Call it a soul, the self, the creamy center, whatever it is that makes us us, it has to be more than just the sum of our external characteristics. So says David Levithan in his incredible new novel, Every Day, his best one yet, which is saying something. In Every Day, A wakes up every morning in a new body, flying through life a day a time and surviving by being unattached and disconnected from the lives he inhabits. Until A meets Rhiannon and everything changes. A wants more than a day to be with her.
Told in Levithan’s signature style with plenty of humor and creative details, Every Day is more than simply a gorgeous story of impossible love. Levithan challenges assumptions about identity, orientation, and humanity by creating a likable character who is a being with a vivid personality without the standard identifying traits that would make readers label A as either “X” or “Y.” Most importantly, Levithan pokes at gender roles and expectations; A has inhabited both girls and boys – and someone who is biologically female and gendered male, but remains unequivocally A. In the same way, love itself is not restricted by gender, as A says, “I have never fallen in love with a gender. I have fallen for individuals.” With lines like this, it’s no wonder than I was quickly running out of cupcake sticky notes (pictured above) while reading Every Day. And can I tell you how validating it was to discover that like me both A and Rhiannon dislike The Giving Tree, arguing that “love means never having to lose your limbs”? I could share dozens of delicious and heartbreaking quotes that prove that this book is worth devouring in one sitting, but it is the pieces of the whole that make this book the triumph – and probable award winner – that it is. But I will end with a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery that seems suitable for this book: “It is only with the heart that one sees rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” A understands this. Hopefully we can, too.
In honor of this wonderful book (and my return to the blogosphere) I created a book trailer for Every Day, which I hope will help promote it. (See if you can spot the cameos from Levithan's other books.) I hope you enjoy it!