Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Every Day by David Levithan

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Every Day by David Levithan

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Welcome back to Standalone Saturday, a feature in which I highlight a book that does not have a sequel or a prequel.

REVISED 11/30/12 Now that statement must be corrected. Every Day now has a novella prequel called Six Earlier Days. Check it out here!


Today's pick:

Every Day
by David Levithan
To be published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
On August 28, 2012

Source: e-ARC from NetGalley. Here's my FTC disclosure statement.



My summary:

"I am a drifter and as lonely as that can be, it is also incredibly freeing."

Every day, "A" wakes up in a new sixteen year-old body. Every day, A has to navigate a new life, be a different person, try to fit in just enough but not too much. Because within 24 hours, A will be someone completely different. Then one day, A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Rhiannon, Justin's girlfriend. Rhiannon and A have a perfect day together, and Rhiannon says she wishes every day could be like that.
"We'd only get tired of it," I tell her. "It's best to have it just once."
But A isn't being entirely honest. For the first time, A wishes for forever.

My take: Every Day was profound, funny, thought-provoking, touching. Because A wakes up in a new body each day, the reader watches A live a wide range of human experience: male, female, attracted to boys/girls, rich, poor, black, white, Asian, overweight, happy, suicidal...  But A is deeply lonely. There is no point getting attached to friends, to family, to a place, to a life. The next day, A will be somewhere else and someone else.

Every Day is a book that subtly reminds the reader that each day is something to be treasured. It's easy to forget that. Every Day is also about the universality of love. Unless I missed something, we don't know A's gender. All we see is that A's connection to Rhiannon goes beyond the corporeal.

A book with these sort of themes could easily come off preachy or sappy. Or both. But Every Day is neither. In fact, there's a wacky and hilarious subplot involving a guy whose body A inhabited -- a guy who's onto A and out to expose the whole body-stealing thing. Every Day also gets huge bonus points for the following funny stuff: a joke based on "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams, Rhiannon's gentle mocking of the "weepy gang boys" in The Outsiders, and the discussion of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

As I got close to the end of Every Day, I began to have a feeling about how the story was going to wind up. At first I had to be dragged along, kicking and screaming, but as I clicked through the last few pages, I changed my mind. Just like everything else about this book, the ending felt absolutely right. HIghly recommended!

So dawn goes into day. Nothing gold can stay.
-- Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay

Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?
--Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Tell me in comments about a book that really moved you! Since I became a mom, I always cry uncontrollably at the end of Charlotte's Web!

39 comments:

  1. i had this one from NetGalley but haven't read it since the font is too tiny. I did request it from the library, so I look forward to reading it once it's in! This would be my first David Levithan book where he's NOT writing with someone else and I think it looks beautiful ... I can't wait!

    Great review, Jen!

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    1. It's a really interesting book. I'm still thinking about i! Hope you enjoy it.

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  2. I hadn't expected to want to read this, but you're making me reconsider that, Jen. I was afraid it was going to be rather lonely and depressing, but it sounds like there's quite a bit of humor to balance that out. Also, a discussion on The Giving Tree? Count me in! And I definitely need more stand-alones in my TBR pile. Thanks for a great review!

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    1. That was one of my favorite parts of the book -- it was very well balanced.In a serious book, I think a little comic relief is important and I was cracking up at this subplot.

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  3. I have been really wanting to read this one. And I like that there is some funny in a book like this. Great review! I can't wait to pick up a copy of this one! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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  4. Great review. I read it last week and agree with everything you said. Especially about the ending. I think anything else would have felt untrue to the book and forced. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  5. I have a copy of this and I've been wondering if there is any humor in it so I'm glad to hear that. I infinitely prefer funny stories that can help lighten the mood so I'm looking forward to enjoy this book.

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    1. Can't wait to see what you think! Lately you and I don't always agree on books but I always love reading your take!

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  6. This book sounds so good. I have been wanting to read it. I think it sounds interesting to get to see "A" as a different person and go through their life for a day. Fantastic review!!

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  7. I really want to read this book, I loved the concept when I first read it but after reading a lot of positive reviews I'm even more excited for Every Day. It seems like a beautiful book and though I was worried I might be need a bunch of tissues for this book I'm happy there's a balance and there's humour. Lovely review.

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    1. It's not depressing at all. Just really moving and thought-provoking. A great read!

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  8. This one is on my wish list as well!
    As for a book that moved me, I simply loved Between by Jessica Warman <3

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    1. Yay -- thanks for answering my question. I have not read that yet!

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  9. Great Review Jen! I really need to get to David's books! I read the Lover's Dictionary and it was really good! And Every Day looks really good! Love the concept of this book!

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  10. This book was so damn good! I had a feeling about the ending too and I cried! But I think it did end just right. It showed how truly amazing and good of a person A is. I think it still leaves hope open for A. Fantastic book well worth a re-read sometime.

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  11. EVERY DAY caught my attention a while ago. On my reading list.

    I've just finished reading THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. I cried at the end. It just tore my heart out.

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    1. That is such an amazing book!!!

      And thanks for answering my question ;)

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  12. I didn't expect humor from this one but I guess the circumstances would lend themselves to it.
    I read Every You Every Me by David Levithan - it was my first book by him and his writing style is very different and almost challenging. In a good way.

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  13. Oh - and I don't really cry over books anymore. I've kind of hardened my heart and get mad instead lol I have been known to brood for weeks over a sad ending.

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  14. This book is definitely on my TBR. I love the premise of it. Great review Jen!

    The Fault in Our Stars would be one of the books that got to me the most. Other books have affected me emotionally, but I think this at the top for me. I loved this book and even though tissues were involved, there was some great humor in it too.

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  15. Awesome review, I loved this book and my review will post tomorrow.

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  16. Great Review!

    The Shack! Omg if you haven't read that book read it! I cried so hard! It moved me and has never left me. Also Crank and Glass stuck with me not moved me but a story I will never forget.

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  17. This one sounds really good and I really, reallywant to read it!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :)

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  18. Oooh, I read the excerpt for this in the BEA Books sampler and was weary at first, but by the end of it I wanted the full story. I have it sitting on my shelf for review but haven't had a chance to get to it yet. I love discussing The Outsiders and The Giving Tree... Thanks for putting this back on my radar. Great review!
    ~ Jen @ A Book and a Latte - Book Haul & Blog News

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    1. I just found my copy of the Outsiders. SO good!!!!

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  19. I've never read Charlotte's Web, but I was very moved by The Scorpio Races. And I agree... I thought Every Day was beautiful, although I have reservations about the end.

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    1. Really -- I thought it was perfect. The end.

      And when your niece is older you must read her Charlotte's Web. Promise me!!

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  20. Man, David Levithan is just SO good. I've only read a couple of his books, but I just LOVE him! I had an idea once for a similar plot to this book, but I do realize that my story could never be anywhere as awesome as one written by David Levithan, so I'm cool with never writing that story. ;)

    I can't wait to read this one. Great review, Jen, and I love how you gave him bonus points! ;)

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    1. Ha -- he is THE David Levithan and doesn't need my measly bonus points. But I did want to point out that this book is not all seriousness. It made me laugh out loud -- on a plane :)

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  21. I find Levithan amazing, he's not afraid to break out of the YA box that so many authors stay in. I can't wait to read this!

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  22. Really good book that I couldn't put down. My teacher recommended it, and I started to read it. Really inspiring book, really recommend this book to anyone who is needs a great book, that is new and different.

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  23. I love how it portrays all the different types of people, but I really wish there was a sequel. There are lots of unanswered questions - Can he stay as one body? what happens to the souls of the people who he posseses? Is there others like him? lets hope. I really reccomend it as a read.

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  24. I love how it portrays all the different types of people, but I really wish there was a sequel. There are lots of unanswered questions - Can he stay as one body? what happens to the souls of the people who he posseses? Is there others like him? lets hope. I really reccomend it as a read.

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  25. this book made me so unbelievably sad its crazy. i often find myself feeling the same way as the characters so i cried so long and so hard while reading those last few pages. im so upset thats its a stand-alone......

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