Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Random House
- Imprint: Alfred A. Knopf
Date Published: August 28th 2012
Format: Hard cover
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
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.
Number of Days It Took to Read: 1
Cover: It encompasses the book’s duality of contemporary and the fantastical. The lack of color just enhances what this book is all about and the cover’s beauty. I like it a lot.
The Writing Score: 4.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Must Read
Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Wow. This was a beautiful read.
I’d compare this book to Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife since blends contemporary with the sci fi/paranormal. This technique of inserting concepts like time travel and body swaping – normally reserved for science fiction and fantasy novels – subtly into contemporary stories turn them into things we except. These types of stories aren’t too hung up on the mechanics of these not-so-rooted-in-reality ideas but how they complicate the relationships between people and effect who they are. I’d like to add that this acceptance is only possible due the character’s lack of knowledge and NOT because the author didn’t do their research. Big difference.
The voice of the character and the style of writing reminds me a bit of Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series but her character’s voice is a little more fragmented but otherwise, the structure of writing and the character’s though processes are very similar. What I really loved about Levithan’s writing is that he differentiates between words that we normally just lump together (E.g. “Kindness connects to who you are, while niceness connects to how you want to be seen.”). The description was wonderful and the writing poetic. The characters were 3 dimensional (even the people who’s lives he inhabits which I really liked). I connected and disconnected from the protagonist off and on but that might just be because of the message the book is trying to send. I related to Rhiannon the most which I think is what Levithan wanted (but I shall not presume). The ending wasn’t an expected ending which I’m so happy for and wish for regularly.
Now onto the theme. This book is perfect for philosophy. It questions the social identities we are given and asks us who we are when the things like skin color, economic status, gender, sexual orientation and etc are taken away. Who are we when we aren’t defined by the societal categories currently in place and does it matter? The real question I pondered was this: Are the problems with having a relationship with someone like A – who doesn’t have a body of his/her own – due to the lack of conformity to these social categories or is it not being cemented in a body/an identity of oneself.
We can debate until we’re blue in the face in regards to whether these things are important or not but I think the biggest issue – that would be hard to ignore – is that these bodies aren’t his.
So what’s with the 4.5? There were moments that jerked my emotional core but overall I wasn’t brought to my knees in a plethora of emotion. It stimulated me intellectually but it didn’t get my heart pumping. I still loved it though.
A. A. Omer
The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.