Author: David Levithan
Date Published: 2013
# pages: 336
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“Every day I am someone else. I am myself—I know I am myself—but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.” A receives no warning and no preparation for the person he/she will become the following day. The life of transience that A, for whatever reason, has been forced to lead leaves little room for friendship and certainly no room for mistakes. The guidelines A has set for him/herself are simple: live each day without being noticed and without interfering. This system proves to be successful until the fateful day when falling in love causes A to break his/her own rules.
The constantly changing scenery in this David Levithan novel makes it a quick read, but the style also takes some getting used to. In the same way that A has to establish his/her own procedure for dealing with constant change, readers must find a way to adjust to an exceedingly dynamic main character. Despite the different bodies and situations in which A finds him/herself, however, A’s strong personality remains at the forefront of the narrative and gives the novel a sense of consistency. Every morning, he/she offers the reader a psychological and physiological analysis of the body he/she wakes up in. This unbiased report breaks open stereotypes, examines the nature of relationships, and presents the potential joys and horrors of high school in a way that evokes both pleasant and less desirable memories.
Although this novel is engaging for its ability to place the reader directly in the mind of the main character and in the bodies of several unsuspecting high-school students, it leaves much to be desired. A repeatedly makes imprudent decisions, the ending left me unsatisfied, certain aspects of the plot lacked development, and the romance reached a level of cheesiness that may have led me to set it aside were I not such already such a sucker for love stories. Nevertheless, it is A’s poor decision-making and romantic tendencies that help develop his/her character and the ending is, for lack of a better phrase, the way it had to be. In all, this was a good, quick read and one that I would suggest to anyone that has a few hours to spare.
Review by Christie Wentworth, A&S '13