Everyday, there’s a different body. A doesn’t know when it started, it has just always been this way. A wakes up and lives the life of the person he’s inhabiting that day, just going through the motions. Until one day, when he finally gets attached to someone. And everyday he wants to be with her, now. He has someone to live for, someone to love. Someone he wants to spend the rest of his days with. But everyday there’s a different body.
I can’t even begin to explain how baffling this book is to read. First of all, the whole neither gender thing is mind boggling. The concept of not being a physical being but only being, umm… a soul? mind? anyway, it’s weird. Very confusing, if you stop to think about it. So, throughout the book, I tried not to delve too much into the logistics of it. It’s so different and unique, and it’s wonderfully written.
David Levithan creates A into a normal teenager. He (and I’m calling A he for simplicity) falls in love, and does normal teenage things, in other people’s bodies. The concept may be hard to grasp, but the characters are easy to relate to and make the story much more realistic. I almost wondered if this actually does happen. Maybe one of my friends is really A, simply stopping by for the day and moving on. Would I notice? Probably not. It also made me think how unobservant and how similar we all are. Sure, there are different personalities and such, but mostly it’s just the same middle-class young adults day in and day out.
The book definitely makes you think. A lot. For instance, A’s love story is complicated and messy. And you’d think if they really loved each other, that wouldn’t be so. But love isn’t everything, and sometimes it isn’t even the most important thing. Humans are naturally superficial. No matter how much you kid yourself into saying you don’t care about looks or gender or anything, you do. There will always be that little voice who makes assumptions as soon as you see someone, and you choose to listen or not. But it’s always there. Rhiannon, his love interest, has difficulty seeing past the many different bodies he’s in. When he’s in a girl’s body, she hesitates to kiss him. When he was obese and messy, she shied away. It isn’t her fault. It’s not her selfishness or judgement. It’s just the way the world works.
Levithan truly tries to break down the barriers of judgement with his books. I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and that’s the same way. He writes to show how ridiculous it is to judge people based on looks or opinions. It doesn’t matter what race or gender or ethnicity you are. It’s the– warning, risk of being too cliche– inside that matters.
His writing style always holds the reader’s interest, the plot is amazingly unique, and the themes really stop and make you think for a while. I had to take breaks periodically while reading to process the story (which shows YA literature isn’t all that simple, nor does it get wrapped up in a neat little bow– adults definitely shouldn’t be ashamed to read them). But anyway, I highly recommend it because it talks of completely groundbreaking stuff and branches into a whole other way of thinking- a way much more open to all people. Plus, it’s just a great book.