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Every Day Kindle Edition
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by Booklist • Kirkus
Celebrate all the ways love makes us who we are with the romance that Entertainment Weekly calls "wise, wildly unique"--from the bestselling co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Will Grayson, Will Grayson--about a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life. Now a major motion picture!
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.
“A story that is always alluring, oftentimes humorous and much like love itself— splendorous.” —Los Angeles Times
Kirkus Reviews Best of Teen's Books 2012
Booklist Best of Children's Books 2012
"Fresh, unique, funny, and achingly honest, Levithan brilliantly explores the adolescent conundrum of not feeling like oneself, and not knowing where one belongs. I didn't just read this book — I inhaled it." —Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of Lone Wolf and Between the Lines
Entertainment Weekly, August 22, 2012:
"Rich in wisdom and wit...Levithan keeps the pages turning not only with ingenious twists on his central conceit but with A's hard-earned pieces of wisdom about identity, isolation, and love. Every Day has the power to teach a bully empathy by answering an essential question: What's it like to be you and not me — even if it's just for one day?"
New York Times Book Review, August 26, 2012:
"It demonstrates Levithan's talent for empathy, which is paired in the best parts of the book with a persuasive optimism about the odds for happiness and for true love."
Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2012:
"It's the rare book that challenges gender presumptions in a way that's as entertaining as it is unexpected and, perhaps most important, that's relatable to teens who may not think they need sensitivity training when it comes to sexual orientation and the nature of true love. ‘Every Day' is precisely such a book...A story that is always alluring, oftentimes humorous and much like love itself — splendorous."
MTV Hollywood Crush, September 28, 2012:
"Thoughtful and fascinating...A study in the most real and human of concerns: the importance of empathy, the value of friends and family, and the beauty of permanence that we have the luxury of taking for granted."
Boston Globe, September 15, 2012:
"Ambitious and provocative...we’re not ready to let A go."
OUT Magazine, December 2012:
"One of the most inventive young adult novels of the year."
Romantic Times, October 2012:
"Levithan is a literary genius. His style of writing is brilliant — practically flawless... Reading A’s journey to make love last, in a world that is always changing, is an experience I hope everyone gets to share."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, September 2012:
"Every step of the narrative feels real and will elicit a strong emotional response from readers and offer them plenty of fodder for speculation, especially regarding the nature of love.”
Starred Review, Booklist, July 1, 2012:
“Levithan has created an irresistible premise that is sure to captivate readers….
[Every Day] is a study in style, an exercise in imagination, and an opportunity for readers themselves to occupy another life: that of A, himself.”
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2012:
“An awe-inspiring, thought-provoking reminder that love reaches beyond physical appearances or gender.”
Starred Review, Shelf Awareness, September 7, 2012:
"Levithan's unusual love story will make teens think about how the core of the soul never changes. A speaks of faith, love, dreams and death with a wisdom derived from thousands of lives visited over 16 years and firsthand proof of how much humans share rather than what sets them apart."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2012:
"This unconventional romance considers some fascinating and unexpected questions about the nature of identity, consciousness, love, and gender...Readers will identify with A’s profound longing for connection, but they’ll also be intrigued by the butterfly effect A’s presence may have on numerous other teens who make brief but memorable appearances."
The Horn Book, November 2012:
"Brilliantly conceived...[Levithan] shapes the narrative into a profound exploration of what it means to love someone."
Letter Blocks, the BN Parents & Educators blog, August 23, 2012:
"A definite crowd-pleaser."
The L Magazine, August 29, 2012:
"The premise allows for stimulating parallels: A’s experience is both like the writer’s, who inhabits the consciousnesses of random characters, and the adolescent’s, who tries on myriad identities." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I wake up.
Immediately I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body--opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.
Every day I am someone else. I am myself--I know I am myself--but I am also someone else.
It has always been like this.
The information is there. I wake up, open my eyes, understand that it is a new morning, a new place. The biography kicks in, a welcome gift from the not‑me part of the mind. Today I am Justin. Somehow I know this--my name is Justin--and at the same time I know that I’m not really Justin, I’m only borrowing his life for a day. I look around and know that this is his room. This is his home. The alarm will go off in seven minutes.
I’m never the same person twice, but I’ve certainly been this type before. Clothes everywhere. Far more video games than books. Sleeps in his boxers. From the taste of his mouth, a smoker. But not so addicted that he needs one as soon as he wakes up.
“Good morning, Justin,” I say. Checking out his voice. Low. The voice in my head is always different.
Justin doesn’t take care of himself. His scalp itches. His eyes don’t want to open. He hasn’t gotten much sleep.
Already I know I’m not going to like today.
It’s hard being in the body of someone you don’t like, because you still have to respect it. I’ve harmed people’s lives in the past, and I’ve found that every time I slip up, it haunts me. So I try to be careful.
From what I can tell, every person I inhabit is the same age as me. I don’t hop from being sixteen to being sixty. Right now, it’s only sixteen. I don’t know how this works. Or why. I stopped trying to figure it out a long time ago. I’m never going to figure it out, any more than a normal person will figure out his or her own existence. After a while, you have to be at peace with the fact that you simply are. There is no way to know why. You can have theories, but there will never be proof.
I can access facts, not feelings. I know this is Justin’s room, but I have no idea if he likes it or not. Does he want to kill his parents in the next room? Or would he be lost without his mother coming in to make sure he’s awake? It’s impossible to tell. It’s as if that part of me replaces the same part of whatever person I’m in. And while I’m glad to be thinking like myself, a hint every now and then of how the other person thinks would be helpful. We all contain mysteries, especially when seen from the inside.
The alarm goes off. I reach for a shirt and some jeans, but something lets me see that it’s the same shirt he wore yesterday. I pick a different shirt. I take the clothes with me to the bathroom, dress after showering. His parents are in the kitchen now. They have no idea that anything is different.
Sixteen years is a lot of time to practice. I don’t usually make mistakes. Not anymore.
I read his parents easily: Justin doesn’t talk to them much in the morning, so I don’t have to talk to them. I have grown accustomed to sensing expectation in others, or the lack of it. I shovel down some cereal, leave the bowl in the sink without washing it, grab Justin’s keys and go.
Yesterday I was a girl in a town I’d guess to be two hours away. The day before, I was a boy in a town three hours farther than that. I am already forgetting their details. I have to, or else I will never remember who I really am.
Justin listens to loud and obnoxious music on a loud and obnoxious station where loud and obnoxious DJs make loud and obnoxious jokes as a way of getting through the morning. This is all I need to know about Justin, really. I access his memory to show me the way to school, which parking space to take, which locker to go to. The combination. The names of the people he knows in the halls.
Sometimes I can’t go through these motions. I can’t bring myself to go to school, maneuver through the day. I’ll say I’m sick, stay in bed and read a few books. But even that gets tiresome after a while, and I find myself up for the challenge of a new school, new friends. For a day.
As I take Justin’s books out of his locker, I can feel someone hovering on the periphery. I turn, and the girl standing there is transparent in her emotions--tentative and expectant, nervous and adoring. I don’t have to access Justin to know that this is his girlfriend. No one else would have this reaction to him, so unsteady in his presence. She’s pretty, but she doesn’t see it. She’s hiding behind her hair, happy to see me and unhappy to see me at the same time.
Her name is Rhiannon. And for a moment--just the slightest beat--I think that, yes, this is the right name for her. I don’t know why. I don’t know her. But it feels right.
This is not Justin’s thought. It’s mine. I try to ignore it. I’m not the person she wants to talk to.
“Hey,” I say, keeping it casual.
“Hey,” she murmurs back.
She’s looking at the floor, at her inked‑in Converse. She’s drawn cities there, skylines around the soles. Something’s happened between her and Justin, and I don’t know what it is. It’s probably not something that Justin even recognized at the time.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
I see the surprise on her face, even as she tries to cover it. This is not something that Justin normally asks.
And the strange thing is: I want to know the answer. The fact that he wouldn’t care makes me want it more.
“Sure,” she says, not sounding sure at all.
I find it hard to look at her. I know from experience that beneath every peripheral girl is a central truth. She’s hiding hers away, but at the same time she wants me to see it. That is, she wants Justin to see it. And it’s there, just out of my reach. A sound waiting to be a word.
She is so lost in her sadness that she has no idea how visible it is. I think I understand her--for a moment, I presume to understand her--but then, from within this sadness, she surprises me with a brief flash of determination. Bravery, even.
Shifting her gaze away from the floor, her eyes matching mine, she asks, “Are you mad at me?”
I can’t think of any reason to be mad at her. If anything, I am mad at Justin, for making her feel so diminished. It’s there in her body language. When she is around him, she makes herself small. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B007GZICQ6
- Publisher : Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 28, 2012)
- Publication date : August 28, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 3820 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0307931897
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #65,621 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Throughout the book Levithan does an outstanding job at describing each person A (the main character) inhabits, giving each character a story, a humane level of respect, the benefit of the doubt even.
Everyone, except Finn.
With Finn, the author immediately tosses us into a world of self-loathing based entirely on A's assumption that being obese is the reason for self-loathing. Instead of looking at obesity as a symptom of deeper issues both mental and physical, A, cannot see beyond Finn's body to assess how it all happened - leaving us to once again, assume that all fat people got there through their own choices and nothing else. At one point A even equates Finn's emotions to a burp and describes that he/she COULD look deeper into Finn and find there some level of humanity. But he/she never tried. Instead, A couldn't get out of Finn's body soon enough - leaving Finn with no vote of confidence, and not even the decency of telling us his story.
If Levithan had done the same for the gay, trans, black, Asian etc. stories in his book, there would have been an uproar of condemnation. But it's still okay to pick on the fat kid - and I am disappointed that a character who has no body of his/her own, is still passing judgment on the body of another who did not ask to be inhabited, and certainly did not ask to be inhabited and judged.
It appears that to A (and Levithan) being fat is so far worse than being a creeper who jumps from body to body with no physical body of his/her own. It's amusing to me that A can argue his/her own value to Rhiannon, but not see Finn's value as a human being.
Considering that so many kids and adults have eating disorders and body-shame issues that lead to all sorts of destructive patterns - this chapter should have been carefully examined. I am surprised that editors and family let him get away with this.
The best I can hope for is that A ends up in the body of Finn again, where he/she has to finally learn to love himself. Then, and only then, will Finn have a chance to be truly seen and understood.
Top reviews from other countries
Talking about A is difficult, because A doesn't have a gender, or a body. I wouldn't define A as a spirit, or a soul, but as a personality. A sweet, kind personality who does their best in a situation that's completely unimaginable - waking up in a different body every single day from birth. A respects each inhabited body by only accessing the parts of their memories and brains that allow A to function through a day as that person, to know who their parents and friends are, where to go and how to behave in a way that minimises the chances of anyone realising something is wrong.
In the beginning I didn't really 'get' why A was so attracted to Rhiannon, but as the story continued I began to really understand what was happening - after spending a lifetime with no particular attachment to anyone, A experiences an instant attraction, and not having had that experience before, does what most people do - becomes slightly obsessed with the person they have sparked with. And as the story progressed, I grew to like Rhiannon, and honestly felt quite sad for her.
However, Every Day is more than a bittersweet love story - A's experiences in different bodies also highlight how society perceives people based solely on their looks - whether they are fat or thin, white or black, rich or poor, and several of the bodies he inhabited were going through some incredibly tough situations, all of which A also experienced, and how other people reacted to those situations.
And finally, if there wasn't enough to love about this book, there's David Levithan's writing - it's addictive, it's beautiful, it's moving and has definitely made a fan out of me.
Some of my favourite quotes:
''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.''
''This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it's just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.''
A, the main character here, wakes up every day in a different 16 year old body. A usually attempts to leave as little an impression on the person’s life for that day, until he meets Rhiannon.
David Levithan’s concept is deceptively simple, and interwoven with a classic romance, works well on a number of levels. The Quantum Leap type scenario brings a freshness every few chapters as A changes bodies. Central to the themes of this story is an acceptance of whatever you are or choose to be as a person. The main love story is complemented by various subplots, which arise because of A’s constant body-swapping. The subplots deal with a range of subject such as obesity, gender, addiction to name a few.
Levithan doesn’t attempt to explain why A changes bodies or how it all started, but the pace and urgency of the central narrative and a plethora of interesting characters mean the reader learns about A’s world organically, as he/she does. The author leaves practicalities aside occasionally in favour of returning to the main romance. Early on, you find yourself engaged with the character of A, and intrigued as to what will happen eventually, so the author does his job of hooking with ease here.
A quick and easy read, with lots of issues tackled and topical messages on body image and acceptance of individuals imparted.
However, when it came to the actual narative, I thought it was extremely dull and not much was going on. The entire book was more like a collection of chapter-long short stories, and only a quarter of the book had anything to do with A and Rhiannon. The story between them could've have been told in about 10 chapters, and the story would still be the same; Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with Girl. Girls falls in love with Boy. Problem is Boy doesn't have a body of his own. And that's the problem.
So no I didn't really enjoy the actual story too much, but I'm glad I finished it.
P.S the Editor didn't finish their job properly as there are many sentences with minor grammatical errors, or misplaced words. e.g "I don't want to Rhiannon to see me like this."- yes, those were the exact words. And throughout the book, many sentences like those exists. So if you're not fluent or a native of the language you're reading it in, you'll probably struggle to understand it.
Under a backdrop of teenage angst and scattered with various non committal side characters I found myself glued to its pages for the convenience and accessibility of the story.