David Levithan has an event in Dublin tomorrow – and I am very excited! The first David Levithan book I read was Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, co-written with Rachel Cohn. It’s a lovely Christmas read, with strong characters (especially Dash) and fast pacing. My favourite David Levithan book is Every Day, which was recently released in the UK and Ireland. Here’s my (gushing) review:
Once in a while, you come across a book that makes you think ‘wow’. For me, Every Day was most definitely one of those books. A inhabits a different body every day, moving from person to person, shifting between different genders, races, personalties and sexualities. A has a strict policy of trying not to intervene with the host’s life, to leave no trace. That is, until A meets Rhiannon.
You may have noticed the above paragraph seems slightly stilted, it does to me anyway. The problem here is that I realised I had automatically been considering A as a male. I was struggling against writing ‘he’, because if there’s one thing that Every Day shows, it’s the multiplicity and fluidity of gender. A never remains in any body for more that one day, and is almost like a consciousness – can a gender label even be applied in this case? Who’s to say A’s not a ‘she’? Or something else entirely?
Part of what is so stunning about Every Day is the array of characters Levithan has created. Each has a distinct personality, and it is fascinating to see A come to grips with their different situations. In having so many characters, Levithan covers many issues, but in a way that does not come across as preachy. Levithan is known for his LGBT YA fiction, but he also tackles such issues as the treatment of immigrant workers, family problems, addiction and self-harm, among others. This made Every Day a very thought provoking read, and it succeeds because it comes across as being so honest. A’s voice is strong throughout, as are the lives of the host characters of each chapter. Levithan writes beautifully – I could create a whole blog post just of quotes from Every Day!
Here is one of my favourites:
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much for fantastic or marvellous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.”
“I can see that the sadness has returned. And it’s not a beautiful sadness- beautiful sadness is a myth. Sadness turns our features to clay, not porcelain.”
There are so many more wonderful quotes from this book. Seriously, just read it. It’s beautiful, and will make you think, and move you.
I love the UK/Irish cover. Yes, it is very bright, and gives off a somewhat luminous glow, but it is eye-catching and has a very clever design. The cover is not unlike that of Will Grayson, Will Grayson – a book Levithan wrote with John Green, and its design and typography also recall John Green’s other works. What I loved most about the cover, however, is the two figures. The male silhouette is made up of A’s narration as Justin, the female silhouette tells of experiencing a day in Leslie’s life.
A sequel, Rhiannon, has been announced for 2015. As of yet, I do not know whether this book takes place during the events of Every Day, or after the end of this novel. One thing is for sure though – I cannot wait to read it!