by David Levithan
Published: 30th July 2015
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has convinced herself that she deserves her distant, moody boyfriend, Justin. She knows the rules: Don’t be needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.
Then, out of the blue, they share a perfect day together. Perfect, that is, until Justin doesn’t remember anything about it. Confused, and yearning for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts to question everything. And that’s when a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that time with… wasn’t Justin at all.
David Levithan is one of my favourite authors, and his novel Every Day makes the list of my all-time favourite books. During the Q&A session of his book signing, he mentioned that the next project to be released would be a companion novel to Every Day. It’s safe to say this became one of my most anticipated releases for this year. I was very lucky, and thankful to receive an e-arc from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I got to reading it straight away, and read it within a couple of sittings.
As I mentioned, this is a companion novel, which means that it’s set in the same world and can be at the same time from a different perspective. For some context in case you’ve never read Every Day, in that story we follow A – a non-gender specific being that inhabits a body of someone new each day. That person will be the same age as A and will also be in a 4 mile radius of the previous. A had to learn how to inhabit these people with respect of their lives moving forward, and try to go unnoticed. Of course until A meets Rhiannon.
This time we read the story from Rhiannon’s point of view. I must admit, I was sceptical that I might not engage with the books as much as when it was from A’s perspective. There was something riveting about learning about the different people A inhabited each day. I did wonder how Levithan would bring something interesting to the plot we already know, and I wasn’t sure how a companion novel would deepen the world.
In all honesty, at first I felt like I was really disappointed in this novel. Which shocked me because of how much I loved Every Day, but the only reason this feeling cropped up was because there was something about Rhiannon that I didn’t love. At first I felt that her character was really whiny and it grated on me. She’s very insecure and the way she feels that day tends to depend on her interactions with her boyfriend. I got over this eventually when the interesting parts of the plot came into play, which were mainly the scenes that A was interacting with her. When the character was on her own, and moping about her boyfriend I could have lived without those.
Eventually, I was drawn back into the world and I enjoyed revisiting with the characters. And the stationary perspective gave a new dynamic. I particularly enjoyed hearing Rhiannon’s inner monologue, especially when A reveals the truth about his fascinating life. There were moments that really enhanced the plot, and the understanding of A’s world, especially what it might be like for the person that has been inhabited.
Overall, I did enjoy the companion novel after a bit of a bumpy start – however, in all honesty I probably could have lived without it. I think I would have enjoyed a sequel from A’s point of view more, because I’m dying to know where that story leads. Also, don’t read this before Every Day because that book is absolutely phenomenal and needs to be appreciated on its own first.
If you’re a big fan of Every Day then I’d say give this a read, otherwise I wouldn’t rush out for it.