Reviews for Every Day
Booklist Reviews 2012 July #1
*Starred Review* A (his only name) has a secret. Each morning he wakes up in a different body and life. Sometimes he is a boy, sometimes a girl; sometimes he is gay, sometimes straight; sometimes he is ill, more often well. The only unchanging facts are that he is always 16, and it is a different persona he "borrows" each day. It has always been this way for him, though he doesn't know why it should be. He does know that it is imperative that he do nothing to change his host's life, until he meets Rhiannon and, for the first time, falls in love. And then all bets are off. Levithan has created an irresistible premise that is sure to captivate readers. While the story requires a willing suspension of disbelief, the plot is so compelling that readers will be quick to comply. Aside from his premise, Levithan has done an extraordinary job of creating more than 30 characters, each one a distinct individual and each one offering fresh insights into A's character. Those familiar with Levithan's earlier work will not be a bit surprised to learn that his latest is beautifully written (lips are "gates of desire"; "sadness turns our features to clay, not porcelain"). All these elements work together to make a book that is a study in style, an exercise in imagination, and an opportunity for readers themselves to occupy another life, that of A himself. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Levithan is one of the giants of YA literature, but lest anyone forget, there's a robust marketing campaign backing up his latest effort. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
BookPage Reviews 2012 September
An imaginative, impossible love
“A” awakens in a different person’s body each day. One day, A might inhabit the body of a suicidal girl; the next, maybe an athletic boy. All A knows is that he/she must never get attached and never interfere with a body’s life—and the body will never know.
The rules change when A wakes up as Justin. When A meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon, their connection is instantaneous . . . and seemingly impossible to pursue. As A attempts to form a relationship with Rhiannon from within multiple bodies, A must convince her that the story of his/her life is real—and that he/she is a person she can love.
With Every Day, author David Levithan has given readers a genderless, faceless and virtually nameless protagonist who still manages to be endearing and emotionally resonant. And while the core question—can a love between a bodiless soul and a real human possibly work—captivates on its own, the novel’s greatest strength lies in its ability to capture many different experiences of young adults. From stress to depression, from obesity to loneliness, the daily struggles of A’s bodies transform this love story into a brilliant mediation on teen life.
Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) is not timid about taking on unique storylines, but in Every Day he has created something totally new. Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
"A" wakes up in a different sixteen-year-old's body every morning; bodies match his/her (the protagonist is, in essence, gender neutral) age and A never travels far geographically unless the host body does. But what happens when A falls in love? Levithan poses this question early on and then shapes the narrative into a profound exploration of what it means to love someone.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #6
"A," the narrator of Levithan's brilliantly conceived novel, wakes up in a different sixteen-year-old's body every morning and has to adjust to different physical characteristics, a different family, a different school, different friends. The process does have certain parameters. For instance, A always wakes up in bodies that match his/her (the protagonist is, in essence, gender neutral) age and never travels far geographically unless the host body does. A realizes that this way of life is unique, but over the years s/he has come to terms with it. "I'm never going to figure it out, any more than a normal person will figure out his or her own existence. After a while, you have to be at peace with the fact that you simply are." But what happens when A falls in love? Levithan poses this question early in the novel and then shapes the narrative into a profound exploration of what it means to love someone. Before meeting Rhiannon, A responsibly tried not to make waves in his/her hosts' lives, like a camper who leaves a campsite as clean as it was found. But now s/he "hijacks" bodies, making them drive to meet Rhiannon at parties and coffee shops. In one instance A strands a host, Cinderella-like, by the side of the road at midnight so that the boy awakens in his car, ranting that he was the victim of demonic possession. "I am not the devil," A thinks. So who is s/he? What is his/her place in the world? Readers will savor every word of A's attempt to figure that out. christine m. heppermann Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #1
Imagine waking up in a different body every day. A is a 16-year-old genderless being who drifts from body to body each day, living the life of a new human host of the same age and similar geographic radius for 24 hours. One morning, A wakes up a girl with a splitting hangover; another day he/she wakes up as a teenage boy so overweight he can barely fit into his car. Straight boys, gay girls, teens of different races, body shapes, sizes and genders make up the catalog of A's outward appearances, but ultimately A's spirit--or soul--remains the same. One downside of A's life is that he/she doesn't have a family, nor is he/she able to make friends. A tries to interfere as little as possible with the lives of the teenagers until the day he/she meets and falls head over heels in love with Rhiannon, an ethereal girl with a jackass boyfriend. A pursues Rhiannon each day in whatever form he/she wakes up in, and Rhiannon learns to recognize A--not by appearance, but by the way he/she looks at her across the room. The two have much to overcome, and A's shifting physical appearance is only the beginning. Levithan's self-conscious, analytical style marries perfectly with the plot. His musings on love, longing and human nature knit seamlessly with A's journey. Readers will devour his trademark poetic wordplay and cadences that feel as fresh as they were when he wrote Boy Meets Boy (2003). An awe-inspiring, thought-provoking reminder that love reaches beyond physical appearances or gender. (Fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
Meet A. Every day, A wakes up in the body of another teen A's age: boys and girls from every race, creed, preference, and walk of life. Then A meets Rhiannon and falls in love; now A will do anything to spend time with her. Our protagonist faces an almost impossible dilemma: how do you build a relationship when every day you occupy a different physical self? A is almost jaded regarding the breadth of teen experience, but in this he is as naïve and awkward as a newborn colt trying its legs, which results in a wholly unique narrative voice. As he struggles to make a connection in the margins of others' lives, A's story tackles larger ethical questions and, at its conclusion, becomes a meditation on life's purpose and love. An author known for literary feats--check out the poetry in The Realm of Possibility (2004) and the "definitive" form of last year's adult book The Lover's Dictionary--Levithan always digs for emotional truth, where in lesser hands the book might have just been an intriguing premise. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2013 March/April
The rules A has developed to survive each day in a new body are simple: don't get attached, don't get noticed, and don't interfere. When A wakes up in Justin's body and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon, the rules don't work anymore. A falls in love with Rhiannon and wants to spend every day with her despite not knowing who he will be the next morning. A and Rhiannon struggle to be together despite changes in A's gender, sexual orientation, location, appearance, and family life. Beautifully written, Levithan has created a world where love faces challenges worth overcoming. Terri Lent, NBCT School Librarian, Patrick Henry High School, Ashland, Virginia [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 July #2
Is it possible to disregard someone's exterior to see--and love--that person's true, interior self? That's just one of the provocative questions Levithan (Every You, Every Me) asks in a novel that follows "A," who takes over the body of a different person each day at midnight. Right around A's 6,000th day on the planet, A meets Rhiannon--girlfriend of current host body Justin--and falls in love. A is careful not to disrupt the lives of the bodies he/she inhabits (A doesn't identify as male or female), but that starts to change as A pursues Rhiannon. Levithan sets up the rules of this thought experiment carefully: A only hops between the bodies of teenagers (who all live fairly near each other), and A can access their memories. As a result, the story unfolds smoothly (the regular shifts between bodies give the novel a natural momentum), but it's also less ambitious. Despite the diverse teens A inhabits, A's cerebral, wiser-than-thou voice dominates, in much the same way A directs the lives of these teens for 24 hours. Ages 12-up. Agent: Bill Clegg, William Morris Endeavor. (Aug.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 September
Gr 9 Up--Levithan uses a straightforward hook-a 16-year-old soul named A wakes up in a different teenage body everyday-to explore identity. While the mechanics of A's ability are intermittently examined, they quickly become the backdrop to the myriad lives A inhabits and the strong identity he (or she as A does not identify with either gender) has created to survive this transient existence. His strong moral code is based on respect for the person whose life he disrupts and the consequences he doesn't have to face. That code is challenged when he falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon after spending a day in the body of her slacker boyfriend, Justin. Complexities arise when one of A's subsequent hosts, Nathan, has an awareness that he was possessed (presumably by the devil), and the story goes viral. Navigating a new body daily while attempting to build a relationship with Rhiannon and make sense of his condition leads to many philosophical quandaries that Levithan infuses with intelligence and poignancy while remaining nondidactic. Indeed, every step of the narrative feels real and will elicit a strong emotional response from readers and offer them plenty of fodder for speculation, especially regarding the nature of love.--Nicole Politi, The Ocean County Library, Lavallette, NJ [Page 148]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2012 December
Levithan's newest book is unique and incredibly compelling. A, the main character, wakes up each morning in a different body without knowing why or how--that is just how it has always been. Teens will be intrigued with the thoughts the main character has regarding the bodies that A inhabits and the dilemmas that A faces. Being in someone else's body for a twenty-four-hour period presents all sorts of challenges. The days blur as A fights drug addiction in one body, morally corrupt behaviors in others, and even a body with suicidal thoughts. A does not want to do anything to hurt the bodies that he is in, yet sometimes it happens. For one boy, he wakes up on the side of the road without any idea how he got there. He cannot remember anything and reaches out to A, asking for answers that A does not really have. The main story, however, explores whether or not a relationship can last without the stability of the same body every day Levithan does not shy away from exploring family dynamics, relationships, stereotyping, and sexuality in this book. There are mature scenes involving same gender teens, as A is able to inhabit both male and female bodies. While readers do not find out how or why A changes bodies, they will become invested in A's story and hope that a solution for permanency, and happiness, can be found.--Valerie Burleigh 4Q 4P S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.