Imagine waking up every morning in a different person. You have no control over who you wake up in, but you do have control over what you do in them. Every day goes by like this, and soon months and years have passed. This is the experience of A in Every Day by David Levithan. A, a teenager has lived a life like this for as long as they remember. Identity is one of the many things they do not possess. In fact, A doesn’t even have a gender because they wake up in people of all genders. While every other kid has a family, friends, and possessions, A has nothing. Everything A has is only there for a day because they will be moving on to a new body the next. Going to bed was always difficult for A as a child because they would have to leave everything behind from the day and prepare to wake up the next morning at a different place. After gaining experiences, A began to stop attaching themself to the different people they were in. Throughout, they gain experiences on how love and isolation connect in their life.
People are naturally social beings, so love is something that everybody needs whether it is from a lover, friend or a family member. Without love, people get lonely and often suffer from depression. A has been accustomed to not having family or friends who love and care for them. Throughout the book, they enjoy the days they have in the bodies of people who have loving family and caring friends. Even so, all the temporary relationships A has are not enough to fill the gap in their heart for long-term love. A has fallen in love with a boy before, but they could no longer be with him anymore due to the fact that A wakes up in a different body the next day. One day, A wakes up in the body of a boy named Justin who doesn't really appreciate anyone in his life, especially his girlfriend Rhiannon. As Justin, A goes to school and meets Rhiannon. Immediately, A falls in love with Rhiannon and knows that she is the girl who will fill the empty gap in their heart. Even though A wakes up in a different body the next day, they still talk to her through Justin’s e-mail. A goes to visit Rhiannon almost everyday as a different person. They grow deeper in love, but they are brought down by the fact that they could never be a normal couple. Eventually, A explains their circumstance to Rhiannon, and she takes a while to take it all in. They try to be together after everything, but it is especially hard.
Honestly, I sometimes feel like Justin in the fact that he doesn’t really appreciate anybody in his life. My mom, dad, and sister have done so much for me, but all I can see is their flaws. Many privileged children like me can also relate, and we all have guilt of some degree in not appreciating our loved ones. This thematic aspect reminds me of another novel I read recently called The Glass Castle. It is a memoir of the childhood of the author, Jeannette Walls. Jeannette has a family, but a broken one. Her dad is the town drunk while all her mom does is to lie and bed and complain about how terrible her life is. Without money coming in, Jeannette and her siblings have to fend for themselves. Jeannette spends most of her childhood sifting through the garbage cans at school for lunch to eat. Her adolescence is spent with her father constantly stealing from Jeannette and her sister’s savings to pay gamble debts and booze money. Both A and Jeannette help me realize how blessed I am. After reading about them, I am much more thankful for my family and friends and the happiness they bring into my life.
A and the lack of love they receive from others leads to feelings of isolation. Normal people do not wake up in a different person everyday, so they would naturally not understand A’s situation. Therefore, A is practically isolated without anybody in the world who can help. When A wakes up in the bodies of people with ruined lives, A has to cope with their problems single-handedly. One time, A wakes up in the body of a teenage girl who has a journal full of sketches and diagrams about the many ways she can die. A ends up showing her father the journal as the girl and telling him to help her to prevent suicide. Also, when A wakes up in a drugged or a person on a hangover, they can only barely go through the day. Solving such issues is stressful, and maintaining other people’s lives so they don't ruin them isn't easy either. Handling all these problems without the help or encouragement of others is even worse, and it makes A feel very isolated. A doesn't understand people like Justin who take their loved ones for granted because A does not have a family that can understand him. Although this changes for the better when A falls in love with Rhiannon, A’s circumstances still prevent them from actually being together because A does not have a consistent identity.
I have felt isolated before, but that isolation is always something as small as getting excluded from a group. It is nothing compared to the amount of time I spend thinking solely about myself and not considering others. Most of A’s isolation come from the fact that others do not understand their situation or even care to. If I were one of the people in A’s life, I wouldn’t care about him at all. In fact, I would be so absorbed in my own issues that I probably won’t even care about his existence. I know that sounds super extreme, but I am just trying to make the point that many people in society are like me too. Instead of being so self-centered, I realized that I should help others more and empathize them and their personal problems that are usually more serious than mine. Even doing something as simple as giving emotional support would be good. This way, instead of being a self-centered, minor player of A’s life, I would be the one character who ends up changing A’s life forever by letting them know I care about them and I would like to help.
Every Day carries many lessons on love and isolation in a different perspective. An important message from Every Day would probably be to be thankful for the love and company of family and friends. Also, we should care more about helping and caring for others than for only ourselves. Many of us are blessed to have family and friends who support and love us, but we often take them for granted. Take a moment everyday to appreciate them and to empathize the people who aren’t as lucky. I would recommend Every Day to people who are interested in books with a more unique style or fresher ideas. It was a great read and I hope you like it too. I would give Everyday four and a half stars out of five because it was really original, but I wish there was a better ending. What experiences do you have on love or isolation? If you were A, how would you cope with the weirdness of life? Why do you think others would have much trouble understanding him and treating him like a normal person? Do you think A can be considered a real person or are they just a wandering soul?