I am a firm believer that each and every book in this world can teach you something valuable if you give it the power to do so. Some books teach us more than others and it takes a great appreciation to walk away from a fine piece of literature having picked up something beneficial along the way. In a likely manner, it also takes a vast understanding to acknowledge these lessons if what you are reading is the first novel by a certain author.
I am a person who likes to stick to what I know and relish in the words of my favourite authors. Never one to stray too far, I tend to stick to the same fictitious niche of books and so have a firm idea of what I like and what I don’t. When I spotted the fluorescent orange cover of ‘Every Day’ by David Levithan in Waterstone’s I was instantly attracted to the table in which it lied upon. Initially dubious to buy the book, I spent a long time studying the blurb. The plot to Every Day was like nothing I had ever read before and, of course, curiosity overwhelmed me and I purchased my first piece of David Levithan literature.
The story follows the life and love of A. A doesn’t have a proper name or a family, he isn’t even sure if he’s a boy or a girl. All A knows is that everyday he wakes up in a different body and it is his responsibility to ensure that he doesn’t disrupt the life of the person whom’s body he is in for the day. He never gets to be the same person twice and so he doesn’t have any real friends either. A has learnt to accept this ‘life’ and has also learned that he must be careful not to get attached to people because there is no way anybody can possibly find out that he shifts bodies every day.
Undoubtedly A wants nothing more than to have his own body, his own family, his own friends and his own life. He aches to love someone like everyone else, and, up until meeting Rhiannon, never has. When A wakes up Justin’s body everything is normal. He accesses Justin’s memories to determine exactly what type of person he is. Justin is a person who takes his girlfriend, Rhiannon, for granted. He is cruel to her and whilst in Justin’s body, A can sense that this behavior is hurting Rhiannon internally. A breaks all the rules that day and decides to give Rhiannon a day that Justin never would, a day that is totally out of character and disruptive to Justin’s mundane existence. Rhiannon is truly appreciative of this but is unaware that the person she is spending time with is not Justin. A finds himself falling in love Rhiannon which poses the problem: does he tell her about his life and the switching bodies or allow her to believe that her spiteful boyfriend actually has a heart, if only for a day?
A eventually decides that he should tell Rhiannon what he truly is and that Justin is not what he seems and will never treat her the way she deserves. At first Rhiannon is skeptical and thinks it’s some sort of prank, but over time she realises that A is not joking. He has fallen in love with someone he can never be with, and she has equally fallen in love with him. Obviously a major predicament ensues the rest of the book but I don’t want to reveal the rest of the plot to you so you shall have to read it yourself to discover what happens next.
Soppy cliches never have appealed to me and Every Day screams soppy at the top of its lungs. However it is not the usual vomit-a-little-and-swallow-it-back-down kind of soppy. It’s the kind of soppy that is tolerable and that is written in such a way you find yourself getting lost in the world of the character. Whilst reading this book I found myself thinking about ways in which I wanted it to end whilst in the shower and wondering what happens next whilst eating my dinner. That’s how I knew it was a good book. I had a hunger to read on and A was constantly on my mind. I wanted the best for him and wished for nothing more than a happy ending for himself and Rhiannon. The plot was fresh; the characters were rare and exclusive. Most of all, the lesson I learned from this book was unexampled.
I learned that whilst some people have “the luxury of time to smooth (things) out” others do not and that we should treat everyone with the partiality for respect they deserve for you never know when someone better might come along and treat a person with a greater devotion than yourself. Conjointly, I also learned one of my most precious lessons ever from this book. I learned that a lot of the time we settle for what’s okay and don’t strive for anything better simply because what we have is all that we seemingly need. A taught me that no matter how difficult the circumstances, you can always find a way to seek what you warrant because you only have one life, and one chance to get to where you want to be.
I applaud David Levithan for this credible binding of pages. It’s truly outstanding for a first read and I absolutely crave more.
Featured image: LetArt Grow