Originally posted on my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
This was one of those novels that reminds me of a really good indie movie... it comes out, people talk about it, but it doesn't get overhyped. (Which I think is the best thing for a novel...enough buzz to create interest but not so much hype that people are set up for disappointed).
And of course it's by David Levithan, so I knew it would be good. But I didn't HOW good until I actually read it.
irst of all, the premise was INCREDIBLE. It could have gone a hundred different ways, and I'm sure some of those other hundred ways would have made for a great story too. But THIS story. Oh. Mah. Gawd. My heart... literally aches with this one. It was such a beautiful, sad, hopeful kind of novel. I mean, A is everyone and yet no one. All A wants is to be something to someone and it's impossible to hold on to that for a lifetime. This theory that someone wakes up in a different body every day is fascinating and crazy to think about. I loved that A was an ambiguous narrator without a defined gender and I found it exceptionally touching the way A described loving someone, not based on gender/sex but how you feel inside. Because after all, "Does it really matter?" I do feel sad for A though, I feel like A has a bit of an identity crisis every day and that's got to wear on your soul. Day after day, learning to be someone new and yet learning how to keep yourself detached. Gah. What a lonely, lonely life. I love that Levithan touched on, but didn't dwell on the temptations one would have if this situation actually happened. I mean, it's unreal how much trouble you could get someone in if you knew YOU were the one to never get caught. Murder? Robbery? Rape? It's scary to actually think about it like that. One of the other things I really loved about this novel was the amount of sacrifice A has for Rhiannon. He knows he can never be there for her in a way that she deserves so he sacrifices his love, his dreams and future so that she can have a chance at the happiness she's awarded to him in the short time they've known each other. It's very touching. This isn't my first Levithan book, so I now am certain that this man is a God with words. Oh lordy. I think half the book was highlighted with sentences or phrases that I fell in love with. I'm not that surprised though, he is besties with John Green...so it really makes sense.
Honestly, there wasn't much I disliked about this book. I wish some things were explained just a teensy bit more. I just had a really hard time believing that A could be in a different body every day without some sort of hair-brained explanation. Also the whole subplot of being followed and outed by Nathan...it was kind of addressed at the end but it really just fizzled out. I think that could have been a much bigger and explored subplot!
Overall, I was really impressed with this novel and I definitely fell in love with the language of the novel. If anything, you should read this book to experience how sweet the sentences feel on your lips. But really, this book is so much more than that. Give it a try...I think you will be quite impressed!