4.25.2013

Book Review: Every Day

Ed Sheeran once said that it would be nice to wake up on the right side of a  wrong bed; whether he is talking about the literal right side or the kind of right that you will be happy about, I am not sure if I will want to wake up on a wrong bed. Worse even if you wake up on a wrong body... or actually something like that, as you do not really have a body of your own that you can rely upon on saying you are in the wrong one.


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. - Goodreads

The thing about most books is that they are trying to take something very big out of a pint. Everything is a mere peripheral vision, if not by a single person to the whole world, the whole world to a single person. We all have to face it, one may take someone (a character at least) as a story's entire world, but that only works during the reading process, because reality is the universe is too big to be equated to a single person. It is very ambitious for David Levithan to accompany so much by taking so little on his novel Everyday.

As how it goes, a drifter occupies different lives everyday and gives the readers a couple of nutshells about the other lives they are not living in. Aside from the fact that it gives us a view of how life goes to those over, beyond, and beside our own lives, we are also spared from limiting ourselves to the main characters. Since the drifter only gets to stay on a person's life for an entire day, the readers will not get that abrupt connection between the protagonist. Let us face it, if we happen to come across a character who has the same hairstyle or same idiosyncracy as we do, we instantly build an attachment to him which mostly leads us in being entirely emotional and less critical towards the story itself. Everyday gives an illusion of a flight, without having an origin and an undefined end.

While it touches something obviously metaphysical (yet not entirely impossible... I think) he focuses on its interaction to the normal lives, which brings the idea that people's lives themselves are the very mystery of the world. The main protagonist is not having a hard time dealing with other people but living in them. He needed to face all the shenanigans of his host, from gays to drug addicts to emotionally challenged people, let alone his personal problem of pursuing romantic love with a mortal. David Levithan knows for a fact that the truth about every people's lives are a substance on their own, and we need not to go far from reality to build a menacing conflicts.

Most Goodreads member give Everyday just passing scores if not flunking ones because they insist that there are a lot of questions left unanswered. How do the drifting happens? Where did the drifter come from? Are there other drifters around the story? I have to admit that these quite stirred me a bit too, but then I have realized that Levithan really wants these questions unanswered to give way to its focus which is the highly insightful meaning of life and being in love. There is this one part of the story which sort of builds an entourage towards the mystery of drifters, and it really sounds like a Goosebumps-kind of conspiracy... you can only surmise the great turn of the story if Levithan continued on answering all these metaphysical questions.

Everyday is but a normal teenage fiction seasoned with magic realism, the great thing about this though is how Levithan has presented it. A highly insightful take on life and love by a drifter whose life is drifting as well as he move from one life to another. Quite suspicious isn't it? But as how I see it, the drifter knows much more than we living mortals do.

Here are some quotes from the book that might get you scuttling to your nearest bookstore:

“If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: We all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.”

“If you stare at the center of the universe, there is coldness there. A blankness. Ultimately, the universe doesn't care about us. Time doesn't care about us. That's why we have to care about each other.”

“I want love to conquer all. But love can't conquer anything. It can't do anything on it's own. It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf.”

"I know from experience that beneath every peripheral girl is a central truth."

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