Book Reviews: Another Day and Every Day, by David Levithan

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The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

Picked this ARC up at Book Con which was part of Random House’s First In Line giveaway.

I was relieved to read in the author’s note that this is not a sequel to Every Day, which I had not read, but a companion or “twin”. It’s the same time period but another character’s first person perspective. Another Day can be read on it’s own or first. Although I am sure the author prefers both novels gain readership. 😉

I could not put Another Day down. I felt a lot of nostalgia about my teen years and connected with Rhiannon.
On one particular evening I was very emotional. I decided to read before bed as a way to escape, only it was Chapter 10. I ended up crying the whole night, but I was also relieved by the outcome.

Book jackets always say not to quote from the ARC and to check the final print, but I am going to quote it anyway. This line really got the tears to stream down my face:

“Most of the time when we think we’re looking for death, we’re really looking for love.” (page 112)

There were funny moments too. I found myself laughing out loud when Rhiannon thought about turning off the rap music and putting on Adele at the party. I was amused by the current pop-culture references. I was excited when A recommended The Book Thief to Rhiannon. I loved the relationships Rhiannon had with her close friends. They felt authentic and gave her perspective.

The gradual process in which Rhiannon fell for A was believable. She feels a connection but is also cautious and questions it. The dilemma between being attracted to A’s personality and soul verses what body A was inhabiting that day was really well done. Physical attraction and mental/emotional attraction go hand in hand. You can love a person’s personality with your whole heart, but if the physical chemistry is not there then you cannot force it.

Rhiannon is not perfect and she does make a rookie mistake. I am not a fan of Justin at all. He’s a jerk who could use some therapy and anger management, but he didn’t deserve to be cheated on. I’d like to think that if she weren’t sixteen and in her first relationship she would have been as honest with Justin as she was with A and ended it with him. (I loved her friend Rebecca’s advice and wisdom.)

Where Justin was too cold and distant I thought A could be too needy. I bought Every Day, so to see this story through A’s eyes will be interesting.

It definitely feels like the end was left open for a sequel. I would like to see what happens and get some answers about how and why A jumps from person to person daily.

5 out 5 Sandcastles. 
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I wake up.

Immediately, I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body – opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.

Every day I am someone else. I am myself – I know I am myself – but I am also someone else.

It has always been like this.

I liked the insight A had into different lives and the little nuances that were noticed and the emotions that A felt when in their bodies. It’s a lonely existence. I felt bad for A when attending a funeral for the first time, realizing there would be no mourners at his/her own death. A will never have roots anywhere, no family, friends or possessions.

It’s a lonely existence, so I can understand A’s rebellion when disrupting the lives of the people A took over to go see Rhiannon. I can understand why s/he became needy and obsessive about her. But I also became annoyed with A when s/he was being idealistic about how a relationship would work. It was unfair to Rhiannon and to the lives of those people. I also was annoyed when A couldn’t understand that Rhiannon couldn’t force herself to be attracted to the body even if the same person was inside. Physicality does also matter.

Until A learns more about the body jumping and figures out a way to make it stop promises cannot be kept. What I do like about A is the guilt that is felt when s/he does something wrong and when a challenge comes up A does or at least tries to do the right thing.

I enjoyed Another Day a bit more than it’s predecessor Every Day, maybe because I read it first, or because it was a female point of view. Maybe with Every Day I was expecting A to find out more answers from Poole about the body jumping. Though the way Every Day ends a sequel is expected that explores the science of the condition rather than a romance story.

The edition I bought had six additional prequel stories. I liked those stories very much. They all had little lessons and interesting observations.

I loved how both novels were very quotable. I like to bookmark quotes.

“Some days are like this. And the only way to get through them is remember that they are only one day, and that every day ends.”

I give Every Day 4 out 5 Fortune Cookies.

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