By Eileen Ramos
In David Levithan’s latest book Every Day, the author proves himself to be quite an adventurous and innovative writer again, just like he did in his book The Lover’s Dictionary. You meet the protagonist “A,” the sixteen year old who wakes up every morning in a different, yet same-aged body. This intriguing premise comes with some solid rules: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. Yet, when he enters Justin’s body and meets Rhiannon, his girlfriend, all commandments are thrown out the window, all so he can be with Rhiannon.
A lives in such a fascinating world, never knowing who will be found in the mirror upon waking, a boy or a girl, black or white or not, healthy or ill, happy or discontent. And yet, Levithan has created a voice that truly belongs to A. Here’s what A has to say about his ever-changing, dynamic life:
It’s just—I know it sounds like an awful way to live, but I’ve seen so many things. It’s so hard when you’re in one body to get a sense of what life is really like. You’re so grounded in who you are. But when who you are changes everyday—you get to touch the universal more. Even the most mundane details. You see how cherries taste different to different people. Blue looks different. You see all the strange rituals boys have to show affection without admitting it. You learn that if a parent reads to you at the end of the day, its’ a good sign that it’s a good parent, because you’ve seen so many other parents who don’t make the time. You learn how much a day is truly worth, because they’re all so different. If you ask most people what the difference was between Monday and Tuesday, they might tell you what they had for dinner each night. Not me. By seeing the world from so many angles, I get more of a sense of its dimensionality. (page 107)
Still A’s life saddened me as he has no real home, family, or even a best friend to call his but he doesn’t allow those facts to keep him down:
I am a drifter, and as lonely as that can be, it is also remarkably freeing. I will never define myself in terms of anyone else. I will never feel the pressure of peers or the burden of parental expectation. I can view everyone as pieces of a whole, and focus on the whole, not the pieces. I have learned to observe, far better than most people observe. I am not blinded by the past or motivated by the future. I focus on the present because that is where I am destined to live. (page 7).
Wouldn’t it be remarkable to find yourself living a different existence each and every day? You’ll find out just how great (or how horrid) that could be in this book. There is even more thought provoking and breath taking prose for you to read—How this wonderful individual lives day to day. How the relationship between A and Rhiannon evolves, or if it can advance at all. I wonder… What would you do if you were A? Follow your mind and not be noticed? Or follow your heart and be with the one you love, no matter how far fetched it is?
Eileen Ramos is an enthusiastic introvert who has a fervor for words. She loves collecting them and seeing how they fit in, and expand, her world. She’s a writer by day, sleeper by night (well, sort of) and she can’t wait to see what title she earns next. For more information or to link with Eileen, check out her LinkedIn profile.