Meagan's Reviews > Every Day

Every Day by David Levithan
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's review
Aug 13, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, ya, fiction
Read from July 07 to 08, 2012

Well, wow. This is a book with some ideas to explore. And the frame of the story makes it impossible to ignore Levithan's questions. Briefly, this story is about a person, or more accurately a consciousness, named A. A wakes up every morning in the body of a different person. Always has, since day one. That person is always approximately the same age as A, and lives in the same general area as the person from the previous day. But that's all that is ever the same. A never inhabits the same body twice, and never stays for more than one day.

Now, think about what that means for a minute. A has never had a body. A has inhabited bodies of both genders, and all sexualities. So what does this make A? A girl? A boy? Does it depend on that day's body? If A falls in love with a girl when he is in a boy's body, and is still in love with her the next day in a girl's body, does that make A gay?

And what about people who don't change? Does A have a responsibility to avoid changing people's lives, even if A has the power to? Or is there an expectation that A will try to improve their lives? Who decides what's an improvement, in that case? What if it's your life being "improved?" What if A could take over a body long-term? And what about the people around A? Is it possible to truly know A, even if you see A every day, when the body changes? (And notice how problematic pronouns, like him and her, become when there is no real gender.) How much of who we are is tied to our physical selves? To the continuity of our lives? Can A ever truly love someone, when there is no guarantee that they will see each other on a regular basis? Can anyone truly love A, when the nature of A's physical self changes every day? From prom queen to computer nerd to jock to junkie?

If you'd rather not consider things like the construct of gender, the flexibility of human sexuality, or the actual importance of our physical selves, then this might not be the book for you. But if these questions intrigue you, and if you enjoy a star-crossed love story to boot, then don't miss this book. It will absolutely make you think. And poor A. What a challenging existence, and what an intriguing character.

**A free copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

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