I’m Just Not Into Romance in Book Form: A Review of David Levithan’s “Every Day”

English: A photograph of a heap of candy heart...

All the candy hearts. Yes, all of them.

I received my first Advance Reader Copy (ARC) in the mail about three weeks ago.  I subscribe to an e-newsletter called Shelf Awareness Pro.  I saw the add for “Every Day” by David Levithan and thought the premise was interesting.  A 16-year-old boy named A wakes up in a different body and a different life every day.  This is how it has always been for him.  So, he just coasts through life (or, in A’s case, multilife) and tries to make as few waves as possible.  Until he meets Rhiannon.

Ok, let me stop here.  Generally, I’m not into romance books.  But because of A’s unique situation, I decided to give it a shot.  I figured, “Hey, what if this Rhiannon chick becomes the catalyst for him to find out why he jumps from body to body and they become tangled in a search for a conspiracy?”

But this does not happen.  A is not interested in figuring out why he is the way he is or trying to stop it.  He’s not interested in finding out if he has a body all his own.  He’s only interested in seeing Rhiannon every day after he meets her.  This need comprises most of the book.  It was fun at first to see how Rhiannon would react to all of the different forms A takes.  But after a few encounters, I found these meetings to be a bit tedious.

That being said, there are a few qualities that I liked.  A says quite a few things that ring true, such as (and I’m paraphrasing here) that sometimes a moment or a situation just is and that’s ok; you can be content without struggling to change it.  He has quite a bit of experience what with living a different life every day and I found that really intriguing.  Though, since his circumstances are constantly changing, I had a hard time believing he could have all of the life experience and insight he claimed.  There is something to be said for routine and having the same parents/friends/significant other for an extended period of time.

Usually I have no stomach for romance, as I mentioned before.  But I thought the progression of A and Rhiannon’s relationship was done well.  Ultimately though, it lacked the adventure and curiosity I expected from these two youngsters.  It ended at a juncture that I thought was actually a good starting point (with A hungry to experiment with staying in a body longer than one day and delve deeper into what makes him the way he is, albeit with help from a somewhat shady character.  Lots of grist for the novelist’s mill here!). Also, there were no explosions.  I love explosions (Expendables 2 anyone?).

“Every Day” is well written and has the start of a really cool idea.  It just wasn’t fleshed out in a way that suited my taste, which doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. While it was not my cup of tea, I would recommend “Every Day” for those who like a good teenage romance story.

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