Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
It’s taken a week to wrap my thoughts around this smartly written story. This is my attempt to write a review, though, my feelings are still all over the place. I gobbled this up. Every page. Every sentence. Every word. It is highly quotable, and thought provoking, and I really wanted to love it. I almost did.
A (yep, that’s the character's name) wakes up in a different body every day. A is not a male. A is not a female. A cannot be defined physically. A’s mind is all A has, and that once was enough, but then A meets Rhiannon, the girl who changed everything. The concept was new and interesting. It held my attention throughout the book. However, due to the number of questions left unanswered I was unable to sympathize with A’s situation and found myself more frustrated than fascinated. The story presents an opportunity to find out what A is, but that’s never explored. In fact, I’m unsure why Nathan and Reverend Poole were even introduced to the reader if Levithan had no intention of offering up more information on A’s mysterious existence. Plot filler?
I could have looked past the falsehood of depth if that were my only qualm with the book. From the beginning we meet a variety of hosts for A. An unattentive boyfriend, a druggie, a beauty queen, a gay boy, a transgender boy, a girl suffering from a hangover, plain Jane, a set of twins, and Finn. Finn, who I felt more for than any other character in this entire story because his characters was used as a shaming device.
“Finn Taylor has retreated from most of the world; his size comes from negligence and laziness, a carelessness that would be pathological if i had any meticulousness to it. While I’m sure if I access deep enough I will find some well of humanity, all I can see on the surface is the emotional equivalent of a burp.”
Levithan had me up until that point. I could have looked past the holes in the story, A’s questionable morals, the fact that I could never understand why A loved Rhiannon so fiercely, so fast, but he ruined it for me. For a character who preaches morality A is harshly judgmental, not to mention stalkerish. For a book written to push acceptance, Levithan missed the mark and instead merely pushed his own agenda.
So why the 3.5 star rating? Because I didn’t hate it. I loved looking into the lives of these other people through the eyes of someone else, someone *inside* of them. I loved that he used words that everyone knows, but doesn’t use in every day conversation. Lastly, I loved the ending. There were a few ways it could go, but if the love A claimed to have for Rhiannon was true then A would want her to be happy above all. It really couldn’t have ended in a better fashion.
If you can look past the lack of explanation for A and why A body jumps, if you can read this without feeling personally victimized by the main character’s prejudice then I highly recommend this book.
Until Next Time!