Saturday, June 4, 2016

David Levithan, EVERY DAY

It's an original premise ... a 16-year-old wakes up every day in a different body, falls in love with a girl in one day (in retrospect, it's funny that *that* is what my suspension-of-disbelief snagged on), so much so he's willing to risk changing how he minimizes his effects on his hosts' lives. But hey, a novel begins on the day everything changes.

This book felt akin to *Forrest Gump*, for me, because it provided such a rapid and comprehensive "survey"--not so much of events, as FG did (from the Vietnam War to AIDS), but of people, both teens and parents. This makes the book feel a bit like a parable for adolescence. We have the mean girl, the fat boy, the nice boy who's into computers, the girl who's hungover, the girl who's suicidal; we have the type-A parents, the absent parents, the grandmother who watches TV, the caring parents, the single dad. We see why the boy (I call him a boy b/c the first host is a boy, and his heterosexual romance with the girl is the one consistent thread from host to host) comes to a certain kind of experience-laden wisdom. At times, he felt preternaturally adult and wise. My favorite line: "Part of growing up is making sure your sense of reality isn't entirely grounded in your own mind" (p.123).

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