'Every Day' // David Levithan

Saturday, 1 March 2014

The last time I read a book (or at least the last time I can remember reading a book) was last April/May time when I read 'The Fault in Our Stars'. I would describe myself as an avid literature fan, but it seems to take me a long time to find a book that I want to read. My life always seems so busy, so I don't want to waste my time on a book that will take me more effort than it's worth. I know deep down though, that this is just an excuse to cover up my laziness.

Despite this, when I was in the Trafford Centre on Wednesday with Lyndsey (there will be a separate blogpost about the past week spent with her asap), we went into Waterstones and I actually bought the first book that I picked up. It wasn't on any sort of whim; it just happened to be the first book that I came across. I read the blurb and was drawn in by the mystery that it posed:

"Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There's never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. And that's fine - until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with - every day…"

By reading this, for some reason or another, I automatically assumed that A would be in his 20s, or maybe even his 30s. I was wrong however, as A was actually only 16-years-old. I bought 'Every Day' thinking that it'd just be another book that I've bought to put amongst my collection, that I would read the first few pages of and then forgot about it for 6 months. Again, I was wrong. I started reading on Wednesday evening, and 48 hours later, I had finished. It wasn't a particularly small book; it had over 350 pages, and I am not a fast reader whatsoever. The book just successfully captured my life for two days.

What was so interesting was the lives that A got to live, even if for just one day. He talked of all the different things that he'd come to experience, to name a few - blindness, a body with an addiction to drugs, an illegal spanish maid, a girl with severe depression. The worst of all was the last one, as he'd found a journal where she'd listed ways in which to take her own life, and had written a deadline that was 6 days from when A was in her body. The remorse that he felt as he knew that he wouldn't be around in 6 days to save her was heartbreaking. He did manage to amend the situation however, by talking to her dad and telling him how she was feeling, so that when tomorrow came and A was no longer in control of her body, her dad could help the girl to get some serious help.

'Every Day' managed to tackle so many different issues to do with prejudice, simply because A'd experienced being in straight boys, straight girls, gay boys, gay girls, transgender boys, transgender girls, blacks, whites, Chinese, thin people, fat people… etc. As he did not have an original body that belonged to him, he did not identify him as male or female, as straight or gay. He took every person for what was inside of them, rather than outside of them, as it was all he'd ever known of himself.

The saddest realisation for A, was that he could never have things that everybody takes for granted. He would never have a family that he could call his own, he would never have any friends for longer than a day, he would never wake up next to someone that he loves, he would never know the meaning of normality. When he meets somebody that he wants to spend every waking minute with, it becomes a struggle to hold down a relationship with her when transforming into so many different people with so many different problems. It couldn't be done, no matter how much he wanted it or tried.

This book is a definite read, as it tackles such an abstract philosophical story with beautifully constructed words and managed to grab hold of my heart when I hadn't read a novel in almost a year. 10/10.

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