Friday, 29 July 2016

Everyday by David Levithan

For the first time in a while, I read a book which I couldn't put down. Everyday by David Levithan fits into the young adult category, which is personally the type of book I enjoy to read as I find, despite being 24,  young adult books make for easy reading and allow my fictional escape without too much extra thought. Just shy of 400 pages, this book didn't take me long to finish, partly because I found myself constantly reading. It's the first time in a long time I have been carrying a book in my handbag in case a get a spare moment throughout the day.

 The story is written in the first person, in the perspective of the character A (the name A is a little confusing for all of those PLL fans out there I know, it's a different A, I can assure you).

The main character, A does not have a body - he (or she, it's unclear) wakes up each day in a new body, the body of somebody else , who is the same age geographically close by the person of the last body he possessed. Are you with me? It's not the easiest concept to digest, however, the book is well written so when you're reading it's always pretty clear what's going on and the concept seems fairly simple. There was not a moment I was confused about what was happening despite the main character not having a body or gender of their own.

A is by far my favourite character in this novel I think partly because of how he is written, he's both completely relatable, yet totally mysterious. You just get his character although, you clearly haven't experienced a life even slightly similar, and he just seem like an all round nice person. Although you can't rely on a visual description of this character, and this person is hoping from person to person, there is not a moment the character stops being A and becomes defined by the body which he is in - the writer did an amazing job of giving A his own personality and depth.

An interesting aspect to his book which I feel many often be overlooked is the range of character you 'sort of' meet throughout. As A possesses a new body each day, and has to appear to be that person to everyone but Rhiannon (I'll get onto that in a moment) you see how different people are unintentionally (most of the time) treated by others around them and how it is a part of our society often judge other based on look, race, sexuality, and gender. It also shows the expectation of certain people.

As there are many people, many bodies, there are many issued covered ranging from sexuality, transgender, expectation, obesity and so much more. All are only touched on slightly but it gives a clear message that humans going through these things are still humans.

Of course, there is a little more to the narrative than this. As you might have guessed there is a love story. The person who changes bodies falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon whilst he possesses the body of her boyfriend, Justin. I found the initial meeting of Rhiannon and A (during which Rhiannon thought she was in the company of her boyfriend) to be written in quite a beautiful way. His feeling towards to her means he steps outside of his comfort zone to act on his emotions (we've all done that before, right?). The narrative follows A attempting some kind of  relationship with an ordinary high school girl. Of course, there are a few twists along the way. One of the quite big twist I felt a little unsure about as it seemed a little too unrealistic, whereas throughout the rest of the story it seemed somewhat believable despite how unbelievable it really is, due to how it was written.

The main characters in this book are A, of course, who I think is incredibly well written and likeable, Rhiannon whose character I didn't particular like much, I found her a little irritating and I feel her character could have been developed further, and Justin who is Rhiannon boyfriend. Justin is not supposed to a good, likeable character - which ironically I think is what I liked about his character. It seemed a little more three dimensional than Rhiannon, and I would have liked his character to play a bigger part.

I feel many other many disagree but I actually also loved the ending of this book. I felt it did A justice, however, it's not necessarily what people want for the characters.

Since reading this I have also read Another Day by David Levithan which is the same story but in the perspective of Rhiannon, I'll be reviewing it soon so keep an eye out!

I'd definitely recommend picking up this book it really makes you think and is quite entertaining.
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