Kathryn's Reviews > Every Day

Every Day by David Levithan
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did not like it
bookshelves: 2012-reads, on-my-nook, young-adult, book-club

** spoiler alert ** I'm in the minority here: I didn't like Every Day, and the more I think about the book, the more it angers me.

The main character, A, is Dr. Sam Beckett; A quantum-leaps from person to person, landing in a different host each day. A has no body of A's own, having been leaping since A was an infant at least. There are a few rules limiting the leaps:

1. A leaps only into a host of approximately the same age, and A appears to age in the same progression as a human (that is, A at one is mentally indistinguishable from a human at one). At the time of this story, A is sixteen.
2. A's leaps have some sort of geographical upper limit; the only way for A to, say, leave the state is if the person A leaps into leaves the state that day. This limit plus the previous raise questions about what will happen when A gets to be, say, ninety. The number of suitable hosts will go down, and their geographical distance will increase. And what happens if a host dies while A is in possession?
3. A makes the leap at midnight each day. It isn't clear whether midnight is relative or absolute (i.e., would A leap at 11 P.M. if A were in the Central time zone rather than Eastern? Does A spend exactly twenty-four hours in each host?), but relative is implied. (Which suggests that one way for A to never leap would be to travel west fast enough. And what would happen if A possessed an astronaut on launch day?)
4. A never leaps into the same person twice.
5. A can "access" the memories of A's host, but only in regard to facts, not feelings. Also, A can't access foreign languages fast enough for fluency, which raises some interesting questions about the nature of language acquisition as related to A.

In fact, all of these rules raise some interesting questions. And if you are the sort of person who thinks in these terms - here are the limitations, now what are the implications of those limitations? - then you WILL NOT like this book. (Another reviewer of this book referred to this frame of mind as "logic-hobbled". Thanks. Maybe I should refer to YOU as "unimaginative".) None of these questions get answered, and in fact, the book brings up more questions as it goes on (it turns out that there are other entities like A, and that it is possible to remain in the same host indefinitely. HEY WHAT? But no, this concept doesn't get explored much). Oh, and what do A's hosts remember about having hosted A? Well, it depends on what the plot needs. At first, A doesn't know what they remember, but then, a few days later, A has suddenly gained the ability to implant perfect false memories in A's hosts.

I will say, though, that I actually wasn't all that bothered by the lack of answers. It was pretty obvious from the first few pages that Levithan isn't the sort of author who really cares about those details (I'm sure he would agree with Emerson*). So since I could tell I wasn't going to get the kind of story I would have liked, I instead focused on the story we did get.

And the story we did get is...not good. There are two main threads of the book. The first is the story of A's Twoo Wuv, which is, naturally, Nice Guy apologism with a heaping helping of stalker apologism. Stalking is romantic, didn't you know?

The second main thread is a series of after school specials focusing on the plights of various victim groups. It was tedious and predictable. Today we will learn about depression! Today we will learn about illegal aliens! Today we will learn about transsexuals! Today we will learn about obesity! Today we will learn about beauty! Also A doesn't really have a gender and so we will learn about that! And so forth. Didactic, agenda-driven, and boring.

Back to the first thread. A falls in love with Rhiannon, the girlfriend of one of A's hosts. The passages describing her are classic Nice Guy crap - only A can see her secret sadness, only A can see what a kind and interesting person she is, only A can see that she wants to be "part of the world" (what does that even mean?), and OF COURSE only A can make her happy, because she is A's Twoo Wuv. So naturally, A begins stalking Rhiannon and plotting to get her and her boyfriend broken up so she'll be free to date A. You know, as Nice Guys do. It's even creepier because A is using A's hosts to do so. So not only is Rhiannon being stalked and having her privacy violated, but also, every person who serves as A's host gets violated as well.

And we are supposed to sympathize with A.

I can't even express how furious this makes me. A is not the victim here. Yes, A's existence sucks, but A is not the victim. The people A is possessing AND VIOLATING are the victims. A forces A's victims to skip school, miss tests, miss trips to Hawaii, lie to family, etc., etc. All things that A knows full well A's hosts don't want to do. A is POSSESSING A's hosts. In the beginning, A tries to be a good guest - go along for the day, don't do anything A's host wouldn't do - but A's stalkerish obsession with Rhiannon leads A to completely ignore A's own rules.

The only, and I do mean ONLY, saving grace of this book is that A finally realizes that what A - with the complicity of Rhiannon OMGWTFBBQ?!? - is doing to A's hosts is GROSS AND WRONG AND EVIL and goes back to A's original set of rules. (After violating a couple more people first, of course.)

One last complaint, and then I'm done. One of A's hosts, Nathan, who got particularly thoroughly violated, retained a partial memory of what had happened to him. He had been possessed and forced to do things he didn't want to do. He describes his experience as possession, and concludes that it must be the work of the devil. And the tone of the book regarding this kid is derision. "That dumbass, how can he believe in demonic possession? A isn't the devil. What a dummy. And the people who believe him are even dumber."

But the thing is, Nathan WAS possessed. He WAS forced to act against his nature by A, who had taken over his body. As part of A's conflict with Nathan, A discovers, as previously mentioned, that there are other entities like him. One such entity has taken over a religious leader and is claiming to help Nathan with his possession experience. That entity is pretty clearly malevolent. How is that entity's behavior different from demonic possession? And there are MORE entities like this out there. And yet, the narration thinks that people who believe in demons are stupid and deserve condescension. This is like saying, "Well, ok, sure, I drink human blood to survive, and I combust in sunlight, and I have to sleep on a bed of my native soil, and I don't have a reflection, and there are other people like me out there, and some of them are malevolent, but VAMPIRES DON'T EXIST AND BELIEVING IN VAMPIRES IS STUPID AND YOU ARE STUPID FOR BELIEVING IN THEM." What?!?!?

In conclusion, this book has thoroughly earned one of my rare one-star reviews. I don't recommend it at all.

*"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Something Emerson said, probably when a "logic-hobbled" buddy of his pointed out a gaping hole in one of his essays.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 18, 2012 – Finished Reading
September 19, 2012 – Shelved
September 19, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012-reads
September 19, 2012 – Shelved as: on-my-nook
September 19, 2012 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 19, 2012 – Shelved as: book-club

Comments (showing 1-50 of 144) (144 new)

Nancy Absolutely on the nose! Very well articulated review. I can't begin to articulate how much I disliked this book yet struggled to clearly state why I disliked it so much. You hit every. Single. Point. Except a couple extra irritations I had. The only reason I gave it two stars is that I finished it. I feel like I earned a star but I should have put it down a long time before. What you said hammered down so much of what I thought, too. It was mostly, "What?!" but also recognizing a talented writer. But so pointless besides driving his own agenda. I guess it is a political year.

Kathryn Thanks! I was wondering if I was going to get flames for this review, since the book was super popular. Glad to see I can be the voice of the irritated minority instead :-) I actually read it for a book club at work, so I'll be interested to see if anyone else in the club also disliked it. I haven't met any of the members yet (this is our first book), so I can't even guess.

Oh, I didn't include every single thing that irritated me - the review would have been a few more hundred words if I had, heh. What were your extra irritations?

Kathryn This book is STILL making me even angrier. Take Nathan. Nathan WAS possessed - he was violated, and he had a horribly traumatic experience. Why is it so odd that he would try to understand that experience in terms of the only cosmology he knows?

And Nathan's own parents, the two people who know him best in the world and should know that he would never lie to them, don't believe him (I base that assumption on the fact that they grounded him). That's horrible. Why is it so odd that Nathan would seek validation wherever he can find it?

The cavalier attitude toward A's victims absolutely enrages me.

Jessica I actually gave up on the book before I got to the scene about Nathan being, essentially, possessed but I did find myself bothered by the first time A went back to visit Rhiannon and Justin basically shrugged off the fact that he didn't remember the day Rhiannon and "he" spent at the beach. I certainly was curious about the effect that A had on his hosts' lives. It's not the rules of A's world that bothered me -- I like other stories in which those rules are never quite explained -- it's that Levithan only seemed interested in pursuing the rules that benefited his message.

Jessi Great review! I took issue with all of the things you did, but what especially bothered me was how he judged the people he "possessed." Granted, some people got free passes, but as the author attempted to introduce stereotype after stereotype, he was especially harsh to some more than others. Consider the fat boy, Finn Taylor. According to A, if A would "access" deeply enough, he's sure he'd find SOME well of humanity, but as it were, all he can find is the "emotional equivalent of a burp."

For a book that seemed obsessed with making the marginalized mainstream, you'd think the author would know that attractiveness, or lack there of, does not determine humaness!

Also, when Rhiannon is not into Finn, A says it's because Finn is so unlike A. "You're not feeling it because I'm not like this."

Um, A is formless. Had he a body, he just might be fat as all get out. We don't know what he'd look like. He doesn't know what he'd look like. Rhiannon doesn't know what he'd look like. But apparently, of all the people in the book, he is NOT like Finn, a boy whose "size comes from negligence and laziness, a carelessness that would be pathological if it had any meticulousness to it."

You already touched on this, but I will add to the feeling bad for Nathan part! I mean, he was, for all intents and purposes, possessed. I was really bothered when A, in his newly-discovered (ahem, written-in) abilities to alter memories, takes credit for priming Nathan to remember parts of the night and concocting their "cover story." As far as I could tell, as the reader, Nathan didn't concoct anything! He found himself asleep at the side of the road and gave the best explanation possible.

Nancy Jessi -
I checked the "like" button on your comment.

Kathryn Jessi, you are right! The handling of the "fat kid" was SO insensitive. I hated how so many of A's hosts were treated as stereotypes, denying their humanity. And that chapter was definitely the worst.

message 8: by Ann (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ann Your review is spot on. I agree completely.

Becky I love your review. I thought A was horrible and judgmental.

message 10: by mia (new) - rated it 5 stars

mia i must read your review once i read the book :3 it looks like you make some good points, i just don't wanna spoil the book for myself

Leslie YES. Everything you say is true. I forced myself to finish this one because I was hoping against hope that it would get better. No such luck.

Megan I admit, I loved the book, but your review was excellent and put into well-chosen words my unease surrounding Nathan's storyline. Will keep your opinions in mind when I recommended this book to my customers as it definitely is not for everyone and you articulated why very well. Thank you.

Lizzy My biggest irritation was that the love interest was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and A's inner monologue was cheesy and unrealistic. Great review you took the words right out of my mouth!

Kathryn Yes, Lizzy, exactly! And did you like how A so generously gave her to a new guy when he was finished with her? Lovely, wasn't it?

Megan - thanks! I appreciate your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

message 15: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Hope you don't get too much flack for this review. I completely agree with every point you make, yet I still gave the book 4 stars. I'm simply a less thoughtful reader and I enjoyed it despite all those glaring issues. Will definitely look for your reviews in the future though. Thanks!

message 16: by Jake (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jake I actually enjoyed the book, but I found your commentary enlightening. The book's premise made me uncomfortable because the protagonist was reliable, but he was also very flawed just by his nature as a...parasite. The thing I enjoyed about it was that it was a different way to look at issues in the human condition. I always applaud authors who try to stretch the limits a little even if they don't answer all the questions. It left me thinking and the fact that this is becoming debatable shows that it has, to some degree, done its job.

message 17: by Kyle (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kyle I cant tell you how much I appreciate your review, Kathryn. The book is largely flawed, but I did really enjoy it. Honestly, I just love Levithan so much that it was actually the primary reason I picked up the book in the first place. I think if I had read the synopsis, and didn't know who the author was, I would have scoffed, and thrown the book down.

I will say that I agree with Jake, though. I liked the way the book looked at different lives. It did stereotype a lot of "minorities" but I think that it handled a lot of them in a very positive way, for A being with those bodies/people for such a short amount of time. I don't think there was a BETTER way for Levithan to tell A's story, while still keeping it conversational, and keep the story moving if there wasn't a lot of stereotyping happening. If he got hung up on ALL the little details, and delving into EVERY SINGLE host's story, the book would never end.

As for the way that A described Finn's body and mentality, I dont feel that it was slight against bigger people. He mentions that he has been bigger people before, but the problem with being Finn was that he felt no motivation, and that is what was troubling. He couldn't find anything in Finn that made Finn care about himself, or get out in the world, which ultimately made him big. And I feel that is what A was referring to when he tells Rhiannon "I'm not like this". A is highly motivated, and has a pretty clear plan and goal in his 'life' for lack of a better term. Sure the physical aspect was something that bothered both A and Rhiannon, but I dont think that Levithan was trying to dehumanize obesity.

The stalker mentality was a little... uncomfortable, but so many YA books deal with this idea of true love and going above and beyond all rationale to be with the one you love. No, its not realistic at all (or legal in some/most cases) but that is why this is a story.

I LOVE the debate, and I love seeing the other side of this coin. thanks for such a thorough review! Cheers!

Cynthia Well, while I found your review to be extremely nitpicking, you raised many good points. I read your review the first time while I was reading the book and totally didn't agree with it, but as I we t through the book, more and more I began to agree with so many of your points about the plot holes and moral issues.

I also don't like how he left us hanging so completely at the end. And I wasn't sure what A intended to do (but don't want to spoil the plot for anyone else!).

Anyhow, I knew I didn't want to respond to your review until I had finished the book because you certainly seem intelligent and thoughtful and I figured your points probably had a lot of validity.

So, thanks for your thoughtful review! Cindy

Miri1972 Good, I thought I was the only one who hated the whole plot. There was a point when I thought, I'm I just slow in not picking up the greatness of this story? No it was just a dull book. Oh yes it did have great potential but it just never got it together to form a true story.

Stephanie While I had a far different interpretation and enjoyed the book, I think your review brought up some excellent points and was very thorough as to why it wasn't enjoyable for you. It's a really good retrospect for me.

Kathryn Thanks to everyone for your great comments! I particularly appreciate hearing from people who enjoyed the book and who were generous enough not to flame me. Every Day certainly was well-written; it just wasn't a good fit for me as a reader. I'm glad both for the other readers and for the author that it was a good fit for many of you!

Jillian I think a lot of the issues you have with the book are justifiable, and at the same time, I see the other half of the story. The novel plays a lot with ethics. Should A mess up a life just to get what he wants, or should he forever just play out each day acting as much like his body as possible? Is that living? How awful would it be to be so lonely, especially at 16 when we are very vulnerable, and highly irrational. He can't kill himself without killing another person (not that that is the answer to those kinds of problems), he can't take regular medicine, he can't talk to anyone about his condition. It takes a lot of strength to get through a day, pushing past the loneliness, the lack of identity, your own desires. I think it says a lot about A that he even has a set of rules for himself, and that he isn't depressed or consumed by his sadness.

Re:gender and diversity, I think it's important for YA novels to not just be about straight white middle-class teens. The world is a diverse place, and although it feels like each person is a stereotype, there are a fair number of obese teens, transgender teens, and depressed teens. Sexuality and mental health shouldn't be ignored, and the more casually they can be mentioned in mass media helps reduce the stigma that surrounds the topics.

I didn't really believe that A could love Rihannon from the get go. But YA romance is often like that. And when the book ended, I was shocked. I needed more of an ending. More answers. A's story has really just begun now that he has all this information, and I'm dying to know the rest of the details.

While I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the book, I hope you can see that it has some merit :)

Kathryn Jillian, I'm not at all suggesting that YA books should be about only straight white middle-class teens. That would be silly. My objection was to the patronizing, didactic tone of the After-School Special chapters. Granted, I'm a couple decades older than the author's target audience, but even so, I didn't like "splainers" any more at that age than I do now. Maybe it's just me; my book club did seem to think that "splaining" was appropriate for teens.

message 24: by Komal (new) - rated it 1 star

Komal I agree with every word you've written Kathryn. Those questions I was burning to get an answer to - I never got them. I didn't give an inkling of a shit to the love story, it was just repetitive scenes of dialogues between a gender-less assumed boy with no sense of morality and a girl who ticks me off.
I was looking for the physics, the interesting stuff, which never came sadly.

Kudos to your review! Made my day after reading through this garbage.

Chelsea DeAngio Totally agree about the after school special repetition of moralistic stories. It got so predictable and so boring!

Kelly I didn't mind it too much but only taking it as a light hearted read. I fully agree with everything you've said! I hate that whole self righteous crap because its so unrealistic (I get jumping bodies is unrealistic too but this is beside the point) people want characters they can relate too and A is portrayed as someone near flawless in his/her morals and its completely ridiculous.

Kelly Further more I would like to add how annoyed I was that A felt the need to find a replacement guy for Rhiannon like she couldn't find a guy herself and that she couldn't possibly live without a guy. Way to spit in the face of feminism there!

Hailee Hinthorne 1. I loved this book
2. This isn't nonfiction this is FICTION! So if the book offended you I'm sorry that the person writing the book thought "HEY, let's see if Alex or Mckenna get offended by this book and hate it!" no they don't sorry to break the news to you:/
3. I have nothing against people writing about books they hate but it's just fiction books don't have a guideline and the books don't have to be actual info
4. Even though I LOVE the book I also liked the review good job! (no sarcasm just in case you were wondering)

Ecaterina Burton Your rant about his exploration of different gender identities, poverty, mental health and undocumented immigrants only shows how your own privilege blinds you. For kids who deal with these issues, they rarely see them explored in books. Instead most books focus on the issues of white middle class straight people. You are in the majority and yet act like you've been victimized for reading about the lives of others who are different than you. A little ironic, no? Somewhat of an "agenda" on your part, no? The biggest theme this book was exploring was acceptance and empathy---and you failed.

Waffle I've only read 69 pages and I agree with this already and I am considering putting this book down, which I NEVER do. The nice guy crap is crap. And annoying as shit.

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I seriously I was the only one. Literally, at the end of the story I say "What the f***?"
My expectation was very high, and I was wondering why I was quite not so satisfied. If the author wouldn't provide us with great details, might as well end the story in a positive, and much more enthusiastic way. But rather, the author left us with A having to leave Rhiannon. What the flying saucer is that? -_-
Oh and one last thing, I was really hoping that somewhere in book will reveal why A's life is as it is. But nope, it was never mentioned.

Pascal Schuppli (Spoilers ahead) Kathryn, you may be right about the logic problems in this book and the after school specials. I would add that the author really didn't manage to make me care too much about the love story. It didn't feel real to me.

But you're way off when it comes to the supposedly amoral nature of the protagonist. In fact I had quite the opposite impression; I thought he was amazingly perfect for a sixteen-year-old who's basically given free reign to do whatever he likes without having to suffer the consequences, except those his conscience inflicts on him. We get treated to a sixteen-year-old who's not had sex because he thinks it wouldn't be fair to the host. He feels bad about eating meat when he's in a vegetarians body. He does people's homework, for pete's sake! His first impulse when he gets to meet the evil leaper is to run, not join him. You're talking about him violating his hosts, when in fact all he does is make them miss a day of school now and then to go somewhere nice and have the semblance of a life, or get them in trouble with their parents. He's just stealing a single day out of people's lives so he can have one, too. What's possibly amoral about this?

How is Nathan particularly thoroughly violated? He gets parked at the side of a highway in the middle of the night after being made to talk and dance with a girl. How is that so very terrible? How does A violate R.'s privacy? While she is his host, he goes through incredible lengths to NOT violate her privacy. He's too good to be true, which you got right when you talked about the nice guy stuff, but too good in the sense that the one thing he never ever does is violate or hurt his hosts beyond inconveniencing them.

Since you mention Vampires: If they did exist, what would you expect them to do? Collectively decide they should all die for the good of mankind? How could you possibly expect A to "violate" his hosts any less?

For me, one of the important points this story tries to make is that we keep from doing things we *could* do because we know they are wrong and if we did them anyway, we would betray ourselves and lose our sense of self. It's not very subtle about it, but A's behaviour has nothing at all to do with violating people and everything with morality. Which is also why the ending is a foregone conclusion: The book has to end this way or it would negate the point it's trying to make.

(Male pronoun just to keep this simple...)

message 33: by Em (new) - rated it 3 stars

Em I agree with some of your points. The language thing made me do a WTF, especially. I also found some of A's commentary annoying. Such as him judging "Beyonce" for putting so much time into her appearance; she can do what she wants! Also when he said, "All religions have basically the same beliefs," I rolled my eyes a little. If you're going to argue that for all Abrahamic religions, I'm willing to go along with it to an extent, but saying all religions is such a jump. However, I think this book had a very interesting concept. A character that is genderqueer and pansexual, if we must apply labels, is something that I would love to see in YA fiction more. I also think it is important to include minorities and that the author doesn't see white, male, straight, cisgender as default. I just wish he would have explored certain themes more. I felt like there was so much this book could have been, if only. So I'm in the middle when it comes to this book.

Chibi i really enjoyed this book. were there questions left unanswered? yes. were some of the situations simplified, generic, cliche, and/or stereotypical? yes. was "A" too good to be true at times? maybe levithan could have included accounts of times "A" did a crazy thing to explore getting away with it and/or times when "A" did things contrary to how the host would, then explore how that made "A" feel and developed the current code of ethics. did "A" express contradictory opinions/actions? yes, but we are complex beings and we often contradict ourselves. were some of the sections preachy? i don't think so but maybe that is because i agree with the opinions expressed. ultimately this book is about love and acceptance.

stalking? no more so than any other 16 year old would do when they meet a person they feel an instant and deep connection with. i know when i was a kid i did more with less. those intense feelings at that age can lead to obsessive and compulsive behavior [see romeo and juliet] so the ways "A" behaved didn't surprise, confuse, or anger me.

i was a little surprised at levithan's handling of the obese body "A" stayed in. there was no sympathy or compassion in this section or at least i gathered much less than other chapters. the person seemed resigned to obesity and "A" seemed to have to work harder through the obesity in a similar way as the depression. i got the sense that the obesity was akin to the depression cloud that took effort to sift through just to get anything done.

was nathan "possessed"? technically i suppose. but he wasn't possessed by a demon or the devil. him going to the police and media and shouting from the virtual rooftops that he was possessed by the devil IS stupid and anyone who would believe him is stupid also. having gaps in your memory or losses of time and jumping to the conclusion that you must have been possessed by the devil is just asinine and not even remotely close to being "the best conclusion", as one reviewer put it. it isn't even remotely close to the most reasonable conclusion either. saying he'd been drugged at school would be more reasonable. a mental fugue state would be another. narcolepsy? devil/demon possession shouldn't even cross a reasonable person's mind.

one thing i was disappointed in was rhiannon's inability to love the person and disregard the body. i was disappointed in the character though, not the writing. it didn't surprise me that she couldn't get over it because how many people could? i suppose it would have been simply unrealistic and like a fairy tale if she could have. it also would have been too simplistic if "A" had decided to learn how to stay and they had lived happily ever after.

gender is a social construct. sex is biological. please learn and and try to understand the differences. "A" is not he/him/his or she/her[s] unless described within the confines of a specific host. "A" just is without race, ethnicity, or gender classification or category.

like i said earlier, ultimately this book is about love and acceptance. examples were given of unconditional love and acceptance. while we may initially be attracted to a person because of physical appearances, love has to come down to the person and not the body. deep and honest love comes from a place gender and physical appearances know nothing about. give yourself extreme examples: you've loved your partner for for 20 years and they suddenly... ...become horribly disfigured. ...realize they identify as the opposite gender. ...have to go on meds that make them obese. ...get zapped by an alien laser that changes them to a different race/species. do you still love the person or do you no longer love them? if your answer is that you no longer love them i would suggest you never loved them at all.

for ya/teen fiction, you'll be hard-pressed to find better writing. i know levithan could have expanded this book to twice or three times the size and explored more the mechanics of the situation and the ethics as well as a few other areas, but that would probably make it less attractive to young adults/teens just to pick the book up. levithan could have also, easily, been seduced into the trend of writing a trilogy and/or series. i'm glad he didn't. there is something to be said for confining a story to one novel.

message 35: by Amber (new) - rated it 1 star

Amber Bravo, well said, you hit everything on the nose. I hated this book, it annoyed the crap out and me and often had me yelling at A out loud. Especially when he made that kid miss a trip to Hawaii for his sisters wedding. SERIOUSLY?? The whole thing was selfish teenage wangst.

Maybe teens will relate to it, but I sure as heck did not. Not to A, not to Rihannan (who frankly wasn't interesting at all, despite A's intense admonitions.)and not to anyone he hosted in.

But what really upset me, was that this had such potential! The whole time I was thinking about how it could be soo good, and only continued turning the page in hopes that it would get better. It never did.

I know love makes you do some crazy stuff as a teenager (I missed a cruise so I could go on a date)but this was so far fetched, especially for a kid (A) who supposedly had rules and wanted to respect his hosts life/body. How did he suddenly not understand when Rihannan had a hard time with things?

Bah, just thinking of it makes me mad. Oh well, wonderful review, catch ya later.

Tessa Fantastic review. While I don't agree with you on all points, you make a fair argument. But some of the issues/problems with it sort of make me like it more. I like that it makes me think about if I should sympathise with A more.
I dunno, I'm a bit sleepy and I don't think I can get my message across very well. But great review none the less.

message 37: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy I'll just say that I'm kind of shocked at how many people "agree completely" with your sarcastic flame-fest of a review. Though I guess I shouldn't be, considering how many people are still incapable of sympathizing with others whose life experiences may be wildly different than their own, as evidenced by the amount of bullying/hate crimes/homophobia/etc that is still going strong. It would be great if you were soooo enlightened that the concepts and issues explored in "Every Day" were so beneath you as to be "didactic... and boring," but there are many, many people out there who may have never experienced any of these "after-school special" problems. So maybe it would be more helpful if you were a little less vitriolic in your condemnation of this book. Just saying.

Sarah I didn't really like your review.. the book was sort of cliche,(especially the whole depressed/fat/beautiful/drug-addicted cliches) but aren't all books to an extent?
Yes, Nathan was technically posessed. But I mean, if most people knew about A, I think some would give him a day in their bodies. If you stop and think, you're so gifted and lucky to be alive, and he's not really anything. He's an entity. And he tries to be a good person. He tries not to interfere too much with their belongings, or to mess up relationships or change anything drastically.
And it's not like Rhiannon doesn't want him there. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't, but he's not exactly stalking her. She loves him back. And he's not always going to her school. They meet up at places, too.

Katherine your review was interesting I did agree with your questions left unanswered and i do wish the book went more in depth those ways but to contradict you... in my opinion i think A is a great character and i respect A... yes maybe A is stalkerish but have you seen twilight?? also taking in the fact that A had lived this way (his/her) whole life with no consistency... you have to look from the characters point of view and i can't believe A didn't become like the reverend (he/she) LEFT (her/his) "twoo wuv" so A wasn't a devil... yea A may have affected a few lives but that's life! of course A will be biased and their will be technicalities so don't lower the books standards i love how A shows the lives of several different kind of people... i hope that people read this book for themselves and decide themselves what kind of book this is for them i thought it was great and worth taking up 3 hrs of my time... but we are each entitled to our own opinion even if we don't agree with others

Shannon Fields I'm with you.

Laura Leydes I was wondering about what would happen to him as he aged too. Was he going to spend his life going from job to job? Would he be a brain surgeon one day and a stripper the next day? Would he be married with kids one day and the next day be a woman living with 40 cats?

What is the purpose to his "life"? How was he "born"?
Does he ever wonder about this?

It reminded me of Quantum leap and that book by Stephanie Meyer the Host.

La Coccinelle I just finished this one. I gave it a slightly better review than you did, but I can't really disagree with any of your points. (I guess I was a bit more lenient because I was into the story and really wanted to see where it was going. Apparently, it was going nowhere.) But the inconsistencies bothered me, too.

message 43: by M (new) - rated it 4 stars

M "The first is the story of A's Twoo Wuv, which is, naturally, Nice Guy apologism with a heaping helping of stalker apologism. Stalking is romantic, didn't you know?"
That, and everything else. Yes yes yes. Awesome.

Ingvild First of all, I'm going to talk about A as a he, simply because I see him as a he, probably because he started out as a he.

I agree with you on some points, however few. The one thing I'd like to bring up is that I get the impression that you have completely misunderstood the A/Rhiannon relationship. This is not Twilight, where the guy stalks the girl and they're hopelessly in love with each other. A lot of the time I get the impression that Rhi doesn't even love A. I'd say they are more like Gatsby and Daisy, and we know their romance was flawed. Also, the thing about A being the only one who sees her… You seem to think that is bullshit and typical, and of course it is. Do you know why? Because everyone thinks they are the only one, they are special, so of course, what you are talking about is just A's thoughts. Of course he thinks he's special. It doesn't mean no one else in fact notices Rhi, just because they don't say it. Besides, not a lot of people see other people's "secret sadness," so if he in fact is the only one that looks after her, that's not so strange. He's in love with her, he only notices her.

I would also like to call you out on your devil bullshit. A is not the devil. Yes, he possesses people's body for a day, but it's not his choice. Yes, he makes them do things they normally wouldn't do, so that he can have a life himself. Is that so bad? Can't people go through a little bit of negative stuff so that someone else can have a life? Why would he even care about them? I would hardly, and I'm not the devil either.

Libby Higdon You are so right! It's completely hard to sympathize with A when he/she is so completely self loathing and miserable. The facts that were left up to interpretation were confusing and annoying. I just don't especially like the main character of A. He/she was mopey in a way that reminded me of Bella from "Twilight". I find it hard to sympathize with such a typical "type" of character. Thanks for the accurate review!

Monique Elizabeth You put it perfectly! I just finished the book and the longer I'm thinking about it, the more upset I'm feeling.

message 47: by Lily (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lily A. Mell You know what? This was an amazing book. A spent 16 YEARS trying it's hardest not to 'violate' people and wishing it could stop switching places. Then, it spends a few weeks of his ENTIRE LIFE doing SOME THINGS that are uncharacteristic of the hosts. This also causes him to save one girl's life and give another the best two days of her life. And you don't find it in your heart to sympathize with him at all because he does this? Come on.

A definitely shouldn't have done that to Nathan. But EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES. That was his. And nothing A did while in his body was malevolent or caused Nathan physical harm. There was no reason for Nathan to believe A was the devil, and he didn't once he actually met A.

In addition, the concept of the book was brilliant. The addressing of so many different kinds of people (gay, lesbian, obese, depressed, transgender) within such a short space of time was a bit unlikely, but it also made for a good storyline.

Remember that A is only a teenager. He's allowed to make mistakes. He's allowed to fall in love. And ultimately, he learns from his mistakes, and understands that he can't truly be in love.

There was no call for a one star rating and unpleasant review.

message 48: by Erica (new)

Erica you clearly don't understand this book. this book isn't for realists.

message 49: by Yael (new) - added it

Yael Whoa. Amazing review.

Charnell (Reviews from a Bookworm) Such a great review, have just finished and am attempting to write my own review. Needed to see I wasn't the only person who had so many issues with this book!

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