“Every Day,” by David Levithan

November 20, 2012

David Levithan has traversed the giddy highs and dismal lows of young love — gay and straight — for a decade in his fiction (“Boy Meets Boy,” “The Lover’s Dictionary”) and collaborations (“Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” with Rachel Cohn; “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” with John Green). In matters of the heart, teens have certainly taken him to theirs. Levithan’s new YA novel proves to be his most nuanced yet, a tender meditation on identity and romantic love that evolves with surprising grace from a rather odd premise. Each morning for the past 16 years, A, a kind of drifting, non-corporeal consciousness, has awakened in the body of a different person, an existence that A finds both lonely and “remarkably freeing.” While in the body of self-absorbed Justin, though, A becomes smitten with the boy’s gentle, uncertain girlfriend, Rhiannon. Most of the plot revolves around A trying to spend time with her, whether in the body of a rocker, a geek, a pretty cheerleader, a burly football player or a scruffy, heavy-metal fan. A’s wry, wistful voice keeps all this from devolving into “Freaky Friday” shenanigans, as do the sensitive glimpses into the lives of very different people, especially a suicidal girl and a confident transgendered teen. A subplot involving one of the boys determined to expose the “demon” that possessed him seems less developed and compelling than A’s hopeful search for true connection.

Mary Quattlebaum

EVERY DAY

By David Levithan

Knopf. $19.99. Age 12 and up


"Every Day" by David Levithan (Knopf)

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