Thursday, October 23, 2014

Every Day by David Levithan

This is the first post I've written about an actual book in quite a while.  It's also one of the few books I've read this year, and the first book I read in 24 hours in a long while.  I saw David Levithan's Every Day over the summer in a booklet for parents with book recommendations for kids, and I finally checked it out from the library this past week.

I could not put it down.  I read until 2am the night I started it, even though I had to be up early.  And then I finished it the next evening, roughly 24 hours after starting it.

It felt really good to get that hooked on a book again.  I haven't been reading much this summer.  And this was an excellent book t reintroduce me to that.

The main character in the book, A (whose name you don't actually learn until quite a ways through the book), wakes up every single morning in a different child's body, always the same age as he is, but also always very different people: boy/girl, gay/straight, wealthy/poor, healthy/sick.  He actually doesn't know if he's a he or a she, but I'm calling him a he because that's the first body he inhabits at the very beginning of the book.

In that boy's body, he meets the boy's girlfriend and falls in love.  He knows the boy is emotionally abusive to her, and something about that, or about her, inspires him to get more involved than he usually does.  Normally he tries not to get too attached or do anything out of the ordinary for that person throughout the course of the day, but this time he breaks the rules and falls in love, and it impacts everything that happens afterward during the course of the book.

Besides the fact that he's trying to get back to her the entire book, the nature of the story asks some difficult questions, and offers up some powerful answers.  What is it we love about someone, their looks or their personality?  How much of someone's personality is affected by their physical body, things they just can't change about themselves?  How much responsibility do we bear to do the right thing, even if it means we can't have what we want?

It's a powerful, thought-provoking book, and the ending doesn't disappoint, either.  I highly recommend this book!

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