Book review: Acceptance, humanity and love are the focus of 'Every Day'

By Emily Ellsworth

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Oct. 13 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

"EVERY DAY," by David Levithan, Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 336 pages (f) (ages 16 and up)

Every day "A" wakes up in a new body. Though the body changes, a few rules remain the same. The change happens at midnight, it is someone the same age as A, within close geographical proximation to where his/her host was at midnight and never is a body inhabited more than once. At 16, A has his/her body switching technique down pat. By accessing memories and building up his/her own experiences, A tries to make it through the day without causing a serious disruption to the host. That is, until A inhabits the body of Rihannon’s boyfriend, Justin, and A falls in love. No matter what, no matter the cost, A wants to be with Rihannon.

"Every Day" is a love story. A is a being without gender, body of its own or experience that lasts longer than one day. And the challenges facing A are significant and seemingly insurmountable as he/she tries to hold on to the one relationship that is most valued. There are a lot of different directions in which this story could have gone. The hosts that A inhabits are remarkably diverse covering issues like suicide, parental relationships, gay/lesbian/transexual issues, weight and body image. Some of these issues are handled more smoothly than others.

Though the plight facing A was heartbreaking, especially since there seemed to be no way out, “Every Day” left a lot of questions unanswered. Much of the plausibility of A’s travel and how much his/her hosts remembered of their day was inconsistent. Towards the end of the story a new character was introduced that raised serious questions about the nature of A’s existence that were definitely left hanging. Though much of that may be attributed to the fact that the story was much more about humanity than it was a science fiction novel, a little more clarity would have been appreciated.

"Every Day" contains sexual references, drug and alcohol use, and some heavy language.

If you go ...

What: David Levithan book signing

When: Monday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Emily Ellsworth is a blogger at Emily's Reading Room, a blog dedicated to promoting a love of young adult fiction. For book reviews, author interviews, and more about the latest in young adult fiction, visit her blog at emilysreadingroom.com.

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