Sunday, November 18, 2012

Every Day

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Inhabited Bodies

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I read David Levithan's latest book in one day. Granted, it's not a mammoth of a novel, but it isn't short by any means either. To me, this is an indication of how good it is. 

The plot is strange. It recalls to mind Stephenie Meyer's The Host and Quantum Leap and Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall. Despite the strange premise, Levithan makes it believable and his protagonist is sympathetic and you want him to succeed and to figure out a way for things to work. 

It starts off without any messing around. A, our protagonist, is in the body of Justin. Right away he meets Rhiannon and finds himself connecting and attaching to her when he used to keep himself within the confines of his host's daily lifestyle. With Rhiannon, A starts breaking his own rules. She even becomes the first person he tells about what he is and what he does. Their mutual attachment is believable because Rhiannon doesn't give in right away. Her reactions are just what I would expect a normal person to do if faced with this situation. Disbelief, fascination, disgust, and so on. 

When it comes down to it, Every Day is a fantastic commentary on the human condition. This person sees life through the eyes of a different person every day. He understands bodily limitations because he's felt every single one. He understands addictions. He understands attraction and how it is not limited to gender. At the core of this is a love story. A and Rhiannon's love transcends rules and order, defies what we believe, because it shows that you can fall for what's inside a person, not what's inside. One of my favorite quotes from the book illustrates this point:

"What is it about the moment you fall in love? How can such a small measure of time contain such enormity? I suddenly realize why people believe in deja vu, why people believe they've lived past lives, because there is no way the years I've spent on this earth could possibly encapsulate what I'm feeling. The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations--all of them rearranging themselves so that this precise remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be."

I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a unique love story with incredibly surprising depth and really good prose. It's a fast, quick-paced read so don't be scared to pick it up. I gave it a generous 4.5 out of 5 Inhabited Bodies. 

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