“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much for fantastic or marvellous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.”
Author: David Levithan Published: 2012 Pages: 384
This book has one of the most creative, thought-provoking and utterly unique premises of a novel that I have ever encountered. Imagine waking up in a different body every day of your life, being completely unable to control or stop the switching and having no real anchor to a normal life at all. Levithan’s idea alone had me hooked. Immediately I was drawn to the fast pace of the book; while it is no adventure story, with each new chapter brings a new character with a new story to tell, and that alone was enough to keep me reading. But Levithan manages to entice with more than this, he creates a protagonist who doesn’t want wealth or fame or beauty, A (the victim of the constant body swapping) just wants what most take for granted, the same life to live every day.
What’s really great about this book is Levithan doesn’t conform to Young Adult stereotypes which can easily ruin good YA books for me. Despite only be sixteen, the main two characters, A and Rhiannon possess a mature and sophisticated aura well beyond their years. Leviathan writes in a compelling and genuinely heart-breaking style; he really makes you feel A’s ache for normality, something which is so easily achieved by everyone else. While the book has an (almost) supernatural premise, I never once believed that the world Levithan created was anything but the one we live in. It’s plausibility is what makes A’s longing for a normal life even more agonising. The romance between the characters wasn’t anything implausible and most of all, he makes the characters feel real.
Levithan shows the reader so many different perspectives of the world that you can’t help but be intrigued by. He shows us what it’s like to live. Just to live. To be dealing with life as it comes and how different people react in different ways. No show-stopping twists, no superhero moments. Just people. And the real beauty we all possess.