In this touching, lovely novel, David Levithan explores issues such as identity, body image, young love, and the confusion of adolescence. Every Day follows the life of A, who wakes up in the body of someone new every day. Nothing is constant in A’s life, and this is the way it has always been. A tries their best to keep the lives of the people whose bodies they inhabit as constant as possible in the short time they are living their lives. However, when A wakes up in Justin’s body, something is different. A meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon, and instantly falls in love. A chooses to break all of their rules about using someone else’s body for their own means, decides not to act as Justin would, and takes Rhiannon on a romantic date to the beach. From that day on, A makes an effort to use the body in which they wake up to find Rhiannon and make an impression upon her. Eventually, he goes to a party in the body of Nathan, a clean-cut, intelligent student, in order to get to Rhiannon, and begins an email relationship with her. However, when the real Nathan wakes up on the side of the road, he tells the press that he has been possessed by the devil, and pursues A with a vengeance. A must convince Rhiannon to love them for who they are without regard to the body they inhabit while fending off Nathan’s spotlight.
David Levithan’s ability to tackle tough subjects in such an honest and simple way is unparalleled in young adult literature. The fluidity of A’s identity is beautiful and unique, and could teach young people an important lesson about diversity and acceptance. A inhabits the bodies of people of all genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, weights, appearances, and more. We see into the lives of a drug addict, a suicidal girl, an obese boy, and even Rhiannon herself.
A’s eloquent voice makes poignant comments on our standards of beauty, the power of love, and the anguish of unreturned affection. Every Day is a compelling story with elements of social critique, a fantastic bodiless protagonist, and wonderful storytelling techniques. I read this novel very quickly because of the simple prose and page-turning plot twists. Levithan’s story is easily relatable because of the faceless, fluid voice of A, even when the concept of a bodiless soul is not realistic.
I would recommend Every Day to young adults interested in exploring their own identity and what that means to them.