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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Playing Catch Up! Every Day by David Levithan




Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch Up Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

Every Day (Every Day #1) by David Levithan 
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: August 28, 2012
Publisher: 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.

Every Day is the first book in the Every Day series by David Levithan. A is a genderless entity that hops uncontrollably into a different life every day. I though this story would be like a Quantum Leap kind of thing where A had a mission or helped people in each life. That was one of my favorite shows growing up. It wasn't like that. 

A falls instantly in love with Rhiannon, and I'm not sure why. She seemed like a nice enough person, but she was hung up on Justin through a good portion of the story, so I never felt any actual chemistry from her towards A. As far as A? It could have been love. It also could have been obsession, and I can see how Rhiannon or the idea of her would be something he'd try to hang on to. There is a big thing missing in his life. Yes, I'm calling him a he for now. Don't jump all over me because I picked a gender, instead of awkwardly typing "A" over and over again. I digress... So, yeah. A has a big gap in his life where love should be, but since he's someone different each day, how can he truly find that along with so many other things we take for granted in every day life? It'd be pretty impossible. But, he became almost stalker-ish at times too. Not to mention once he starts re-finding Rhiannon every day, he leaves his host bodies in some form of trouble as he makes them skip school, or miss airplanes, and so on. Not an ideal situation for either party.

In the beginning, he respected the bodies he was in. I enjoyed when he'd think about "the body" and what it needed as a body or a person. Each body felt different. Each body looked different, sounded different, smelled different. Though A couldn't access the host's emotions, he sometimes felt different in certain bodies. As a life, they all had their own issues. Most didn't have the perfect life. This aspect of the story was spot on, as we never know what's going on in the lives of others, whether internally or externally. Some are more obvious than others, but we never truly know. Somewhere along the way he seems to lose this respect a bit.

With each new person A inhabits, it seemed like we got a new PSA on race, sexuality, immigration or whatever else. He's in a boy's body one day, a girl the next, an illegal alien, a gay guy, a transgender, a drug addict, etc. etc. Which yes, naturally, he'd be placed in all sorts of people. I totally get that, but I really felt like I was getting a pretty big spoon feeding of someone's agenda with each new day/host, and I've gotta say.... that probably turned me off the most. I read for fun. Not to be indoctrinated. I expected diversity, because that's a big part of the premise of this story, but it could have flowed naturally, and that would have been nice. Instead, it felt forced and redundant. All that effort was put into these little "life lessons", yet we still don't know what A actually is or why he body hops daily. Why just one day? Why just in the same general region? What was the point of this story in general? I don't think even A knows. There are so many more unanswered questions. Don't get me wrong. This author is clearly talented. His style is beautiful. I just wish he tried to give us more of the much needed details and a little less of the public service announcements. We need to know these details for the story to work. I'm filling in my own answers for things, but they are just guesses. I was hoping for answers in the next book, but it looks like it might be this same story from Rhiannon's point of view. So, will there maybe be answers in book three?

As I take Justin's books out of his locker, I can feel someone hovering on the periphery. I turn, and the girl standing there is transparent in her emotions--tentative and expectant, nervous and adoring. I don't have to access Justin to know that this is his girlfriend. No one else would have this reaction to him, so unsteady in his presence. She's pretty, but she doesn't see it. She's hiding behind her hair, happy to see me and unhappy to see me at the same time.

Her name is Rhiannon. And for a moment--just the slightest beat--I think that, yes, this is the right name for her. I don't know why. I don't know her. But it feels right.

This is not Justin's thought. It's mine. I try to ignore it. I'm not the person she wants to talk to.

"Hey," I say, keeping it casual.

"Hey," she murmurs back.

She's looking at the floor, at her inked-in Converse. She's drawn cities there, skylines around the soles. Something's happened between her and Justin, and I don't know what it is. It's probably not something that Justin even recognized at the time.

"Are you okay?" I ask.

I see the surprise on her face, even as she tries to cover it. This is not something that Justin normally asks.

And the strange thing is: I want to know the answer. The fact that he wouldn't care makes me want it more.

"Sure," she says, not sounding sure at all.

I find it hard to look at her. I know from experience that beneath every peripheral girl is a central truth. She's hiding hers away, but at the same time she wants me to see it. That is, she wants Justin to see it. And it's there, just out of my reach. A sound waiting to be a word.

She is so lost in her sadness that she has no idea how visible it is. I think I understand her--for a moment, I presume to understand her--but then, from within this sadness, she surprises me with a brief flash of determination. Bravery, even.

Shifting her gaze away from the floor, her eyes matching mine, she asks, "Are you mad at me?"

I can't think of any reason to be mad at her. If anything, I am mad at Justin, for making her feel so diminished. It's there in her body language. When she is around him, she makes herself small.

"No," I say. "I'm not mad at you at all."

I tell her what she wants to hear, but she doesn't trust it. I feed her the right words, but she suspects they're threaded with hooks.

This is not my problem; I know that. I am here for one day. I cannot solve anyone's boyfriend problems. I should not change anyone's life.

I turn away from her, get my books out, close the locker. She stays in the same spot, anchored by the profound, desperate loneliness of a bad relationship.

"Do you still want to get lunch today?" she asks.

The easy thing would be to say no. I often do this: sense the other person's life drawing me in, and run in the other direction.

But there's something about her--the cities on her shoes, the flash of bravery, the unnecessary sadness--that makes me want to know what the word will be when it stops being a sound. I have spent years meeting people without ever knowing them, and on this morning, in this place, with this girl, I feel the faintest pull of wanting to know. And in a moment of either weakness or bravery on my own part, I decide to follow it. I decide to find out more. 





author
David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

To learn more about David Levithan and his books, visit his website.You can also find him on Goodreads & Facebook.




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