Another Day by David Levithan (Galley)
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Fiction, young adult, romance, did we really need this?
Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Summary: Rhiannon isn’t happy dating Justin, until the day a mysterious consciousness known as A enters his body for one day and changes Rhiannon’s life forever. Head over heels in love for the first time, A contacts Rhiannon and an impossible romance begins, one between a girl struggling to understand herself and a genderless entity who spends every day in a different body. Can Rhiannon overcome her trepidation and let A’s being into her heart, or will outward appearances ruin their star-crossed love affair?
(Side note: Companion books may be David Levithan’s thing now. This year he also created a spin-off book called Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story, which is a full version of the play within the play found in the novel he co-wrote with John Green: Will Grayson, Will Grayson.)
So is Another Day necessary? No. Did I enjoy it? Yes. But not as much as I enjoyed the original.
In the introduction, Levithan explains that the book’s manuscript was given to three people to read: one who had never read Every Day, someone who picked it up years ago and a person who just read it, and I could definitely see the book working for everyone.
For the person who never read Every Day, Another Day would be a great book to fill in the gaps of Rhiannon’s narrative and get a more in-depth look at A. For the person who just finished Every Day, it provides a more rounded view of Rhiannon and her choices. And for someone like me who read Every Day when it first came out, Another Day really just makes you want to re-read Every Day.
As in the original, the most intriguing part of the story is how A’s life works. Every day A wakes up inside a different body of someone roughly the same age as him/her before shifting to a different body in the same area when the clock strikes midnight.
Unlike in the original, we only get to hear about these different bodies through Rhiannon. One of the great things about A’s narrative was being able to experience the varied lives of these teenagers, which was kind of lost in this retelling. Instead, we get Rhiannon’s struggles with her boyfriend Justin and her difficulties retaining a sense of normalcy in the midst of her relationship with A.
So while I still had a lot of questions about what defines us as people and shapes our personalities — as well as thoughts about gender and consciousness — I didn’t find myself with as many deep thoughts as I did with my first foray into Levithan’s world.
Ultimately, when I read it back in 2012, I thought Every Day was a great standalone novel that didn’t need a companion book or a sequel — David Levithan didn’t leave it open to that. After reading Another Day however, I am willing to admit that it could continue past a duology.
- Re-opened original questions about gender, consciousness, nature vs. nurture, a sense of self and perceptions of time
- Well written and fully fleshed out characters
- Excuse to revisit the world Levithan created
- Made me want to re-read Every Day
- Not really necessary
- “I wonder how I can be so full of him while he’s so empty of me.”
- “Like most of our fights, it’s about something stupid, with other non-stupid things right underneath.”
- “… I’m too distracted to really pay attention, which doesn’t seem fair to the book.”
- “… I read it a lot … Partly because I find new things every time I read it, but also because these books are always there for me. My life changes all the time, but books don’t change. Your reading of them changes – you can bring new things to them each time. But the words are familiar words. The world is a place you’ve been before, and it welcomes you back.”
Intrigued about the original? Check out my much more timely review for the book that started it all: Every Day.