by David Levithan
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2015. 330 pages.
Another Day is the same story told in Every Day, but this time from the perspective of the girl Rhiannon.
Every Day is an amazing book about someone who calls himself “A” who wakes up in a different body every day of his life. He gets each body for one day and only one day. The person whose body and life he inhabits is the same age as he is, and this has happened to him since he was a baby.
Things change when he inhabits the body of Rhiannon’s boyfriend Justin, has a wonderful day with her, and falls in love.
Rhiannon knows that Justin is different that day, more considerate, kinder, and enjoying her more.
Things go back to normal the next day. But then Rhiannon meets a girl visiting her school with whom she hits it off quickly. Then there’s a new boy at a party. He emails her and wants to meet. Someone totally different shows up and tells her a strange story.
What disappointed me about this book is that it’s exactly the same story and ends at the same place. I was hoping we’d find out more about A and the choices he makes, or maybe about the life Rhiannon lives after A.
It’s been awhile since I read Every Day, and it’s a truly great book, but I came away feeling like you really only need to read one of the two books — and Every Day is the more insightful one, showing you what it’s like to live inside the skins of many different teens.
Sure, it’s fun to think what it would be like to try to have a relationship with someone like A who is never in the same body two days in a row. But this book made me feel worse about how she treated Justin, because I did see a little more why she was dating him in the first place.
He still brilliantly shows you what Rhiannon was missing with Justin by describing what happens when A is in Justin’s body:
He sees me crying and doesn’t make fun of it. He doesn’t get defensive, asking what he did this time. He doesn’t tell me he warned me. He doesn’t tell me to stop. No, he wraps his arms around me and holds me and takes these things that are only words and makes them into something more than words. Comfort. He gives me something I can actually feel — his presence, his hold.
The whole idea behind these books is brilliant. The execution is outstanding. My only complaint with Another Day is that I already heard this story, with a little more punch.
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Source: This review is based on my own copy, signed by the author, which I got at a YALSA Symposium.
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