I loved the hell out of Every Day by David Levithan. The premise is bizarre and completely unique and the questions it raises are provocative and may make you examine what you think about gender and love.
To put the premise simply: Every Day is about A, a genderless, bodiless being who wakes up each day in a stranger’s body. Every chapter is a different day in A’s life and who A is for that day.
But the premise really isn’t simple. I call A a “being,” but I don’t really know what A is. A doesn’t know what A is. A has just always woken up in a different body every morning, encompassing the world of that person for just one day. Sometimes A wakes up as a boy, sometimes a girl, sometimes a transgender individual. A may be a straight white girl, a bisexual black guy, or an Asian lesbian, it really doesn’t matter. The only thing A knows for sure is that the body will always be someone of the same age. 16-year-old A will never wake up inside a 60-year-old.
A struggles with the body of the day and with not wanting to disrupt that person’s life, but when A wakes up in Justin’s body, Justin’s girlfriend changes everything. A is captivated by Rhiannon and needs to see her again, so instead of being respectful of bodies A encompasses, A tries to track down Rhiannon. But when the bodies are different every day, this really can’t work, can it?
This premise charmed me instantly. I don’t know why or how A exists, but I was along for the ride and I loved hearing about each person A became. Many of them were so well developed. I wanted to know more about them, but alas, as the chapter ends, so does A’s time and my time with that person. Except Rhiannon and Nathan, a boy A took over who starts remembering things, questioning A’s existence, and demanding answers. Nathan was probably one of my favorite things about this because he’s a great, impressionable, religious character, quick to judge and go to the extreme. He was a good juxtaposition to the open-minded Rhiannon.
So the plot was great, but the questions this book raises really drew me in. What does gender really matter when it’s the person you’re in love with? Does it matter that the person is a boy? A girl? Someone overweight? Someone really short? And what does it mean to be sexy or sexual?
Or what about morally right and wrong? Is A waking up in these bodies and living these lives morally right? Or is it giving A a better understanding of humanity when viewed from multiple perspectives? But to what end? There really aren’t answers in this book, though you will definitely think about these questions and more as you follow A’s journey, and I loved that.
This is a great book and a quick read, so take some time out of your day to devour this one. You won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed at Minnesota Reads.