David Levithan’s Every Day is an original, warming YA novel about first love and the complications that comes with it. What makes this story an original one is that the main character, “A” wakes up in a different body every morning.
Ever since A can remember, A has lived in a different body. A has no recollection of having a gender, of having a body of their own, of having their own parents, family, or friends. Instead, when A wakes up every morning, A lives each day as someone else, inhabiting their body for a day until A falls asleep and wakes up as another person. A has memories of living as a young child, living in other people’s bodies even then, and as A’s got older so have the bodies A’s inhabited. Now sixteen years old, A has been careful to never disrupt the lives of the real owners of the bodies A’s been in. This has (nearly) always been successful until A wakes up as Justin.
While inhabiting Justin’s body, A meets Rhiannon, Justin’s girlfriend. Quickly realising that Justin’s relationship with Rhiannon isn’t the happiest, A takes a risk and decides to give Rhiannon a day with Justin that’s she’ll remember as special. Normally careful to not get attached to people, A finds himself falling for Rhiannon, and regretting that he can’t stay in Justin’s body forever.
After that day, A continues to inhabit a different body every day, but instead of trying not to disrupt lives as before, A attempts to see Rhiannon as often as possible. Amy Tran skips school as A inhabits her body, and drives to Rhiannon’s school and spends the day with her instead. Nathan Daldry lies to his parents and goes to a complete stranger’s party to dance with Rhiannon in the basement. Eventually, Rhiannon realises that something’s going on, and A tells her the truth, “Every morning, I wake up in a different body.” After Rhiannon’s disbelief, her and A are left to figure out the connection between them, and what to do about it, as they navigate their way through the complications of A’s different bodies each day, Rhiannon’s already existing boyfriend, and a growing number of complications along with the growing realisation that true love doesn’t always work out.
Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, Every Day has a perfect mix of both likeable and unlikeable realistic characters, and David Levithan portrays the diversity of people extremely well. A inhabits people of different sexualities, class, weight, gender, and skin colour. The only similarities are their age and location; everyone is sixteen and lives in the US state of Maryland. This YA novel, despite A’s way of life, depicts teenage life in a realistic, original, funny, and touching way, and David Levithan has written one of the best YA books out there with Every Day.