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Friday, 11 April 2014

Empty Shelf/Mad Reviewer #21 - "Every Day" by David Levithan

While I was waiting for my little sister to have her hair done this morning I wandered to the local library and picked up this book in the YA section. I've been loving this genre ever since I picked up "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green last year, and this book is no exception.

"Every Day" tells the story of 'A', someone who wakes up every day inside another person's body. It's been happening ever since he can remember, and the best he can do is just to try and live that person's life as routinely as possible, without doing anything out of the ordinary that might alert their family or friends to anything unusual.

One day he wakes up in the body of a boy called Justin. 'A' learns to dislike Justin very quickly, not least because of the way he treats his girlfriend, Rhiannon. Though 'A' knows it's out of character, he treats Rhiannon kindly and even suggests they cut class and go somewhere. She suggests the ocean, and that is the start of a very quick fall into love on 'A's part. The problem? He knows he'll go to sleep that night and wake up the next day somewhere else, as someone else.

He's never been in love before. Crushes, sure, but nothing like this, and he begins to break his own rules. He uses his new bodies to reach Rhiannon. Eventually 'A' tells her what he is. Though she's shocked and disbelieving eventually she comes to terms with it, and they embark on some semblance of a relationship. However, they both know it can't work out. They do their level best, though.

This novel is clever, funny, and deeply moving. Through the different bodies that 'A' inhabits we discover so much of the human experience at 16. He inhabits drunkards, addicts, depressives, the gender-questioning, and sometimes just very ordinary people. He tries to leave the bodies exactly as he found them, though sometimes he cannot help but intervene. The ending is fitting and as hopeful as you can expect it to be with 'A' being what he is. It's hard to let 'A' and Rhiannon go, particularly as a couple, but you know you have to. Like so much of the human experience at 16, you have to learn to let go, however painful.

Until next time!

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