03 December 2014

Every Day by David Levithan

EVERY DAY is based on a simple premise: every morning, A wakes up in a different body, a body he borrows for the day, accessing memories, being that person while being away that he is himself.

Note: A doesn't really have a gender, but because we first meet A while in the body of a boy who identifies as a boy, I will refer to him in the masculine for simplicity sake.

When A wakes up in the body of Justin and goes through Justin's day, he meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon, and just like that, he falls in love. The sort of deep-breath-and-plunge love that's full of magic and longing and heartache. It's clear A has never been in love like this before.

The story isn't about falling in love, though. Falling in love isn't a story. It's doing something about it that makes for the story. And A decides to do something about it.

It starts off innocently, hijacking people's lives briefly to get extra glimpses of Rhiannon, but eventually A breaks his own rules and starts doing things that could potentially derail people, get them in trouble. Even get his own existence found out.

For the first time, he takes risks, reaches out to change things, and it's beautiful and breathtaking. A talks, repeatedly, about enormity. The enormity of love. The enormity of the world. The enormity of the little details in everyday life that we, who live in the same body every day, never notice, but which he never takes for granted.

It's amazing to me how easy this book seems. How effortless. I can't imagine what it was like for David Levithan to write it, but reading it plunged me right into A's world. The way A describes love is one of the most honest and poetic explanations I've ever read for the feeling.

It's inevitable that A will face challenges in finding his way to Rhiannon. I don't want to spoil what they are or what comes of them. But EVERY DAY was an excellent read, a bittersweet reminder of first love and what we do to hold on to it.