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.