Every Day

by David Levithan | 336 pages, published 2012everyday

This was the first book we chose for our little book club. Fascinating premise: the main character wakes up as someone else every day. He/she only stays until midnight, is always a person his/her own age, and wakes up in the same state as the day before. The main character, who calls him/herself “A,” tries to interfere as little as possible with the daily routine of the person whose body he/she wakes up in – until one day, he/she falls in love with the person’s girlfriend and seeks her out every day after that.

There’s also a side story of a fake pastor who seems to be just like A, but has figured out how to stay in one body for an extended period of time. I wish more of the book had been spent on this, although supposedly there are more books to follow.

I had several problems with the book. The first is that, as an LGBT author, Levithan spent so much energy convincing the reader that love is love no matter what that almost every person A woke up as fit into the LGBT grouping somehow. I’m just not sure that statistically, that’s what would happen. Maybe I’m out of touch, and I do live in a much more conservative area of the country. But it didn’t seem quite as realistic to me – more of a plot device.

Second, A initially proclaimed that he/she tried to interfere as little as possible in people’s lives, but begins interfering in major ways after meeting Rhiannon (the love interest). A goes so far as to prevent one guy from going to Hawaii for his sister’s wedding because it would mean that A would be stuck in Hawaii, away from Rhiannon. Not cool!

Third, there was only one instance of A helping a person. A woke up as a very, very depressed girl who was planning to commit suicide in a matter of days. A, as the girl, told her father (who had been distant) what was wrong, showed him her notebook with suicide plans as proof, and pleaded for help. The girl got her father’s support and was able to get the treatment she needed. I wished she had been brought up again, or that A had tried to help any of the other people – instead of just skipping whatever plans they had for the day so he/she could go see Rhiannon.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend the book. I think it came down to how much I disliked A’s selfishness in disrupting people’s lives just to see this girl. And again, I’m hesitant to support teenage Love in all its reckless glory. It’s so angst-ridden and fleeting. Thank goodness I’m not a teenager anymore!


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