Every Day and For Always

“I am a drifter, and as lonely as that can be, it is also remarkably freeing. I will never define myself in terms of anyone else. I will never feel the pressure of peers or the burden of parental expectation. I can view everyone as pieces of a whole, and focus on the whole, not the pieces. I have learned to observe, far better than most people observe. I am not blinded by the past or motivated by the future. I focus on the present because that is where I am destined to live.”

~ A, in David Levithan’s YA novel, every day

Yesterday I finished reading David Levithan’s YA book, every day. I’ve never read anything like it before and found it quite a clever, compelling read.

A fantasy/romance novel, a genderless being self-named A wakes up everyday in a different body, a different life. It’s always been that way. But then A falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon, and they struggle to figure out how to be together.

Part of what made this such an interesting read for me was not the love story, although the angst of first love and the tragedy of a love that can never be is told with a sensitivity and sweetness that will appeal to teens. Instead, it is the exploration of gender, love and what it is that makes us who we really are that kept me reading. And the fleeting glimpses that A gets into other teens’ lives and families — a drug addict, a homeschooled boy, an obese teen, a transgendered youth, a suicidal young woman — also makes the novel unique and compelling.

While the paranormal aspect of A’s life is never explained, there is a threatening sub-plot that reveals A may not be the only being who switches bodies everyday, and worse: that others like A may not be as ethical or respectful of the bodies that they temporarily inhabit. This adds considerable tension to the plot and elevates the novel from merely just another YA love story to a thrilling page turner. It also keeps the door open to a sequel.

Definitely recommend for adults and youth 12+.

Has anyone else read this novel, or anything like it?

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