Monday, 25 November 2013

Every Day

Every Day by David Levithan was sweet, sincere and touching. It could almost be considered heart breaking. Levithan has a light touch to his writing, he lent a tentative feeling to his words which was perfect for the narrative of A.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

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.

As I've seen from other reviews readers had a similar problem to me. It's very difficult to sum up how you felt after reading Every Day. It was everything and nothing, confusing yet clear as crystal. Mad but brilliant. The variety of characters Levithan was able to  provide was mindboggling, especially as nearly every new character Levithan introduces is really A in a different body, and no matter the race, the gender, the age, it's still A. And I never found out who A was. A was and is everyone. It was incomprehensible to a certain extent. The rules that bind him to bodies for a day and how they dictate where and who he is. However that indicates we know what the rules are but we don't - they're invisible and apart from one or two things A clarifies for us, we have no idea. And that is the main thing I took from this novel is how if we don't know who we are, where we'll be when we wake up, who will be there for us then we are really lost. And A is lost. He's never known where he'll be when he wakes up, who he'll be and he's never had anyone he cares about or wants to be with. Until Rhiannon. And that simple connection provides a root for A - he starts to become an identity, an individual living in other people's body. A becomes someone.

This book was about identity and people. How everyone is similar but completely different. Levithan managed to tell a story without ever really telling a story. Yes Every Day had the makings of a plot with a villain and heart wrenching selfless decisions to be made but really Every Day didn't actually go anywhere.

I really enjoyed Every Day but it is so difficult to say why. Normally I dislike reading stories where I feel sorry for the main character, pity is a destructive emotion for readers as it means you lose respect and faith in the characters ability to lead you through the story. But in a talented twist of events it's this pity that Levithan exploits, all the way through the book Levithan is building up the pity the reader feels for A in order to really get the reader to empathasise with A's plight. I can feel this review descending into rambling and it's because Every Day is so complex and different. It is a new approach. A lot of people have complained about the fact there are a lot of questions unanswered but the minute you pick up a book you have to suspend some ounce of logic otherwise you will never enjoy it. It's called imagination, artistic license and fun. Revel in the craziness and implausibility of it that's what it's there for. An escape. And A and Rhiannon under the guiding hand of Levithan definitely offered an escape from life.

Its a 4.5 out of 5 for Every Day as I can't quite give it 5 but it's better than a 4. It's one of those rare gems of sane insanity in the literary world and worth stretching your mind to read. Published by Egmont who have recently announced their acquisition of Rhiannon, the companion novel to A, it was an experience to say the least!

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