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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 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.
About the Author
DAVID LEVITHAN is a children's book editor in New York City, and the author of several books for young adults, including Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (co-authored with Rachel Cohn); Will Grayson, Will Grayson (co-authored with John Green); and Every You, Every Me (with photographs from Jonathan Farmer). He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Hometown:Hoboken, New Jersey
Date of Birth:1972
Place of Birth:New Jersey
Education:B.A., Brown University, 1994
Read an Excerpt
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.
What People are Saying About This
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."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I can only give this book four stars because I wanted more. A fast read but brought some new ideas and questions about life and our necessity to judge others. I loved this book and hope to see more about the character, A. The power 'he' held but decided to follow a more compassionate path made me love 'her' more.
I have never read a book that made me think about how much I take my everyday, consistant life for granted. This is a must read and I can't wait to experience it again and again.
Simply fantastic. The book evokes questions about importance of love, future and what we are willing and able to do and give up for the significant other. Loved every word of this book!!!!! Can't wait for more :)
I bought Every Day the day it came out, I read the first page at the store and knew this was a definitely must read, it did not disappoint. This book might have just easily have become one of my favourites, it's smartly written and put together, and the idea is very original. I fell for the characters and made a connection to each of them even thought they were all so different. The book made me reconsider the most basic thing we all take for granted, waking up every morning in the same body being able to love and have those close to us every day, being able to make ties with people. This book is gripping, beautiful, but broke my heart. There are just no words to say how much I honestly recommend this book.
A Totally Exceptional Story! I've added EVERY DAY by David Levithan to my top ten list of best reads ever. It fits nicely alongside Ken Grimwood's REPLAY, Audrey Niffenegger's THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE, David Benioff's CITY OF THIEVES, and Gene Wolfe's PEACE. "A" wakes up each morning in someone else's body. That's the way life's always been. But then . . . Levithan seems to intuit the questions that arise as "A" finds his world grinding to a halt all because he falls in love. (Or is "A" a she? And does it really matter?) But the answers only lead to bigger questions. And heartbreaking decisions. Read this book. Then read it again.
I really wanted to like this book. But I just didn't. It is hard to feel invested in a main character that has little to no development, especially one that comes across as selfish for much of the book. A messes up many people's lives in the quest to make the romance work. The end felt abrupt, maybe even rushed, and left the story feeling sad and unresolved. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Although it was unique and unlike anything I have read, it wasn't what I expected at all. I rarely write reviews but this one deserved a warning. Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before you read this book.
The story is addictive but anxiety provoking because the protagonist is so alone. I kept looking for that "OH" moment when the essence or origin of the character's main issue would be explained. It never is and in the end I was left feeling unresolved and a bit sad.
The premise of this book is really interesting yet sad. The idea that you truly have no identity or family of your own is painful. I enjoyed reading about A's experiences and his conclusions about how alike we all really are. My frustration is with the predictability of the story line itself. With such an amazing concept i had hoped for more of an adventure. As it stands, it looks like just a set up for a series to come. I really would have liked to learn more about A's condition and perhaps more about his previous hosts. More info...less cliff hanger. Thank you
I thought this book had a really interesting concept but the story was really boring. There were so many exciting ways the author could have used this book concept, but he spent most of the book talking about gay, lesbian, and even transgender 15 year olds. Too boring and uninteresting for me.
Some books are very well written, but have a poor plot line, and some books have an engaging plot but are poorly written. Very rarely I can find a book that is both enticing and well written. Unfortunatly, this was not one of those books. The book is intriguing and interesting to think about. I liked the idea of someone inhabiting a new body and having to adapt to a new life everyday, I just wish that there was more of a plot to the story. I feel like the author could have done something more to the story to create a bigger conflict and keep the story moving. Overall, the story was a good read. I have always loved the books by Greene and It's a much better than most teen fiction. I am looking forward to the seqel. Hopefully, the author will add more twists and action!
The story begins with the introduction of the characters. The main character is A and he is described as a very settled person and is very emotional. He believes he is in love with Rhiannon.Another important character is Rhiannon.Rhiannon is a very shallow person and is also a girl from school that A likes. In the novel it states “she was very sad looking as if something happened to her her face had a tired look and it was hard to see she was like this the whole day”A is a type of person that changes into a different body of another person each day.One day he turns into the body of a boy named Justin which is also Rhiannon’s boyfriend.He ends up spending the whole day with her because Rhiannon thought it was just Justin. They ended up ditching school to go the beach Together and as they hung out A started to realize he was falling in love with her.In the text it also states “we had just only hung out for a couple of hours i already knew i was falling in love”. This means that he knew he was in love when they started to hang out. Although the day would end quick because he switches bodies every 24 hours. Rhiannon didn't notice it was someone else because it was still justin on the outside. I liked the book a lot i feel like this novel would reflect lives and make people rethink things. The story was also good because it went into specifics on explaining the problems in the story.Although i did dislike that sometimes when A was in someone else's body it sometimes did not go into specifics or great detail of the person’s lifestyle. Although the same goes for the plot i feel like there could have been a few more other problems than him just trying to find Rhiannon although there was a few obstacles in the way. I still think there could have been more.I do recommend this book because it can really tap into some people. It was a great novel and it was very complex and interesting. All in all i would definitely recommend this book.
This book is beautifully written. I really enjoy reading the journey That A, the main character, makes to always see the girl that he likes. This idea for the book is very unique and make us think more about how important everyday our lives is. The ending of the book broke my heart. I was really sad to read that A has sacrifice his love so that Rhiannon can have a better,clear future with the one she loves. I really hope that there will be more.
This is the first that I have read by this author. Loved it but his others do not sound as interesting.
kept me reading & wanting to read more when it was done
Since the first moment I picked up this ARC, I knew I was going to really enjoy it. "David Levithan... has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love." That's exactly what happens in this book. Along with angst, there's also some real romantic and heart-grabbing love. I was totally grabbed by this book, beyond my expectations. The reason this book really attracted me was because I can relate to the daily expectation of life to be someone... and sometimes how we crave to be someone else... to just escape, but to also come back to who we truly are. This is a very unique concept. It breaks all notions of who we are, or what we are expected to be. It spreads awareness about acceptance and of seeing beyond the shapes, colors, and even genders. This is an example of how one character can make a huge impact on our perception of life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was also an easy read.
I read this book within a day. And I cannot wait to reread it in the future, through an even deeper perspective. 'A' is the main character who falls in love with Rhiannon. While their romance starts abruptly, the book takes you on a thought-provoking, beautiful journey of life and love. While reading, take the time to ask yourself questions, and you will have a new viewpoint towards the end.
I enjoyed this read. Any book that can tie the reader and the protagonist emotionally is an excellent read.
I read 262 of the 322 pages of this book in one day. I couldn't stop because like our lives, the story is always rolling forward. Whether we, or A, likes it or not. With all of the bodies A possesses, it's easy to find one that you relate to, and gives what you feel or what you've thought some solid word and phrase. The ending leaves you breathless and furious for more but you totally understand why it ended this way. Just as A intended.
Best book I have read in a long time.
This book grabbed me from the first page and it never stopped entertaining and moving me. This will be one of my favorite reads. Treat yourself!
Have you ever had an out of body experience? Well A (I will refer to as a boy) has never had an official in the body experience. A wakes up every single day in a different person's body and no matter how hard he tries to stop the change he can never make it work. A meets this girl named Rhiannon in the first chapter and is in the body of her egotistical boyfriend. He gives her the best day of her life and she has no idea that her boyfriend is not the one being so sweet even though this new attitude is completely out of his normal element. As A keeps switching bodies he cannot help but think about Rhiannon and how perfect his day with her was. He decides to go to her school and get her email address posing as a new student. As the days go on, A and Rhiannon start emailing each other and A wants to tell her his secret but he knows she wont believe him. He does everything he can to prove it to her. She finally believes him but as crazy as their situation is, they can never truly be together and they can never tell anybody about A. Will it work out? A lesson that can be easily learned in this book is that things change all of the time and we can either accept them or change them and the decision is ours. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to not be able to put their book down. It is a quick read that is filled with mysteries in every chapter. The .only thing I do not really care for is that we as readers meet Rhiannon in the first chapter which is why I gave this 4 stars instead of 5.
Lame ending. Advertised as LGBTQ but the fact is the characters and story line don’t support the advertisement.
I could not stop reading!
One of the absolute BEST books I have EVER read, and I read a lot. It is wonderful. I finished it so fast, I couldnt put it down.