Every Day by David Levithan

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

If you stare at the center of the universe, there is a coldness there. A blankness. Ultimately, the universe doesn’t care about us. Time doesn’t care about us.

That’s why we have to care about each other.

Every day, A wakes up in a different body. A different life. A has gotten used to it by now, but when he encounters Rhiannon, he finds himself falling in love – and farther away from what he’s ever known before.

Levithan just gets better and better. Boy Meets Boy and Love is the Higher Law failed to impress me, but after reading The Lover’s Dictionary and Every Day I can safely say I’m a fan of his. His writing has grown more gorgeous with each novel, and the quote above is one of the many that exemplifies it.

Plot-wise, Levithan focused on two main points in Every Day – A’s supernatural circumstance in which he wakes up in a new body every morning, and A’s romance with Rhiannon. The two are inextricably tied, though each played a different part in the book.

I hesitate to even use the pronoun “he” to refer to A, though I suppose I’m playing it safe with the universal A. A does not have a gender, really, as he wakes up in the bodies of boys, girls, whites, blacks, straights, gays, jerks, Asians, etc. Levithan asks some heavy philosophical questions by creating such a plot: what does it mean to be human? What does it mean to exist? What defines or makes up the human soul? Who has the right to live and to love? Here’s a passage I particularly liked.

One of the protestor’s signs catches my eye. Homosexuality is the Devil’s work, it says. And once again I think about how people use the devil as an alias for the things they fear. The cause and effect is backward. The devil doesn’t make anyone do anything. People just do things and blame the devil after.

At first I felt a disconnect between A and me, but I grew to appreciate how adamant he was in his morals, even if he went against them later in the story. Though I agree with Levithan on quite a few of his views, sometimes he seemed to push the philosophy to promote his own ideals. It’s his book, so it’s not like he’s prohibited from doing so, but it came across as too much a few times throughout the story.

In my experience, desire is desire, love is love. I have never fallen in love with a gender. I have fallen for individuals. I know this is hard for people to do, but I don’t understand why it’s so hard, when it’s so obvious.

I think that love of the romantic or sexual quality can be gender-specific. Not for everyone, of course, but for most. I’m only attracted to males, but that doesn’t make me an insensitive jerk or a narrow-minded bigot. Powerful friendships are formed between people irrespective of gender, and in the end, it is what it is – I like Levithan’s message that respecting others’ opinions while truly loving one another is good enough.

I enjoyed reading about A’s romance with Rhiannon. I didn’t feel any burning sparks or blazing emotions, but it was intriguing and worth thinking about. Have a couple of tissues ready for the ending though, because it will at least make most people tear up.

Overall, one of the better books I’ve read in awhile. Looking forward to Levithan’s next novel, I hope it’s even better than this one!

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2 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

2 responses to “Every Day by David Levithan

  1. Ahhhhh, I LOVE Levithan!!! He’s perfect!! Ok, not always, but his writing always gets to me. And he seems to be able to weave the most magical sentences!! Words definitely have a different effect when they are written by him. He has the power to take the most mundane of things and make them shine! Or the power to reveal that they aren’t mundane at all.
    Sorry for the gushing – I love him as a writer. But I haven’t read this one yet – no doubt, I will. Have you read “How They Met & Other Stories”? It’s excellent. Apparently Levithan used to write short stories as Valentine’s Day gifts for his friends (how cute is that?!) and those are what this book is made of mostly. Also he does some great work with Rachel Cohn. I. Just. LOVE. HIM! Ok, ima go now and stop annoying you. But before that, congrats with the 300th post and 300,000 viewers milestone =]

    • Ah, a loyal Levithan fan! I heard about how Levithan used to write short stories as Valentine’s Day as gifts, and it’s no wonder that they’ve inspired that book and some of his other ones as well. I haven’t loved his work with Rachel Cohn, but I do think he has the power to make mundane things sound magical with his writing, especially in the Lover’s Dictionary. You’re definitely not annoying me, and thank you for reading and commenting!

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