perspective, the reader is privy to the intense feelings A has for Rhiannon. A's desire and intention to make Rhiannon understand the depth of these feelings is a constant in these pages. A works hard to convince Rhiannon that their feelings are genuine and that they belong together.

While Every day is a love story, David Levithan does a good job of exploring each day of A's life. A's journey; from body to body, life to life, is detailed. When it comes to each person A inhabits - Levithan explores life, family, friends, routines with some solid distinctions.

Levithan also shows A from time to time delve into the emotional aspects or toll that living an ever changing life can bring. Even though this is only happening at all because of Rhiannon.

Notice that I have not stopped mentioning how much A thinks about Rhiannon. That's because it's what you get when you read it. From the moment A realizes that their interaction with Rhiannon was something special, something A has not experienced often (maybe one other time, A has pointed out), they have not been able to let it go. A just has to see Rhiannon again.

And what do you know, A goes out of their way to do just that. A risks themselves and the inhabited person, deviating from the everyday protocol they have established for themselves.

Pretty typical conflict starter, really.

This novel has been praised for its exploration of gender. Its depiction of a love that might just transcend gender.

Personally I don't see that it explored gender at all. It definitely did not ask the questions other people have thought it did.

Such as: What is gender? What does it mean to be a boy? To be a girl? To be neither? What's it like to fall in love with someone - the person, not the their gender? How do we fall in love?

Sure, this book is unique because it's told from the perspective of a genderless protagonist. One who doesn't have control over where and whose life they will inhabit next. But that's about it.

Is this book about acceptance? About seeing differences? Falling in love despite differences? Maybe. Since the author does portray a variety of lives and people.

Maybe it's more about what makes us who we are?

Truthfully, I gave this book 4 out 5 stars as soon as I finished it. Why? Because I think it is a decent YA novel. It was funny and corny and comfortably familiar in parts. It made me smile, laugh, frustrated, and cry. Overall it was an enjoyable read and I'm glad I picked it up.

But I wouldn't attribute anything deep about this book.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 


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