Every Day



Inventive teen romance blurs notions of gender, reality.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers will learn a little about geography around Baltimore and about high school life and relationships. They'll also explore diverse family situations and relationships of different American teens.

Positive messages

Every Day's fantastical premise -- that a person with a soul, conscience, and intellect inhabits a different body each day -- allows the book to explore various teen lifestyles and issues. The book shows the power of love and the relative happiness of teens with healthy lifestyles and happy home lives.

Positive role models

Because "A" inhabits a different body every day, the book contains a multitude of parent/child relationships. Most of the parents are loving, engaged, and supportive, while a few are either too rigid or too out of touch. "A" himself is a caring, conscientious person who tries to balance feelings of responsibility toward his host people with a compulsion to be with the girl he loves.


One of "A"'s host bodies, a heavy metal dude, is physically attacked by a jealous boyfriend and ends up with a few cuts and bruises. One of the bodies "A" inhabits is a teenage drinker who remembers causing a fatal car accident; her memories of the crash are brief but graphic. One person wants to commit suicide. A pot smoker gets into a fistfight with a drug-dealing school mate.


"A" kisses the boyfriends or girlfriends of a few of the bodies he/she inhabits. A couple of times, a kissing session gets somewhat intense, and once when "A" is with Rhiannon, they disrobe from the waist up. Once "A" wakes up as a girl next to her girlfriend in bed. It's mentioned that Rhiannon has had sex with Justin, but that's not described. 


Characters are occasionally called names, including "whore," "bitch," and "slut."


"A" mentions that a pot-smoking character eats Cheetos. Characters visit Starbucks.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A teenage drinker wakes up with a hangover and remembers causing a fatal accident. "A" wakes up in the body of a drug addict and struggles with the cravings/needs of the person's body for a day. Teens drink alcohol at a party. The older brother of a girl whom "A" inhabits smokes pot while driving his sister to school.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that David Levithan's best-selling novel Every Day is about a character called "A," who's a whole person emotionally and intellectually but wakes up every morning in the body of a different teen. Working from this premise, the author shows a broad variety of teen lifestyles, diverse sexual orientations, and gender identifications, as well as different approaches to parenting. The book shows teens engaging in some sexual behavior: kissing intensely and partially undressing. There's also some teen drinking, and one character wakes up with a terrible hangover, tortured by the memory of a drunk-driving incident that caused a fatality. Some teen characters abuse narcotics and marijuana, and there are a couple of fistfights between teen boys.

What's the story?

EVERY DAY is about a character called \"A,\" an emotionally and intellectually fully formed, genderless person who wakes up every day inhabiting the body of a different teen; for one day only, \"A\" becomes part of that person's home, life, and family. Despite this fantastical premise, \"A\" faces very realistic -- and very troubling -- situations involving family life, romantic relationships, and substance abuse. In the course of the novel, \"A\" reveals his/her secret to two people: one, a girl he loves; the other, a boy to whom he feels he owes reparations. In different ways, each of these revelations makes \"A\" quite vulnerable and ever more determined to find a way for love to transcend his/her troubled existence.

Is it any good?


David Levithan's novels usually have some sort of hook, and this one is so clever. "A"'s nonphysical self is neutral of gender, sexual orientation, and race, and yet he/she embodies so many different American experiences. It's a fascinating premise, made believable by the strong, consistent voice Levithan gives his character and the book's realistic emotions and events.

Serious issues like teen drug and alcohol use, sexuality, and first love are all familiar young-adult fare, but they're addressed in such a novel way here that none of the heavy stuff seems the least bit tired or overwrought. This is a wonderful, original book that's equal parts fantasy and super-reality.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether "A" is a boy or a girl. Do you have a strong impression one way or the other? What is the book saying about gender identification?

  • Every Day blends a fantastical premise with realistic situations. What effect does this have on you as a reader?

  • Do you think "A" does the right thing at the end?

Book details

Author:David Levithan
Topics:High school, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House Children's Books
Publication date:August 28, 2012
Number of pages:336
Publisher's recommended age(s):14 - 17
Available on:Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byLivage June 25, 2013

Okay For Mature Teens

I thought this book was really amazing, starting with the whole concept of only being able to stay in one body for a day, which I find really intriguing to think about. I wouldn't say that the book is educational, necessarily, but both A and Rhiannon are good role models. A is respectful of the lives of the people he inhabits, he/she tries not to disrupt their relationships too much, he/she resists from doing things that the body wants to do (such as drugs). In one situation where he/she is a girl who is suicidal, he/she tells her father that he needs to get her help immediately, even if she says she doesn't want it the next day. Rhiannon is always supportive of A, and she is surprisingly understanding and accepting of his/her situation. She puts practicality before her own desire to be with A in the interest of protecting the lives of the people A inhabits (for example when A gets them in trouble with strict parents for leaving/skipping school to go and be with her). The book also conveys positive messages, like when A gets help for the suicidal girl, when he resists doing drugs, when he doesn't have sex with Rhiannon because it isn't his body and it's not really right. That being said, sex is somewhat of a concern because the book does describe A and Rhiannon kissing and it talks about how A is letting Rhiannon take the lead so it only goes as far as she wants it to, but it describes how she undresses them. She also tells A about having met a stranger at the door in nothing but her undergarments, because she thought it would be A at the door. At a party that A goes to in the form of a boy named Nathan, there is a lot of drinking, and A wakes up in the body of a girl who not only is hungover from getting drunk last night, but whose brother died in a car accident because he was in the passenger seat when she was drunk driving. A wakes up in the body of someone whose immediate reaction to waking up is that they need drugs immediately, but he doesn't take anything all day. When Rhiannon tells Justin that she has to take her mom to the doctor, he tells her to bring him back some of her pills. A wakes up in the body of a girl whose brother smokes while he drives her to school. Also, on a side note, I think the book has a kind of sad ending, even though I also think that A did the right thing, I was hoping for it to end differently. All in all, I'm a 14 year old and I think that it's okay for mature teenagers who recognize that all the lifestyles that A's many bodies choose for themselves are not acceptable.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bygirlwithadaisy October 10, 2012

I could read this every single day!

I read this book in a day and absolutely loved it. I am 13 years old and I think that anyone 13 and up could read this book as long as they are mature enough to handle some of the tougher things in modern teenagers lives ie drugs, drinking, etc. However the main character, A, is a positive role model and respectful of the bodies he inhabits and the people he meets throughout the novel. If anybody is put off by reading about sex, violence, or drugs, I would tell them not to let it get in the way because these themes are very minimal in the book and overall it is an AMAZING read about love and life and moving on from challenges. David Levithan's writing is extremely gripping and beautiful, and I am so in love with this book that I could read it again, and again, every day.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byminimoviecritic January 22, 2013

fav book ever!!!

Great book! There is some romance, but not too heavy. It has some really heavy concepts and plot points, however, such as the idea that "A" can never stay in the same body, same life, for more than one day, and then has to move on. This means he/she can never have anything solid to hold on to, even a gender. All of these are very compelling to think about, but can take some strength to really consider. Loved it and I highly recommend it!!


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