BOOK JACKET BLURB: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. 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 to be with, day in, day out, day after day.
Published by Knopf, 2012, $16.99
Release date: August 28, 2012
Agent: Bill Clegg, William Morris Endeavor
A is a body traveler, reminiscent of that show from the 1990s in which Scott Bakula plays a character who ended up in a new body in each week’s episode. This traveler only leaps into 16-year-olds, however, and only those who are relatively close to each other, geographically. The story begins on Day 5994 when A wakes up as Justin, a not-so-good boyfriend to Rhiannon. A–who reads as male to me, even though he/she is supposed to be genderless–falls for Rhiannon. He sees something special in her in a way that he has not before. The rest of the novel focuses on his trying to find a way to be with her and coming to terms with the fact that it will never work. The ending is rather lovely. In the body of a “nice” boy, A takes Rhiannon on a “first” date and then convinces her to give the boy whose body he is in that day a chance.
I wanted to like this book, but as is the case for me with most of Levithan’s writing, I’m never totally convinced. It’s as though he tries too hard to prove something that just doesn’t quite work. In this case, we are supposed to see A as genderless and the book successfully calls into question our notions about gender and bodies. What is it that we love when we love someone? How is it not somehow about the physical manifestation of the spirit since the body is so intricately tied to the person within?
I did like the ending a lot; I found it very touching, but I had a lot of questions as I read.
“Bodies and Soul,” The New York Times
By Frank Bruni
Published August 23, 2012
“Author’s Focus: Soul, but No Body: Young Adult Book Explores Identity,” Chicago Tribune
By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
Published September 19, 2012
“David Levithan: The Happy Editor-Writer,” Publishers Weekly
By Rachel Deahl
Published February 8, 2008
Publishers Weekly, July 9, 2012
AUTHOR’S WEB PRESENCE:
Author’s website: http://www.davidlevithan.com
ALSO BY THIS AUTHOR:
- Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
- Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
- Boy Meets Boy
- Every You, Every Me
- How They Met, And Other Stories
- Wide Awake
- Every Day
- The Lover’s Dictionary
- Love Is the Higher Law
- Will Grayson, Will Grayson
- Two Boys Kissing
- THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY
- Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List
- Are We There Yet?
- Marly’s Ghost
- Up All Night: A Short Story Collection