Miles's Reviews > Every Day

Every Day by David Levithan
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's review
Jan 13, 2013

it was amazing
Read in January, 2013

In this fun Young Adult novel, a sixteen year old young man wakes up every day in a different sixteen year old body - sometimes a young man, sometimes a young woman, sometimes straight, sometimes queer, sometimes hot, sometimes not. Each day he finds himself with new parents, a new house, new siblings - an entirely new reality, somewhere in Maryland. He has both the memories and understanding of his borrowed person for a day, and those of his own perpetually reincarnating self.

The protagonist's situation is a lot like being sixteen years old, and struggling to discover who you really are in a shape shifting growing body/self. The book grabbed me right away with its premise and sparkly writing. When the protagonist meets a special young woman and seeks to prolong his relationship with her in spite of having a new body in a different town each day... a fine YA novel ensues. I enjoyed it.

Thankfully, the author offers no explanation for this strange phenomenon - that's just the way it is in this world. Whether or not there is a way out of the gilgul is something that is left for the last pages, and comes in a satisfyingly unexpected form.

I would characterize this as a romantic adventure written for young men, from a young man's point of view. I am not an expert on YA fiction, but I think that this male perspective makes it somewhat unusual within the romantic adventure genre. While readable and enjoyable by either gender, obviously, and while very exploratory with gay, lesbian, transgender and straight characters, on balance the protagonist's heterosexual love interest and young male perspective are at the center of the novel.

I almost think my almost sixteen year old son would enjoy it. It certainly captures a lot about how emerging sexualty and love and relationships and parents and friends feel at that age.

I recommend it for actual sixteen year olds and former sixteen year olds who would like to re-experience what it was like to live in a body so new they barely knew it at all.


Fun Questions Raised by Every Day

Does love outlast the body? Is love always embodied?

How much of a person is inside of him/her, and how much is carried, held, by all the people around him/her?

If you were inside of your love's brain/soul, would your love be there too? Or would that get a little crowded?

What would you remember, and what would your love remember of inhabiting the same body, once you no longer did? How would that morning after conversation go?

Could you sustain a relationship with a unified person who serially inhabited arbitrary, (although age constant?!) bodies? (And how many realities is THAT a metaphor for?)

Could you recognize your love if he or she approached you clothed in a completely different body? (Heh heh, a fine excuse: "That WASN'T you last night? I was sure I recognized the glint in your eyes. I see. You were waiting for me to come home. Well, this IS embarrassing.")

All these implicit questions and more, from a mere YA novel...

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