I’ve been a bad, bad squirrel. I read this AGES ago, gushed about it to every poor sap who would listen, and then didn’t even bother to review it. Womp womp. Well, good news for you, ’cause you can get all pumped up about it and only wait a month for it to come out.
I typically don’t summarize books, but I don’t mind so much on this one. This joint’s like Quantum Leap and shit, but not boring or on past my bedtime! The character, known as A, wakes up in a different person’s body every morning. And unlike Scott Bakula, this has happened to A since the beginning of A’s existence. A is gender-fluid. A doesn’t identify as a boy or a girl, as gay or straight. It’s not that A is happy with this, but a certain routine and comfort has been established with this kind of life. But of course, one day, A falls in love. Her name is Rhiannon and A must find a way to get to her every day.
Here’s an excerpt:
We return to the library with about a half hour to spare. The librarian catches us walking back in, but doesn’t say a word.
“So,” Rhiannon asks me, “what should I read next?”
I show her Feed. I tell her all about The Book Thief. I drag her to find Destroy All Cars and First Day on Earth. I explain to her that these have been my companions all these years, the constants from day to day, the stories I can always return to even if mine is always changing.
“What about you?” I ask her. “What do you think I should read next?”
She takes my hand and leads me to the children’s section. She looks around for a second, then heads over to a display at the front. I see a certain green book sitting there and panic.
“No! Not that one!” I say.
But she isn’t reaching for the green book. She’s reaching for Harold and the Purple Crayon.
“What could you possibly have against Harold and the Purple Crayon?” she asks.
“I’m sorry. I thought you were heading for The Giving Tree.”
Rhiannon looks at me like I’m an insane duck. “I absolutely HATE The Giving Tree.”
I am so relieved. “Thank goodness. That would’ve been the end of us, had that been your favorite book.”
“Here–take my arms! Take my legs!”
“Take my head! Take my shoulders!”
“Because that’s what love’s about!”
“That kid is, like, the jerk of the century,” I say, relieved that Rhiannon will know what I mean.
“The biggest jerk in the history of all literature,” Rhiannon ventures. Then she puts down Harold and moves closer to me.
“Love means never having to lose your limbs,” I tell her, moving in for a kiss.
“Exactly,” she murmurs, her lips soon on mine.
I just adore that section because I’ve always hated The Giving Tree and it’s nice to know that David Levithan and I are on the same page. I saw David at ALA, just standing around and talking to some peeps, and I wanted to tell him how much I loved Every Day and how I thought it was a shoe-in for one of the Stonewall Book Awards, but I immediately became uncharacteristically shy and just stood there and gawked for awhile.
There’s such palpable heartbreak and longing in Every Day. There’s an overwhelming sense of unfairness, injustice, and helplessness at hand, which I think readers of all ages will relate to. There’s hope for A, though, and I wonder if Levithan will be blessing us with a sequel.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid