Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Plot Summary:
"A" is a being that lives in a different every body every single day. "A" is not a guy or a girl..."A" just exists. Although "A" is used to waking up in a different body, "A" doesn't become the person in his temporary body; "A" has feelings and memories all its own and can act on its own accord. What was supposed to be another day accessing its host memories and life, "A" is in the body of Justin, a guy he despises. Granted, "A" has occupied bodies that are similar to this guy, "A" didn't count on falling in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. "A" has rules and routines, but Rhiannon does something that changes everything--she has shown him the beauty of kindness, grace, and gentility. Rather than forgetting about her, "A" decides to put itself before its hosts; "A" is always careful to not upset the lives of the host he has taken it knows that its existence is temporary. However, after Rhiannon, "A" takes the biggest risk of its life: having a relationship and falling in love for the first and only time. Whether "A" was in a body of a girl named Amy, or guy named Xavier, "A" pursues Rhiannon with a determination and fire it has ever known; "A" has been in the mind and heart of Justin and knows that he does not love or appreciate her. Rhiannon has no idea what's going on, but when "A" reveals itself to her, she starts to realize that within every body "A" possess, she can actually see and feel "A" within all of them, which is scary, but comforting and exciting. While trying to be with Rhiannon, "A" is transported to many different realities that show him the many facets of life, which bring him joy and sadness. Whether it's the girl who wants to kill herself, the drug addict, the bully, the sheltered homeschooler, the gay guy, the alcoholic, the transgendered female, the bad guy, the lesbian, or the nice guy, "A" is gathering experiences that challenge him to make decisions that could affect the person "A" is in and its own existence. Although "A" tries to make Rhiannon see that Justin is not for her, "A" learns that people need to look within themselves to find the truth no matter how much we know in our experiences, minds, and hearts. Unfortunately, "A" makes a mistake in one of is his hosts (Nathan), which not only threatens what he has with Rhiannon, he learns there is something more diabolical out there that could help or hurt "A" in a way it has ever known.

Critical Evaluation:
I am seriously blown away by the complexity and the beauty of this story. Although incredibly heart wrenching, David Levithan has given readers the ultimate forbidden romance with an ending that is very bittersweet. I absolutely love the journey "A" takes through the story because it not only provides readers with an insight into their peers, they see the triumphs and struggles within each character. There were definitely a few characters who plight in life is so difficult that broke my heart. Readers will definitely learn that there are others who struggle with the same issues or may know someone; by providing us with glimpse into the very private lives of these teens, we can't help but feel something for them and want nothing more than to cheer them on and help them. I cried for Kelsey because no one could see her pain and I was just so happy and relieved that "A" was able to help her find her way back from the darkness that was consuming her and would ultimately kill her. Granted "A" is very careful with hosts and tries not to do anything that would affect the overall well-being of him or her, "A" learns that some of them need someone to help them make decisions to seek help or reassure him or her that everything will be all right in the end. With each body he inhabits, "A" learns that not every teenager is created equal; every single one of these characters has a set of challenging circumstances that reveals so much about being human. Like Kelsey, all of these individuals were dying for love, for approval, respect, and acknowledgment that they would do anything to have control over their own lives no matter what. As an adult, this story is incredibly compelling because I have seen and experienced some of these battles and teens need to know just how wonderful and special they are. Furthermore, they need to know that with every action, and reaction, there will always be a set of consequences that will affect those around them and themselves. As for "A," my hope is that he, or she, will find his/her happiness in one state and that everything he or she has experienced will not have been in vain. All we can do in life is hope for the best and no matter what happens there will always be a tomorrow that could change us forever. Be prepared to cry, or have an unwavering amount of emotions pass over and through, because this book will force us to re-evaluate everything we have and are because there could always be someone, or something, like "A" that cannot have what we have. Lastly, "A" is an example that love knows no boundaries so we should embrace the fact that love does conquers everything.

Information about the Author:
According to his website:
I find it downright baffling to write about myself, which is why I’m considering it somewhat cruel and usual to have to write this brief bio and to update it now and then. The factual approach (born ’72, Brown ’94, first book ’03) seems a bit dry, while the emotional landscape (happy childhood, happy adolescence – give or take a few poems – and happy adulthood so far) sounds horribly well-adjusted. The only addiction I’ve ever had was a brief spiral into the arms of diet Dr Pepper, unless you count My So-Called Life episodes as a drug. I am evangelical in my musical beliefs.
When not writing during spare hours on weekends, I am a publisher and editorial director at Scholastic, and the founding editor of the PUSH imprint, which is devoted to finding new voices and new authors in teen literature. (Check it out at for a full list.)  Among the authors I’ve edited and/or published under the Scholastic Press imprint are Suzanne Collins, Maggie Stiefvater, Ann M. Martin, Garth Nix, Patrick Carman, Natalie Standiford, Alice Hoffman, Gordon Korman, M. T. Anderson, Blake Nelson, Cecil Castellucci, and many, many other awesome writers.

Teen Fantasy, Teen Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Every Day:

Awards & Recognition:

School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

Kirkus Reviews Best of Teen's Books 2012

Booklist Best of Children's Books 2012

"Fresh, unique, funny, and achingly honest, Levithan brilliantly explores the adolescent conundrum of not feeling like oneself, and not knowing where one belongs. I didn't just read this book — I inhaled it."  —Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of Lone Wolf and Between the Lines

Entertainment Weekly
, August 22, 2012:
"Rich in wisdom and wit...Levithan keeps the pages turning not only with ingenious twists on his central conceit but with A's hard-earned pieces of wisdom about identity, isolation, and love. Every Day has the power to teach a bully empathy by answering an essential question: What's it like to be you and not me — even if it's just for one day?"

New York Times Book Review, August 26, 2012:
"It demonstrates Levithan's talent for empathy, which is paired in the best parts of the book with a persuasive optimism about the odds for happiness and for true love."

Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2012:
"It's the rare book that challenges gender presumptions in a way that's as entertaining as it is unexpected and, perhaps most important, that's relatable to teens who may not think they need sensitivity training when it comes to sexual orientation and the nature of true love. ‘Every Day' is precisely such a book...A story that is always alluring, oftentimes humorous and much like love itself — splendorous."

MTV Hollywood Crush, September 28, 2012:
"Thoughtful and fascinating...A study in the most real and human of concerns: the importance of empathy, the value of friends and family, and the beauty of permanence that we have the luxury of taking for granted."

Boston Globe, September 15, 2012:
"Ambitious and provocative...we’re not ready to let A go."

OUT Magazine, December 2012:
"One of the most inventive young adult novels of the year."

Romantic Times, October 2012:
"Levithan is a literary genius. His style of writing is brilliant — practically flawless... Reading A’s journey to make love last, in a world that is always changing, is an experience I hope everyone gets to share."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, September 2012:
"Every step of the narrative feels real and will elicit a strong emotional response from readers and offer them plenty of fodder for speculation, especially regarding the nature of love.”

Starred Review, Booklist, July 1, 2012:
“Levithan has created an irresistible premise that is sure to captivate readers….
[Every Day] is a study in style, an exercise in imagination, and an opportunity for readers themselves to occupy another life: that of A, himself.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2012:
“An awe-inspiring, thought-provoking reminder that love reaches beyond physical appearances or gender.”

Starred Review, Shelf Awareness, September 7, 2012:
"Levithan's unusual love story will make teens think about how the core of the soul never changes. A speaks of faith, love, dreams and death with a wisdom derived from thousands of lives visited over 16 years and firsthand proof of how much humans share rather than what sets them apart."

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2012:
"This unconventional romance considers some fascinating and unexpected questions about the nature of identity, consciousness, love, and gender...Readers will identify with A’s profound longing for connection, but they’ll also be intrigued by the butterfly effect A’s presence may have on numerous other teens who make brief but memorable appearances."

The Horn Book, November 2012:
"Brilliantly conceived...[Levithan] shapes the narrative into a profound exploration of what it means to love someone."

Letter Blocks, the BN Parents & Educators blog, August 23, 2012:
"A definite crowd-pleaser."

The L Magazine, August 29, 2012:
"The premise allows for stimulating parallels: A’s experience is both like the writer’s, who inhabits the consciousnesses of random characters, and the adolescent’s, who tries on myriad identities." 

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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