This is not really a review just so thoughts about the book Everyday.
I started listening to to this book Every Day by David Levithan a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing it. Every Day is about a person who every day wakes up in someone else’s body. Always someone around their age, never the same person. They call themselves A. A has been hopping from body to body their entire life. One day A wakes up in Justin’s body and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. Most of the book is about A revealing themselves to Rhiannon and trying to have a relationship with her despite changing bodies every day.
I’ve been mostly enjoying Every Day. A is agender and pansexual. They have no problem with whatever gendered body they wake in. Through the multiple bodies A inhabits we get glimpses of different lives. Twin brothers, a suicidal girl, a gay boy, a trans guy, a runner, an alcoholic, a immigrant house cleaner, and more. I’ve felt like the author showed me these lives, even the flawed ones, fairly with little judgment. There’s minor digressions about gender that aren’t bad. It’s not perfect but it doesn’t hit any major sour notes for a while.
And then we got to the Fat Body, three hundred pounds, and there is nothing but judgment. Suddenly A is disgusted with the body. It’s too heavy to move, every motion is an effort. The body is ‘sphere’. We’re told the owner of the body gave up on being skinny. A considers implanting a memory of the day that would scare the body’s owner skinny. Then later the date with Rhiannon is all about how fat A is and Rhiannon “can’t see” A in that body(this has never come up before even when A has been in a girl’s body). Being fat is presented as the worst thing A has ever been.
Just after the fatphobic chapter, the story take a bit of a turn toward resolving the main plotline of the novel and a couple of minor plotlines. I honestly wasn’t happy with the ending. I’ll write more about the ending under a cut for spoilers.
Overall I liked Everyday. Even through I spent half this post grumbling about what I didn’t like, I did enjoy the majority of the book. It’s unfortunate that it’s the ending that disappointed me. If it had just been the fatphobic chapter I might have given the book another listen one day and skipped that chapter but knowing that the ending is unsatisfying, at least to me, kind of kills that desire.
My thoughts on the ending under the cut.
The ending is A ends up in a guy they thinks is perfect for Rhiannon. A engineers a “first date” with the body and Rhiannon and plans to plant a memory of the guy meeting Rhiannon and having a great day with her. This is A’s way of making sure Rhiannon is taken care of. I really didn’t like that A just decided this for her. It feels a bit controlling on A’s part. Like they don’t trust Rhiannon to find a new boyfriend on her own. I really would have preferred if the story just ended with their failed romance and them going their separate ways.
Also I felt a bit betrayed by the narrator near the end. The novel is in first person present tense but near the end there is an email exchange whose content is purposely hidden from the reader in a way that is a deliberate attempt to build suspense. To be a little more specific, the exchange is between A and another person who can switch bodies like A but who has learned to stay longer than one day. A is asking how to stay in one body and the other person tells them. This is not revealed until later. In the moment it is conveyed as, “I sent an email. They replied. I knew what I had to do.”(not an actual quote) It feels cheap. At this point of the novel I’m hooked, even after that chapter that almost made me stop, I still want to know what happens next. I don’t want the hand of the author blocking the scene from view just to add suspense.
So yeah that’s all I have to say on that.