Every Day

As with Gone Girl, I feel like I’m making a fairly unoriginal recommendation here, but Every Day by David Levithan is so good that I will be the latest in a long line of people saying how awesome it is. In fact, when Anna and I saw John Green speak recently, he even specifically recommended this book to the audience. (He and Levithan wrote another awesome book together called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, so they’re clearly friends, but it’s a good recommendation nonetheless.)

Okay, stay with me here, because this is going to sound odd. Every Day is about a teenager who wakes up every morning in the body of someone else. Sometimes it’s a boy, sometimes it’s a girl, but it’s always a teenager, and always someone within a few hours of the person the day before. On one day the main character (who has no name and no gender) falls in love with a girl, and after a lifetime of floating through bodies without leaving a trace, there is suddenly a reason to try to take control and get back to this girl.

Now, this sounds pretty high-concept and I held off reading this book for a while–it sounded sort of overdone and like it would be a slog. But the writing is clean and elegant, and the conceit of changing bodies every day comes to feel normal very soon, allowing the reader to focus on the story. Levithan not only makes his central idea functional, but by the end of the book it seems almost normal–plausible, even.

It’s not a cheery book–I’m going to call it “tinged with sadness”–but it’s both a good story and an impressive feat of writing. Made even more impressive because reading it doesn’t feel like it takes any effort at all.

3 comments on “Every Day

  1. Rebecca says:

    That’s a very cool premise. And one that could very easily have been written poorly, but if it’s good, then it has been really good. Switching bodies daily would definitely put a strain on any long-term relationships. Is there any sense of how long the main character has been alive for? And is there the expectation that as time goes by, the bodies he/she switches into will be progressively older? And what’s the experience of the people whose bodies are inhabited for a day? The more I think about it, the more I think I really do need to read this book.

    • Kinsey says:

      I could answer all those, but the fact that you have all these questions is a sign you should just read it. It’s a quick YA read, too! I think you’d like it. It is very well done.

      • Anna says:

        I think it is a good sign that you could answer all of those questions, and that they don’t just gloss over those issues in the book!

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