Saturday, December 6, 2014

A peculiar journey...Every Day (a review)

by Love Esios

Every Day's book cover grabbed from Google Images.
soul (n.)

- the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever 

If I'm going to define the word in a religious perspective, this definition given by Merriam-Webster dictionary may be the closest possible explanation I can think of when talking about souls. In the Catholic faith the soul is believed to be something that is bigger than yourself, though it is not something that is separate from yourself either. It is something that is part of you but is not entirely just you, because this is something that continues to live long after the body has already died. I haven't given much thought about souls. All I know is that the soul is a part of me, a very important aspect of my spirituality. My soul has been with me ever since I was born and it will depart from me when I die.

But what if we don't really have our own soul? What if a soul is just some kind of an invisible traveler that travels from one place to another? Well, in this book's case, the soul actually shifts from one body to another.

I can't really say my own understanding of what a soul is but it has changed after reading David Levithan's Every Day. I had a glimpse of its plot in my colleague's blog and just like how I fell in love with the other novels I have read in the past, I felt this unyielding curiosity to read it. A 16-year-old, gender-less and endlessly wandering soul (A -- yeah the name of this soul is just A) that inhabits different bodies every day of its life and eventually fell truly, madly, deeply in love with a girl (Rhiannon). Tell me, how can I resist a plot as intriguing and controversial (I think) as this? I thought the movie Her was the weirdest love story I've ever watched and heard. This book practically kicked it out and replaced it on top of my "ODD STORIES" list. I think I was particularly drawn to the soul's peculiar journey wherein he eventually finds the place where he belongs --- to the heart of the one and only girl he (or maybe it) truly loves.

How David Levithan presented the social issues in this book fascinates and at the same time intrigues me. Reading this book was like sailing in the calm seas --- very smooth and very easy. The way he explored each social issue, especially religion, depression and homosexuality, was very simple yet intense and fearless. These are the things that most teenagers are dealing nowadays. I must admit though, that some ideas were presented in a more blatant way (for me), especially the topics of religion and homosexuality.

The way he tells A and Rhiannon 's love story is so easy yet so complicated. It was compelling but at the same time disturbing. I remember this line from Ed Sheeran's song Thinking Out Loud,

"And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it's all part of a plan..."

It was a strange way to fall in love. But in some ways, it also feels right. The only thing lacking about A is a physical body... but the rest -- the character, the emotions, the imperfections that make a person "human"... they're all there. It may look like a case of unconditional love at first, but when you look closely, it was unrequited love. In the book, Rhiannon would often reply A's "I love you" with another "I love you", but I didn't actually feel the words were heartfelt -- a stark contrast as to how A would normally say those words which always sincere and true. Perhaps in Rhiannon's point of view, it was a a set-up that were both difficult and hard to believe. Perhaps, she was just overwhelmed with A's engulfing love.

Maybe in a parallel universe, things like this happen. Maybe things like this is just normal. Things like the story of A and Rhiannon. It is an odd but beautiful masterpiece from Levithan. Something that is worth thinking about. So I guess it's just right to give it 9 cups of latte out of 10. ^^

If you wanna check out my colleague's own take on the novel, visit this site: 
Everybody's Every day 
Great blog! ^^