Every Day by David Levithan is one of the best contemporary novels I’ve read. It’s endlessly insightful and emotionally stirring, and I couldn’t put it down. The book has a very unique protagonist, which makes for a fascinating narrative voice throughout the novel. Every Day follows A, who wakes up each morning in a body that is not their own. A has no memory of a life before this phenomenon– instead, each day finds them in a new body, a new role, a new life. Gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status– everything changes day by day. The only constant is A’s determination to leave each individual’s life intact once the day is through– don’t interfere, don’t change anything, don’t let anyone know they’re here. These are the rules A lives by– until A meets Rhiannon.
Suddenly, A craves a life they never knew they could have. A life where A’s body is as constant as A’s inner self– a life where A and Rhiannon could be together, every day. But as A and Rhiannon struggle to find each other amidst the turmoil their conflicting situations cause, they each can’t help but wonder much is worth sacrificing for the love they share.
This book is insightful in so many different ways, calling into question ideals of the ever-changing nature of the self and the nuances of relationships through the lens of A’s unique situation. Through A and Rhiannon’s story, David Levithan brings to light fascinating discussions of what it means to remain the same inside even as your situation changes, and how acceptance of those we love for who they are will always remain crucial. Through the way A inhabits dozens of vastly different lives, we observe how similarities between unique individuals can be found– especially in the need we all have for connection with others.
As the book is narrated in first person by A, we are gifted with a fantastically compelling narrative voice through which to experience the story. A’s perspective is wonderfully unique and wise as they have experienced so many different lives and been in so many different pairs of shoes, so to speak. I think A’s insight is one of the best aspects of this book; a protagonist who is grounded in such a versatile past and an ever-changing physical situation is truly unique. In this way, the body-changing trope that this book is based on functions as both a riveting plot device and a distinct outlook on the story’s events and characters.
This book is difficult to put down– the writing style flows incredibly smoothly in spite of the numerous ways the setting and minor cast of characters changes with each chapter. I was never bored, even at the moments where A is simply settling into someone else’s life for the day. I couldn’t stop reading, and the story is engrossing the entire way through. It was also easy to connect with emotionally– A’s plight, while wholly unique, garnered my sympathy quickly. A is an easy character to fall in love with, and is the most intriguing character in the book. The fact that the protagonist of the book is so compelling may seem routine, but too often, central characters can seem 2-dimensional and may take the backseat to minor characters– however, Every Day seems to effortlessly pull in engaging side characters as A meets new people in each new body, all the while never compromising the intrigue of A.
In short, Every Day is a wonderful book full of emotion and perception. There are two additional books in the trilogy– Another Day, retelling the story of the original book from Rhiannon’s point of view, and Someday, which acts as a sequel and continues A and Rhiannon’s story through multiple points of view. These books are also magnificent reads, and I would highly recommend them if you love Every Day.