“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough,” David Levithan
Every Day by David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult
Published by Random House, 2012
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Re-readability: I don’t think I’ll return to this one.
Reviewed by Indiana
I read Every Day just as the third instalment was published a few weeks ago. I’d been faintly interested in it when it first came out about six years ago, but something always stopped me from digging into it.
For those who don’t know the premise, it’s about a boy who names himself A. He switches bodies with people every night. At the start of the book, he tells us that he always tries to live and act as much like the person whose body he’s inhabiting would. Except, a few pages after that, he meets a girl (who is the girlfriend of the guy whose body he’s taken over for the day) and falls for her. He acts like himself rather than her boyfriend so he immediately breaks his supposed streak.
He spends much of the rest of the book trying to find and stay with her in all these different bodies. One person whose body he takes over for a day, starts to figure it out a day or two later and makes a big hubbub about it on the news. People who think they’ve experienced the same thing form a group and believe that A is a demon.
I didn’t mind the switching of lives and the exhausting number of characters, honestly. It was interesting in some ways and Levithan is great writer in the sense that in one line he can describe someone’s countenance and you immediately picture that person.
However, the fact that there was no real arc to the story drove me nuts. A doesn’t even try to figure out why this happens to him until about 75% of the way through when he thinks he’s met someone who does something similar. A is focused on getting together with the girl he’s in love with, which makes sense, but is doomed from the start and it got old after a few chapters.
I really wanted the author to leave us with something that at least led us to suspect one reason for the whole body-switching thing. But he didn’t. It felt like a plot device rather than a central part of a developing story.
To those who have read it, did you feel similarly?