You want a book that will punch you in the gut a few times? Another Day will do that for you. Again and again. And again. It’s a bit tough to get your head around it.
16 year old Rhiannon lives her life, quietly sad, convinced she loves her controlling boyfriend, Justin, convinced that her friends just don’t understand him the way she does. (Oh boy, does THAT ever sound familiar! Are you listening, 16 year old self? And, sadly, also 21 year old self? He’s an idiot, leave him.) Her MO to get through the day? Don’t ask too many questions, don’t pressure, don’t make the first move, let him decide.
Then, one Monday, Justin offers the perfect day. But he doesn’t remember it afterwards. Then a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with wasn’t Justin, it was A.
A’s whole life has been waking up every day inhabiting a new body, someone his/her age, and someone within a couple of hour drive of the last person s/he inhabited. One day, A wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Rhiannon. Their relationship and its complications and implications might explode your head. Be careful.
I liked A. I liked his/her philosophy and acceptance of the life s/he leads.
But Rhiannon is a shallow, clingy, unlikable girl. I spent the first third of the book forcing myself to care about what happened to her, but came close to throwing in the towel a dozen times. She comes from an unhealthy family life, and forces a relationship with a boy who obviously uses her as he needs, with little regard for her. She makes excuses for Justin’s behaviour, worries about every word she says to him, and in general, has little self-respect.
Fine. We were all teens once.
I did like her inner dialogue, the way she talked herself through certain situations, how she gradually began to see that her relationship with Justin was not healthy. It felt familiar and authentic. Her approach to A was very real, as was the turmoil and conflict she felt, and her realization that she was leaving important friendships behind.
Interesting themes are explored in the book; who do you actually love? Do gender, race, and physical shape affect your attraction to a person, or whether or not you love someone? Obviously. Or not.
A companion to Levithan’s previous Every Day, which was told from A’s point of view, Another Day gives us Rhiannon’s life. I have not read the first book, as I got them mixed up, and bought the second by mistake, and am now hesitant to do so. I’m not the biggest fan of re-telling a story. Either include both POVs in the same novel, or move on.
David Levithan is a fantastic YA novelist. Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist is definitely worth your time. I just can’t put my finger on this one, I didn’t DISLIKE it, and had trouble putting it down once I was through the first few chapters. But I’m not sure it is worth the love. Because I did like A as a character, I would choose Every Day instead.
The novel is appropriate for all teens. There is some sex, but not graphic. It is a romance with a supernatural twist.
Another Day is published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers.