Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Random House
Year of Publication: 2012
Main Character: A (4/5)—I appreciated that A had such a strong sense of right and wrong, even though there were no real consequences for A on a personal level. A was determined to do the right thing and not disrupt anyone’s life, even if it might have been tempting. I did get annoyed with A sometimes, but it was never extreme.
Secondary Characters: The only real secondary character was Rhiannon. I didn’t like her much at first, but I decided to give her a chance anyway. Still, I honestly just didn’t see much in her by the end of the book.
Pacing: The pacing of this book is inherently strange because of the way it is written. But since each day is very different for A, and the people whose lives he occupies are very different, it wasn’t disruptive to the plot. Regardless, this was a very quick read for me.
Accuracy of Publisher’s Synopsis: This synopsis was accurate. It was more of a synopsis of the first chapter than anything, though.
Resolution: I’m disappointed and a little put off by the ending. The answers aren’t necessarily there, but I can clearly see the groundwork for new beginnings. I understand A’s decisions, even though mine would have been a little different.
The Good: Levithan made sure that A encountered a very diverse group of people, so it was great to read about so many different lives and situations in one novel. This was such an original concept, and the exploration of it brought up a lot of thought-provoking questions. A has lived completely alone without another soul being aware of his/her existence. The plot forces A to make personal connections for the first time ever and then navigate the ins and outs of managing relationships and conflicts.
The Not So Good: I have two things about this book that I didn’t like: Rhiannon and A’s sense of self. We’ll start with Rhiannon. She was filled with morals, but remained so inconsistent about what was and wasn’t right that I couldn’t stand her half the time. It’s not okay for A to judge Justin as being a jerk, but it’s perfectly okay for the way she treats A to be contingent upon the attractiveness of the body A is in that day. It’s not okay to invade someone’s body and spend their money to feed them, but it’s perfectly fine to invade someone’s body and use it for sexual activity that they can’t consent to. I don’t understand this girl’s “logic” and I don’t like her. I also can’t comprehend A’s lack of a concept of who they are. I can’t imagine a consciousness existing that is not asexual, but has no sense of gender. It was just confusing to me.
Overall Impression: Every Day was written based on a highly original concept that was executed in a dull, one-dimensional manner. I appreciate Levithan’s perspective and the character he created, but I feel that for such a thought-provoking concept, he did not explore it to its potential. The heavy presence of Rhiannon hinders A’s ability to fully explore the meaning of his/her existence and instead forces A to discover life and develop a self-concept through the scope of his interaction with her. Essentially, the book is more about A learning to make personal connections than the existential questions that inevitably arise from waking up in a different body and life every day. Levithan did not ponder the questions I wanted to explore, so I am left less than satiated.
Would I recommend it? I think this book is a great starting point for a teen looking to explore their identity, understand the world and people around them, and learn how their actions create a ripple effect.