From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* A (his only name) has a secret. Each morning he wakes up in a different body and life. Sometimes he is a boy, sometimes a girl; sometimes he is gay, sometimes straight; sometimes he is ill, more often well. The only unchanging facts are that he is always 16, and it is a different persona he borrows each day. It has always been this way for him, though he doesn't know why it should be. He does know that it is imperative that he do nothing to change his host's life, until he meets Rhiannon and, for the first time, falls in love. And then all bets are off. Levithan has created an irresistible premise that is sure to captivate readers. While the story requires a willing suspension of disbelief, the plot is so compelling that readers will be quick to comply. Aside from his premise, Levithan has done an extraordinary job of creating more than 30 characters, each one a distinct individual and each one offering fresh insights into A's character. Those familiar with Levithan's earlier work will not be a bit surprised to learn that his latest is beautifully written (lips are gates of desire ; sadness turns our features to clay, not porcelain ). All these elements work together to make a book that is a study in style, an exercise in imagination, and an opportunity for readers themselves to occupy another life, that of A himself. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Levithan is one of the giants of YA literature, but lest anyone forget, there's a robust marketing campaign backing up his latest effort.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-Levithan uses a straightforward hook-a 16-year-old soul named A wakes up in a different teenage body everyday-to explore identity. While the mechanics of A's ability are intermittently examined, they quickly become the backdrop to the myriad lives A inhabits and the strong identity he (or she as A does not identify with either gender) has created to survive this transient existence. His strong moral code is based on respect for the person whose life he disrupts and the consequences he doesn't have to face. That code is challenged when he falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon after spending a day in the body of her slacker boyfriend, Justin. Complexities arise when one of A's subsequent hosts, Nathan, has an awareness that he was possessed (presumably by the devil), and the story goes viral. Navigating a new body daily while attempting to build a relationship with Rhiannon and make sense of his condition leads to many philosophical quandaries that Levithan infuses with intelligence and poignancy while remaining nondidactic. Indeed, every step of the narrative feels real and will elicit a strong emotional response from readers and offer them plenty of fodder for speculation, especially regarding the nature of love.-Nicole Politi, The Ocean County Library, Lavallette, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Is it possible to disregard someone's exterior to see-and love-that person's true, interior self? That's just one of the provocative questions Levithan (Every You, Every Me) asks in a novel that follows "A," who takes over the body of a different person each day at midnight. Right around A's 6,000th day on the planet, A meets Rhiannon-girlfriend of current host body Justin-and falls in love. A is careful not to disrupt the lives of the bodies he/she inhabits (A doesn't identify as male or female), but that starts to change as A pursues Rhiannon. Levithan sets up the rules of this thought experiment carefully: A only hops between the bodies of teenagers (who all live fairly near each other), and A can access their memories. As a result, the story unfolds smoothly (the regular shifts between bodies give the novel a natural momentum), but it's also less ambitious. Despite the diverse teens A inhabits, A's cerebral, wiser-than-thou voice dominates, in much the same way A directs the lives of these teens for 24 hours. Ages 12-up. Agent: Bill Clegg, William Morris Endeavor. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.