My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have heard a lot about this book. It is a beautifully elegant hook. A. wakes up in a different body every day. A. is sixteen always, but his ‘host’ may be fat, thin, short, tall, black, white – anyone really. And every day, his life starts over. Every day until he meets a girl called Rhiannon, and falls in love.
I keep thinking of poetics, when I think of Every Day, of the poetics of prose and of the light, graceful way Levithan uses words.There’s such an art to his writing that makes me recommend him solely on that, if I have to. I think it’s an important book. And I’m glad books like this exist, really, books that push at the edge of literature and define their space by making their space.
But it is interesting to, to me, that A. is not quite … likeable. I don’t think he’s presented to wholly be likeable, which I think is an important distinction to make at this point. He is presented as a real person. I admire that. There’s a lot of ethical and moral and social issues presented in this book, quite subtly and gracefully so, and throughout it all Levithan never forgets the truth of A. regardless of what that truth happens to present itself as during the book.
There’s elements in Every Day that remind me of things like The Time Traveler’s Wife and Quantum Leap, but it’s not derivative. It just sort of is, which again bears great weight to Levithan’s skill as an author. The space that Every Day occupies is a sort of artful, liminal space. It doesn’t pretend to solve the problems. It doesn’t pretend to explain things that don’t need explaining. It simply lives, very much, very viscerally in the moment.
And I think that there is something rather beautiful about that.