Written by David Levithan
Number of pages: 322
Average Rating: 4.0/5 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars (again)
Published on August 28, 2012
Read again in June 2016
Summary according to Goodreads
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. 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.
I decided to reread this novel because of our AYearAThon theme, and I am so happy that I did. I first read this novel a few years ago, and it was one of my favourite books of all time. This was the first novel I ever read by David Levithan, and I have since read almost everything he has published.
Because this is not a character driven novel, you have to feel everything. You fall in love with the personalities, their emotions, their being. They are so much more than people, they are stripped down to the bareness of their soul - leaving you with this extremely powerful novel and an even stronger sense of self.
I am in love with the way that David Levithan brought mental illness into his story. Since A is in a different body every day, it is nice to see how depression or anxiety is handled. Mental illness is not a personality trait. It is not something that comes and goes. David Levithan expresses this through passages such as; "Eventually though, I realized these inclinations, these compulsions, were as much a part of the body as its eye colour or its voice." So many times people believe that mental illness is something you can get over by smiling more, or eating more often. He later goes on to write one of the truest lines I have ever read; "It is a hard cycle to conquer. The body is working against you. And because of this, you feel even more despair. Which only amplifies the imbalance." I read these passages many times over, just so I could completely absorb the words and the truth behind them.
As with all of his novels, this one was such a page-turner! I could sit and read 100 pages straight without even realizing I had. The story is so captivating, I could have read it in one-sitting if I didn't have to work the next morning. I found the ending to be a little abrupt, but I understand the idea he was trying to get across. I am hoping to find more closure in the companion, which I will be picking up next.
Overall, this is still one of my favourite novels both for the poetic writing, and unique plot. This is something that I would recommend to everyone as it covers different topics such as LGBT, mental health, cultures, and more.