Tag Archives: David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan
Book Reviews
August 15, 2012 posted by Nikki

Every Day by David Levithan

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

A has occupied the bodies of a lot of different people: boys, girls, gay, straight, transgendered, diseased, addicted, afflicted, depressed – you name it, he’s experienced it. He’s careful not to do anything too out of character, and he’s even more careful about doing things that might potentially mess up the body’s life (once they get it back). He’s just going through the motions…

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, A wakes up in the body of Justin. Upon initial assessments, A figures Justin is a bit of a douche, and settles into the routine of going about Justin’s day. Then he meets Rhiannon – Justin’s girlfriend – and his stay-out-of-it approach takes an instant nose-dive. A is drawn to Rhiannon in a way that he’s never been drawn to anyone, ever. Which is bad. Very, very bad.

Unable to help himself, A maneuvers himself into Rhiannon’s life, her head, and her heart. And honestly, that’s just all kinds of bad, because really, what kind of life can he give her? Different body every day, different location every day.

Then he meets someone who tells him he can make his situation more permanent. Could this mean he could have the life he’s always wanted? Could he have Rhiannon, every day, in the same body? He’s determined to find the answer.

So what did I love about this book? How about EVERYTHING! Everyone who knows my literary taste buds knows I have always loved and adored everything David Levithan has ever done, but this, well, this takes it to a whole new level. Every Day was utterly unputdownable. I loved everything about A. I loved how believable Rhiannon’s character was. I loved that she believed A so implicitly. I loved the depressed girl, the fat boy, and the kid he left Rhiannon with. I got to the end and screamed, ‘NO’ really loudly because I didn’t want it to end. Especially not there, where it did. I loved how flawless David Levithan’s prose was, how perfect and effortless it was to read. I loved the pace – it was perfect. I loved the cover (who wouldn’t?!). I loved Justin for doing the right thing in the one single moment he needed to. I loved the ending, but I hated it at the same time. It left me wanting more, needing more, CRAVING more.

Every Day satisfied every single one of my literary needs. It’s romantic, intelligent, exceptionally creative, and just perfect in every way.

It doesn’t get much better than this, folks. Every Day is the real deal.

Pages: 322

Publication date: 12 August, 2012

Publisher: Alfred. A. Knopf

Rating:: ★★★★★

Teaser Quote: “I wake up and I’m not four hours away from her, or one hour, or even fifteen minutes. No, I wake up in her house. In her room. In her body.”

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Book Reviews
January 9, 2009 posted by Nikki

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

If I had a cheerleading uniform and a pair of pom poms, I’d break them out right now so I could show David Levithan and Rachel Cohn just how much I love their work. I’d cheer, I’d jump, hell I might even attempt some of those crazy backward flip things. I’d definitely concoct a cheesy rhyme that I could shout at the top of my lungs that outlines my enthusiasm and appreciation. Yes, I’d go to THAT much effort.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (their first collaborative novel) was so supremely perfect that I didn’t think David and Rachel could do much better than that. I mean, how can you top perfection? You can’t, right? Wrong. Apparently perfection now holds a new name, and it sounds a little something like Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List.

Ely and Naomi have been friends forever. They live in the same apartment block and couldn’t be closer if they tried. They’ve got so much in common that they even like all the same boys. Yes folks, Ely is gay. So in order to protect their friendship against possible crush conflicts, Naomi and Ely devise a No Kiss List – a list of people that are off limits to both of them, under all circumstances. This works very well for them both, and life couldn’t be better.

Until Ely kisses Bruce The Second, Naomi’s supposedly straight boyfriend.

Because it’s the right thing to do, Ely tells Naomi and, not surprisingly, all hell breaks loose. For the first time in the history of The Ely and Naomi Show, the pair finds themselves experiencing some serious trouble in paradise. Things get nasty, they stop speaking and suddenly the No Kiss List no longer applies. All bets are off, every gay boy and straight girl for themselves.

Although the title suggests otherwise, this book is not entirely and exclusively about Naomi and Ely. Each chapter is told through a different character’s perspective, which adds a whole host of different tones and complexities to navigate. But it’s a good thing, and gives the novel depth. For example, through Naomi’s eyes, Bruce the Second is kind of boring and actually presents as a little two-dimensional. However, when Bruce the Second is actually given his own voice, readers step inside his head only to discover that he is adorable, smart, and kinda crazy about Ely. Cue violin music now, please. I found it very easy to forgive him for the terrible way things end between him and Naomi.

And then there’s Gabriel, who through Naomi’s eyes, is pretty much just a piece of eye candy, and through Ely’s eyes, is just the big-eared doorman. But when Gabriel finally gets his chance to narrate, readers learn that he’s deep, poetic and sensitive in a new aged kind of way. And man, does the boy have eclectic taste in music (which he is disappointed to learn, Naomi does not share). There’s also Bruce the First, Kelly, and the Robins.

Switching between characters so frequently means that you’ll never get bored reading this book because each character has a new agenda, a different purpose in the story. The one thing they do share in common, however, is Naomi and Ely, and everybody’s individual journeys are somehow linked to the Great Break Up of Ely and Naomi. Interestingly enough, I also think the constant switching between characters highlights just how limiting first person narration really can be. Naomi and Ely’s perceptions of the other characters are often unfair, or just plain incorrect.

There are some seriously touching AWWWWWW kind of moments in this story, but there are also a whole stack of humorous ones too. In fact, in several places I laughed so hard I had to put my book down, wipe the corner of my eye, and take a deep breath. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List is pure quality entertainment, in the strongest, most emphatic sense of the word.

Cohn and Levithan write together brilliantly, and their enthusiasm for their work shines on every single page, through every single tiny, insignificant word. Their characters are so real, so alive, that I think I saw Ely at my local Starbucks last night. For the record, Bruce the Second wasn’t with him, but a very loud-mouthed, jaw dropingly gorgeous girl was. Defintely Naomi, for sure.

Rating:: ★★★★★