Friday, March 27, 2015

Back-to-Back YA Books for Book Club - and A Review of Every Day by David Levithan

So, this past Tuesday night we had C. Lee McKenzie, author of the excellent YA (young adult) novel, The Princess of Las Pulgas, at Recycle Books.  Well, it just so happens that the April Los Gatos Library Evening Book Club (April 21) book next month is also a YA. This one is called Every Day, by David Levithan, and I just finished it.  It's actually very interesting.  Every day, "A" wakes up in a different 16-year old body.  This has been going on since "birth."  He lives in the body of his host/hostess for the entire day, "accessing" the memories of the body in order to get through the day without arousing suspicion. At midnight, even though he is always asleep, he leaves the body and heads into the next one (sorta like Cinderella) And then, on one particular day, he ends up in the body of Justin.  No biggie, right?  Wrong.  He ends up spending the day with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.  And everything changes.

This is a very cleverly written book.  In fact, I'm pretty impressed with the concept and how Levithan carried it to a somewhat logical conclusion, with a few surprises thrown in.  I have to say that it took me a good 1/3 of the book to really get into it.  But once I was hooked, I had a hard time putting it down.  There were chills, tears, audible exclamations, and some very good writing.  Here are a couple of descriptions that I thought were particularly visual:

"Austen likes to hold my hand and swing it like we're walking down the yellow brick road."

"She is not someone you'd go out of your way to notice if you saw her on the street, but you'd definitely notice her if she was sitting next to you in class."

Good, huh?  And you will definitely enjoy reading about all of the different bodies he ends up in:  druggies, alcoholics, bodybuilders, athletes, boys, girls, gays, lesbians, meek, boisterous - well, you get the picture.  It's definitely worth reading, be ye a young adult or (yours truly) a not-so-young adult.

PERSONAL NOTE (Did you actually think you would get away without some personal stuff in the review?):  At one point, A says:  "The story, it seems, is going wide."  Joni and I were power walking through the downtown streets of Los Gatos quite a few years ago. We came to a spot where workers were fixing a sidewalk.  There was a narrow opening, so I said to Joni "Going wide."  Which I did, right into a freshly cemented section near the curb.  The next thing I know, I am up in the air, landing half on the sidewalk and half in the street.  I was absolutely covered in wet cement.  It had to be the funniest thing anybody has ever seen.  I wish I had a video of it.  I wasn't hurt at all and couldn't stop laughing for hours.  I'm only sorry that my friends weren't there to witness it.


  1. Do you remember that old TV show Quantum Leap? The plot of this book makes me think of that show, which we loved.

    Your story about the cement is hilarious!

    1. I don't think I ever saw that. Was it good? And believe me when I tell you how disappointed my friends were when they found out they missed "The Great Fall." In a similar situation, we were eating outside at a restaurant in Santana Row, which is an upscale outdoor shopping center in San Jose, with another couple. I was minding my own business which in and of itself is unusual, when the busboy bringing us water spilled mine all over the right side of my face. They still talk about that to this day.

  2. I read Everyday a few years ago and enjoyed it. The first thing I thought of was the old Quantum Leap program. It was always exciting to see where the character would pop up next and how he'd sort out the situation.

    Thanks for hosting me at your book club. I really enjoyed meeting the people and talking to them.

  3. It was great having you. I know everybody enjoyed it.