Thursday, March 14, 2013

Every Day: Review

(X-Posted at FanSci)

I forget where I first heard about David Levithan's new novel, Every Day.

Of course I knew who Levithan was -- he was the other half of the team that wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the book that introduced me to John Green.

(That's also an excellent book, btw.)

Anyway, for a couple weeks or it might be months now buzzing around in the back of my mind has been this notion that I ought to get around to reading Every Day. Then I read on someone's blog (and I forget whose, and a quick google search is helping me not at all) that they were recommending it for a Hugo nom, so I went over to Amazon and downloaded the free sample to my Kindle.

Then I downloaded the rest.

Then I stayed up until two in the morning reading it.

Because wow.  It's just that good.

For those of you who haven't heard anything about it, the premise is this person (we'll go with person jumps, every night at midnight, into a new body.  So they (we'll go with the pronoun they, since A. as they call themself has no real gender) spend each 24 hour period in a new body.  A can "access," as A calls it, the memories of their new body, to a certain degree (for instance, A can remember what the new person did in fifth grade, but if the new person speaks Portuguese, A can't understand it; A can remember what A has learned from body to body -- A's own freshman physics lessons -- but can't play tennis even if the person they're jumped into can).

The person A jumps into is always, more or less, the same age as A -- five when A is five, sixteen now that A is sixteen -- but otherwise it varies: gender, race, religion, physical types, all these vary.  This is one of the most interesting parts of the book, A's view from the inside of all these lives.  The other big plot, though, A falling in love with Rhiannon, a girl they meet in the first jump -- that's the big strength of the book.

A tells Rhiannon the truth, but that -- of course -- doesn't lead to instant bliss.

What do you do when you love someone, and every day you're someone else -- or at least your body is?

On one of the jumps, A jumps into the life of a girl who is in a deeply lovely relationship with another girl.

"If I woke up in a different body every day -- if you never knew what I was going to look like tomorrow -- would you still love me?" A asks.

"Even if you were green and had a beard and a horrible male appendage between your legs.  Even if your eyebrows were orange and you had a mole covering your entire cheek and a nose that poked me in your eye every time I kissed you.  Even if you weighed seven hundred pounds and had hair the size of a Doberman under your arms.  Even then, I would love you."

"Likewise," I tell her.

It's so easy to say, because it never has to be true.

The book is full of great moments like that -- moments that just punch you in the heart.

This one is highly recommended.

Here's a short story from the world of the book.


Athena Andreadis said...

Ever heard of a TV series called Quantum Leap?

delagar said...

Hah, yes. But this is a different story, really. I promise.