“He will always know what I look like. I will never know what he looks like.”
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
The story of A and Rhiannon lives on in this new book of David Levithan. (I know I need to post this review as soon as possible so here we go). Here we revisit their story, now narrated from the point of view of Rhiannon, so that the readers somehow were given another day to share with them. Of course, the story is not that different from Every Day, it’s just that the book is focused more with the life of Rhiannon, from the time he met A (inside the body of her boyfriend Justin) to the days when she discovered (and finally came to terms) with the secret life of A, towards the heart-wrenching end that we (at least those who read the first book) all knew. (Not that heart-wrenching after all it seems, oops spoiler).
(This is the obligatory second paragraph explanation of the synopsis of the book so please bear with me). The story, which I really need to include in this review, is about how Rhiannon met this guy who seems to be just only a soul because he has no permanent body to reside in. I am still confuse after all this time. Well this soul possesses random bodies of any guy and girl of his age (his 16 year old as per the book) for one day, and that was how Rhiannon met him, inside the body of her boyfriend. For a day. Yes, creepy. Of course, the girl would not believe at first that this guy is just a soul (I am describing him right, right?) but then she accepted this weird and kind of scary thing/phenomenon (or whatever you want to call it) and she fell in love with A, comparing him to his emo/lost boy boyfriend and she underwent this very difficult stuff included when dating a guy with only a soul and not permanent body, like the fact that she could not introduce him to his friends, and the fact that he (I am describing A as a ‘he’, back-off Emma Watson) keeps on being these hot girls, way hotter than her. So it is messed up right?
As I pointed out, the book centers on the life of Rhiannon upon meeting A. I think that the book is about three things:
- How she came to accept that her boyfriend is a no-good boyfriend (finally after nearly 300 pages, she realized this, what an idiot)
- She likes A, and her relationship with A (mountain visit, ocean visit, cinema visit, grocery visit and oh Coffee shop visit)
- She doesn’t like A because he keeps on appearing on this weird set of teenagers: a black girl model, a geek, a wrestler-like geek and others
Let’s discuss the first one. I don’t get it, the feeling of Rhiannon being close to suicidal mode before she met Justin. Sure her parents got divorce and all those sad things, but she has her friends even before she met her boyfriend, but she made it look like Justin saved her from depression, and from him she met her friends. It’s not the case. First, she has her friends long before Justin, so what the— you know what is her problem really? So the whole point of I-do-not-want-to-break-up-with-my-boyfriend drama splattered all over the book is lost in me.
Then she met A! And the story becomes interesting again, because we get a glimpse of A’s life which is, frankly, more interesting than that of Rhiannon. And second, he kept on pushing her to break up with Justin which is good. (Note: Justin is not that bad, he is just like me, lost in thought, thinking that he has problems in the world way heavier than the rest, too much concentrated on his own misery that he forgets to appreciate the people around him).
The third one keeps the book alive, and frankly is the whole point of why Levithan writes this story: it is to narrate the struggles of Rhiannon in dating someone who is not a constant. And in fairness, it really is hard. This is the difference between the two books, while Every Day tells the story of A and how he fell in love with Rhiannon, Another Day tells us about Rhiannon’s struggle to fight her loneliness, on fighting for a love that seemed to not exist, and on delving on the real meaning of that word: love.
“A has made me want to reach past all the cars, to get to all the drivers.”
The discussion in the book about loving the soul not the body is refreshing, even though the topic is not new. The plot of the book keeps the theme interesting, more like making the Lord of the Rings into a movie, if you know what I mean. Also I like the comparison of a body as a car and the driver the soul. Cool.
It is a good thing that I forgot some parts of Every Day because it added up to the excitement of reading this book, which might be boring because it seemed in some parts that you are reading the first book all over again. In this book as in the first, I could feel the pain of A, but also I could feel the pain and the struggles of Rhiannon which I think more of complimented the first book.
But by shifting the point of view of the story from A to Rhiannon, the book became just an ordinary YA book, full of angsty teenagers with common problems, peppered with just an uncommon problem, which is dating a guy like A. (Plus more and more parties!)
Another Day lacks the drama and the depth of its predecessor; it might as well just serve as a companion book to Every Day. But it has its own story, and how it ends keeps us wanting for more.
“I find myself wandering around all of the conversations, avoiding all my friends. I am this body, I think. When my friends see this body, they assume they know a lot about the person inside of it. And when people I don’t know see it, they also make assumptions. No one ever really questions these assumptions. They are this layer of how we live our lives. It’s like an instant form of reading, the way we define each other.”
“And I could not give anyone something real, I could only give them deception.”
“We find ways to navigate the world as it is presented to us.”
“If happiness feels real, it almost doesn’t matter if it’s real or not.”