Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quick Post: Every day by David Levithan

Levithan, D.  (2012).  every day.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf.

322 pages.

Appetizer:  Each morning, A wakes up in the body of a new teenager, to live the life as him or
her for a single day.  One morning, he/she finds him/herself in the body of Jason and attracted to his girlfriend, Rhiannon, with strong feelings he's never really felt before.  Now, each morning, A wakes trying to get as close to her as A can, hoping to have his/her first real relationship despite the fact that every physical aspect of A's existence changes daily.  His/her persuit of getting to know Rhiannon will have unintended consequences.

I really love the concept of this novel:  Of someone with no physical presence experiencing all of these different lives.  It is a wonderful vehicle to explore some great issues.  One of the most notable moments is when A wakes up in the body of a girl with depression and he/she disccuses the cycle of depression:

"The body is working against you.  And because of this, you feel even more despair.  Which only amplifies the imbalance.  It takes uncommon strength to live with these things.  But I have seen that strength over and over again.  When I fall into the life of someone grappling, I have to mirror their strength, and sometimes surpass it...I have to keep reminding myself--this is not me.  It is chemistroy.  It is bilogy.  It is not who I am.  It is not who any of them are." (pp. 119-120.

Very powerful!

I found the ending to be a little disappointing.  The plot had finally increased the tension in a way that could have opened the door to a suspense series, then dismissed the conflict.  It was a little frustrating.  I know Levithan wasn't interested in writing a suspense thriller so much as he was interested in exploring some philisophical questions regarding gender and love, but it felt like a dropped possibility.

Dinner Conversation:

"I wake up.
Immediately I have to fiture out who I am.  It's not just the body--oeping my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I'm fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth.  The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you're used to waking up in a new one each morning.  It's the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp." (p. 1)

"As I take Justin's books out of his locker, I can feel someone hovering on the periphery.  I turn, and the girl standing there is transparent in her emotions--tentative and expectant, nervous and adoring.  I don't have to access Justin to know that this is his girlfriend.  No one else would have this reaction to him, so unsteady in his presence.  She's pretty, but she doesn't see it.  She's hiding behind her hair, happy to see me and unhappy to see me at the same time.
Her name is Rhiannon.  And for a moment--just the slightest beat--I think that, yes, this is the right name for her.  I don't know why.  I don't know her.  But it feels right." (p. 4)

Tasty Rating:  !!!!

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