by <a href="http://areadinglife.com/author/jennifermuse/" target="_blank">Jennifer</a>, Everett Public Library staff
There are too many days that I wake up and wish I wasn’t me. There are too many days that I wish I could be someone else. It would be nice to bounce around in new skin for a while, just for a respite from being myself. But I know I’d still be me.
That’s the problem.
The main character in Every Day by David Levithan understands.
“A” wakes up in a different body every day. He doesn’t know where he’ll wake up or whose body he’ll be using. One morning he might wake up as a 250 pound football jock. The next morning as a Goth girl. He’s always 16 and he always tries to be asleep when he slips into another body. If he’s awake he feels like he’s literally being ripped out of his skin. One day he might wake four hours from where he was the day before. Sometimes it’s only 45 minutes away. He doesn’t know why certain things are the way they are. Sounds a little confusing, huh? It’s not at all. That’s just my writing.
But one morning he wakes up as a dirt bag who treats his girlfriend Rhiannon like the white stuff on bird poop. “A” doesn’t get attached to anyone because there’s no point in making friends or falling in love when you wake up every morning in a different body. Kinda hard to make plans to go to the movies when you don’t know where or who you’ll be.
“A” sees dirt bag’s girlfriend and starts to feel something he doesn’t want to:
But there’s something about her-the cities on her shoes, the flash of bravery, the unnecessary sadness-that makes me want to know what the word will be when it stops being a sound.
They ditch school to go to the beach. Rhiannon senses that this isn’t her boyfriend saying nice things to her, holding her hand, listening, really listening, to her when she’s talking. They part ways. “A” knows he’s probably never going to see her again so he writes down their day together. He’s slipped into so many bodies that his memories get blurry.
The good thing is he can access certain memories and facts from each body. He made the mistake of eating McDonald’s while in a vegetarian’s body without checking first. That poor girl’s colon was probably never the same. He almost died when he was nine by eating a strawberry that the body he was occupying was allergic to.
“A” decides he’s going to keep his connection to Rhiannon. He spills his story to her. She finds it hard to believe except here’s the proof: each time he shows up to find her, no matter what body he’s in she knows it’s him. The intensity shooting between the two of them is hard to miss. I’d hate to get caught in those cross-hairs. Like a bug getting zapped in one of those zappy bug thingies.
One body “A” occupied believes he was possessed by demons and that’s why he can’t remember anything from the day before. This opens a new can of “say what?” Other people start to come forward about their time loss. “A” might be found out. But can he find others who are like him? Maybe. Maybe he’s all alone. Maybe he’s the only soul who can travel body to body.
Don’t let this quick read fool you into thinking it’s fluff. It’s not. The writing is so lyrical it almost hurts. It shines so bright like the end of the day when the sun comes in a west facing window and blinds everything in its path. See? I’m kind of a writer. Every Day is one of those books I wish I had written.