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Book Review: “Every Day” by David Levithan

The Young Adult section is becoming something of a boon to teenage readers. The aisles are flowing with covers that are packed full of roses and shirtless vampires, usually with a tagline that say something along the lines of, “She wanted love. He wanted her blood.” While scanning the aisles of a bookstore, searching for anything else, I found a cover that was slightly different. It displayed a young man floating in the air, far beneath a young woman. I immediately put it down, assuming it was like the rest. But after another 10 minutes of a fruitless search, I decided to buy the book. It is called “Every Day,” and it has been one of the most captivating books I have read.

Written by David Levithan, the novel is undeniably a romantic tale, but is packed with twists and turns that make it an enjoyable read for almost anybody. The fascinating concept that Levithan has based his story around is a peculiar choice, even for the genre of fantasy. The plot revolves around a teenager named “A,” who is forced to travel between bodies every day. Whenever “A” wakes up, he/she needs to quickly adjust, as he/she will have to live the life of that person. One day, our protagonist finds himself controlling the body of a rude boy named Justin. Despite a vow to never interfere with the person’s life he/she inhabits, “A” ends up falling in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon, who Justin emotionally abuses. After “A” gives her the perfect day, he/she comes to the realization that Rhiannon’s heart will be broken after Justin returns to his bullying ways. “A” continuously returns to her in different bodies, and eventually reveals the truth about his/herself and how it wasn’t Justin that was so kind to her that day. The rest of the book involves the blossoming romance between “A” and Rhiannon, and how it is a struggle for both of them to see each other, due to the freakish circumstances.

The book is extremely well written, and is quite often very humorous. “A” wakes up one morning as a Mexican maid, and a metal-head ready to fly out to Hawaii the next. The story is told through these side stories, each lasting a chapter. Many of the stories feature “A” trying to prevent any tragedies that would’ve occurred had he not been there. For example, in one chapter he needed to prevent a girl’s suicide; in another he had to stop a drug addict from overdosing. While these aren’t exactly cheery topics for a teen love story, Levithan’s writing works so well that he creates juxtaposition between the bliss of love and the anguish of life.

“Every Day’s” surreal concept puts it on par with some of the fantasy classics from the early 20th century, while it is also a modern day love story of Shakespearean level. While it can still appeal to the “Twilight” crowd, this genre-smashing book defied all my expectations, and stands out among the sea of novels aimed to this demographic. If you’re anything like me and enjoy reading a variety of styles, you will find yourself indulging in Levithan’s work every day.

Noah Towne is a sophomore at Clarence High School.