Book Review: David Levithan’s Every Day
The abstract and heartbreaking novel, Every Day by David Levithan, questions the definitions and boundaries of humanity, love, and identity. The novel follows a teenager, simply called ‘A’, who inhabits the body of a different person every single day. A feels accustomed to the constant change of identity and essentially just tries to take care of the people A is essentially taking over for the day. However, on one fateful day, A meets Rhiannon, a beautiful, determined girl who takes A’s heart completely in one day. The novel then follows A’s journey to pursue love for Rhiannon, even though A is constantly changing form and identity from person to person, both male and female.
The novel in itself is gorgeously written, from all the stories within a story. Every time we meet A, we also get a close and personal look into the mind of the teenager A is inhabiting for the day and the problems different people from different backgrounds experience. A doesn’t get to choose her role, and readers witness A in the form of a drug addict, a wealthy and gorgeous girl, an overweight social outcast, and many more. David Levithan weaves these stories into the story without taking away from the main plot, but instead adding depth to the character of A and A’s day to day struggles. And although A battles personally with the struggle of simply existing in this nature, A has an optimistic and kind personality. A constantly tries to improve the lives of the people whose forms she takes on, and give them a great day to remember.
The most heart-wrenching part of the book is when A comes to realize that A and Rhiannon cannot be together despite their love. The fact that their love is, because of the circumstances, highly emotional and almost spiritual makes their ultimate separation that much harder. Readers fall in love with Rhiannon and fall in love with A, both characters to which they can relate to and for whom they have empathy.
In essence, while A’s problems are very unique, the general day-to-day adolescent struggles of love, heartbreak, and identity are painfully recognizable in our own lives. The book’s ultimate message is to stick to who you aim to be, even if you’re not sure who you are at the moment, and to always care for one another because you don’t know what others are going through.