[For what it's worth, Mr. Levithan, people are forever pronouncing my last name Jackal instead of Jakel (it sounds like the name Jake, with an L on the end) and then saying, "like in Day of the Jackal, hahaha!" So, I know how it is.]
But this angst over the author's name is not why I'm sleep deprived. The lack of sleep is because, three weeks ago, Chris brought home a copy of Every Day from the "Lucky Day" shelf of the library. (Does every library have a Lucky Day shelf?) After he finished it, Chris suggested that I could, and should, get it read before the 2/7 due date. I started it while waiting for Ben to see the doctor on Tuesday, but between doctor--> pharmacy--> flu grocery shopping --> writing group--> bed, I didn't get much read that day. Which is why I found myself falling asleep over the book at 11:30 last night, and then turning the light back on at 6:15 to squint my way through the last hundred pages.
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 he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
As A passes from body to body and from life to life, Every Day is all the fun of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife without the confusion of the varying timelines. What I love is that it calls into question what makes you "You"--and what better theme for a YA book? In addition to identity, Levithan manages to touch on mental illness, gender issues, health, difficult family dynamics, and the meaning and cause of love, all without making the reader dizzy or pessimistic. I think this book would especially speak to teens who are in the middle of figuring out who they are, but it's a page-turner for adults as well.
The Soundtrack: I happened upon a list of books, movies, and songs at Just Add Books, and was tickled to find Every Day listed as one of Maree's favorite books. For the soundtrack, I'm choosing one of Maree's favorite songs, by Keb Mo. I think the chorus is quite fitting to the theme of the book:
There's more than one way home
Ain't no right way, ain't no wrong
And whatever road you might be on
You find your own way 'cause there's more than one way home.