Monday, November 5, 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan (Random House - Knopf) is one of those books that might confuse genre readers. To me--to someone who's read old, classic sci-fi in periodicals on newsprint--it feels like it belongs. But since it also feels contemporary, in that way that can't quite be put into words, it's a great read for those who refuse to read one or the other.

In the middle of the night, the jump happens. Think Quantum Leap. In the morning, every morning, A is in a new body, trying to get by with a new family, attending a new school, accessing a new person's memories in order to blend in. A knows better than to get too  attached, but one day, there's Rhiannon, and she makes A want to do whatever it takes to visit her, over and over, no matter the risk to the body A is in. The problem is, while A sees Rhiannon the same way each day, Rhiannon doesn't see A the same. Body or soul?

If you could only love one--

Two interesting bits for me: first, perhaps because of the first body A is in, I felt that I was hearing a male narrator the whole time. That's not quite A as a character--A isn't gendered. The second interesting bit was a B plot involving a boy that A jumped into and who tracks A down. Even though I love ambiguous, brave endings, and Every Day has an ambiguous, brave ending, I wished for a little more clarity in the B plot at the end of the book.

Overall, though, the questions of body and attraction give the book enough of a hook in for fantasy/SF fans and those readers who identify otherwise, and I suspect it would spark a lot of intense discussion in book groups. I haven't stopped thinking about Every Day since I finished it.

This book is nominated in the YA SF/F category for the 2012 Cybils. I reviewed a copy that I owned.

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