Every Day
  • Every Day
  • Every Day

Every Day

4.4 145
by David Levithan
     
 

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In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan, co-author of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a

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Overview

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan, co-author of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life. This new paperback edition features six additional chapters about A's earlier life.

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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

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."

Publishers Weekly
Is it possible to disregard someone’s exterior to see—and love—that person’s true, interior self? That’s just one of the provocative questions Levithan (Every You, Every Me) asks in a novel that follows “A,” who takes over the body of a different person each day at midnight. Right around A’s 6,000th day on the planet, A meets Rhiannon—girlfriend of current host body Justin—and falls in love. A is careful not to disrupt the lives of the bodies he/she inhabits (A doesn’t identify as male or female), but that starts to change as A pursues Rhiannon. Levithan sets up the rules of this thought experiment carefully: A only hops between the bodies of teenagers (who all live fairly near each other), and A can access their memories. As a result, the story unfolds smoothly (the regular shifts between bodies give the novel a natural momentum), but it’s also less ambitious. Despite the diverse teens A inhabits, A’s cerebral, wiser-than-thou voice dominates, in much the same way A directs the lives of these teens for 24 hours. Ages 12–up. Agent: Bill Clegg, William Morris Endeavor. (Aug.)
VOYA - Valerie Burleigh
Levithan’s newest book is unique and incredibly compelling. A, the main character, wakes up each morning in a different body without knowing why or how--that is just how it has always been. Teens will be intrigued with the thoughts the main character has regarding the bodies that A inhabits and the dilemmas that A faces. Being in someone else’s body for a twenty-four-hour period presents all sorts of challenges. The days blur as A fights drug addiction in one body, morally corrupt behaviors in others, and even a body with suicidal thoughts. A does not want to do anything to hurt the bodies that he is in, yet sometimes it happens. For one boy, he wakes up on the side of the road without any idea how he got there. He cannot remember anything and reaches out to A, asking for answers that A does not really have. The main story, however, explores whether or not a relationship can last without the stability of the same body every day. Levithan does not shy away from exploring family dynamics, relationships, stereotyping, and sexuality in this book. There are mature scenes involving same gender teens, as A is able to inhabit both male and female bodies. While readers do not find out how or why A changes bodies, they will become invested in A’s story and hope that a solution for permanency, and happiness, can be found. Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Levithan uses a straightforward hook-a 16-year-old soul named A wakes up in a different teenage body everyday-to explore identity. While the mechanics of A's ability are intermittently examined, they quickly become the backdrop to the myriad lives A inhabits and the strong identity he (or she as A does not identify with either gender) has created to survive this transient existence. His strong moral code is based on respect for the person whose life he disrupts and the consequences he doesn't have to face. That code is challenged when he falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon after spending a day in the body of her slacker boyfriend, Justin. Complexities arise when one of A's subsequent hosts, Nathan, has an awareness that he was possessed (presumably by the devil), and the story goes viral. Navigating a new body daily while attempting to build a relationship with Rhiannon and make sense of his condition leads to many philosophical quandaries that Levithan infuses with intelligence and poignancy while remaining nondidactic. Indeed, 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.—Nicole Politi, The Ocean County Library, Lavallette, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Imagine waking up in a different body every day. A is a 16-year-old genderless being who drifts from body to body each day, living the life of a new human host of the same age and similar geographic radius for 24 hours. One morning, A wakes up a girl with a splitting hangover; another day he/she wakes up as a teenage boy so overweight he can barely fit into his car. Straight boys, gay girls, teens of different races, body shapes, sizes and genders make up the catalog of A's outward appearances, but ultimately A's spirit--or soul--remains the same. One downside of A's life is that he/she doesn't have a family, nor is he/she able to make friends. A tries to interfere as little as possible with the lives of the teenagers until the day he/she meets and falls head over heels in love with Rhiannon, an ethereal girl with a jackass boyfriend. A pursues Rhiannon each day in whatever form he/she wakes up in, and Rhiannon learns to recognize A--not by appearance, but by the way he/she looks at her across the room. The two have much to overcome, and A's shifting physical appearance is only the beginning. Levithan's self-conscious, analytical style marries perfectly with the plot. His musings on love, longing and human nature knit seamlessly with A's journey. Readers will devour his trademark poetic wordplay and cadences that feel as fresh as they were when he wrote Boy Meets Boy (2003). An awe-inspiring, thought-provoking reminder that love reaches beyond physical appearances or gender. (Fiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307931894
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
23,177
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.82(d)
Lexile:
HL650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Day 5994

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.

“No,” I say. “I’m not mad at you at all.”

I tell her what she wants to hear, but she doesn’t trust it. I feed her the right words, but she suspects they’re threaded with hooks.

This is not my problem; I know that. I am here for one day. I cannot solve anyone’s boyfriend problems. I should not change anyone’s life.

I turn away from her, get my books out, close the locker. She stays in the same spot, anchored by the profound, desperate loneliness of a bad relationship.

“Do you still want to get lunch today?” she asks.

The easy thing would be to say no. I often do this: sense the other person’s life drawing me in, and run in the other direction.

But there’s something about her--the cities on her shoes, the flash of bravery, the unnecessary sadness--that makes me want to know what the word will be when it stops being a sound. I have spent years meeting people without ever knowing them, and on this morning, in this place, with this girl, I feel the faintest pull of wanting to know. And in a moment of either weakness or bravery on my own part, I decide to follow it. I decide to find out more.

“Absolutely,” I say. “Lunch would be great.”

Again, I read her: What I’ve said is too enthusiastic. Justin is never enthusiastic.

“No big deal,” I add.

She’s relieved. Or, at least, as relieved as she’ll allow herself to be, which is a very guarded form of relief. By accessing, I know she and Justin have been together for over a year. That’s as specific as it gets. Justin doesn’t remember the exact date.

She reaches out and takes my hand. I am surprised by how good this feels.

“I’m glad you’re not mad at me,” she says. “I just want everything to be okay.”

I nod. 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.

The first bell rings.

“I’ll see you later,” I say.

Such a basic promise. But to Rhiannon, it means the world.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

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."

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