Another Day, by David Levithan

No matter how hard you try to keep hold of a day, it’s going to leave you.

When I read Levithan’s Every Day last spring, it became one of my favorite books of the year and of all time. I was both skeptical and intrigued upon hearing the news that Levithan was writing not a sequel but a companion piece to the book, retelling the story from an alternate viewpoint. I consider that somewhat of a risky move. If it gives new information or perspective on the story, then great; otherwise, it’s nothing more than a rehash for the sake of selling books to fans of the first one. The big question then is if Another Day is worth it to buy it, let alone read it.

And the answer is a resounding YES.

Just to refresh memory of the original story, A is a character who wakes up every day in someone else’s body. Upon understanding the difference between A’s own shifting-body life compared to everyone else’s, A decides to be a casual observer and try not to interfere too much in the diverse lives of the host bodies. Until A wakes up as Justin and meets—and falls in love with—Rhiannon. After that, A starts hijacking people’s bodies each day to continue seeing her. Though I felt bad for some of the people whose lives A intercepted, I felt terrible heartbreak for A because everyone deserves to have long-lasting relationships—friendship or otherwise—with people. I’m sure I felt bad for Rhiannon, having unwillingly found herself in a unique love triangle, but I didn’t know how much I wanted to know her side of the story until I read it.

What I liked the most is that while A has made sense of A’s life and naively believes love is as easy as seeing someone for who they really are, Rhiannon is exactly the opposite. She doesn’t have her life figured out and can’t see her boyfriend Justin for who he really is, so she maintains the relationship with him because it’s something, and she’d rather be with someone and lonely than alone. She deludes herself into thinking there are good days with him, but they are few and far between until the day Justin behaves drastically differently. She thinks he’s finally seeing her, that he’s changing, but that’s sometimes what we do in unhealthy relationships like this—we see what we want to see instead of the truth. The reader knows Justin is different because that day, he’s not Justin; he’s A. Thankfully, Rhiannon decides to trust and get to know A.

I encourage potential readers not to read Another Day immediately following Every Day. I believe a major part of my overwhelming enjoyment of the book was because I had waited nine months. The events of Every Day weren’t immediately fresh in my head, so I rediscovered many of them and remembered them, but got to view them from an outside point of view—in this case, through Rhiannon’s narration—instead of from inside A’s narration. It also made me eager to experience certain days that I did remember—particularly one intriguing body hop about midway through Every Day.

I’m curious to know what it would be like to read Another Day first. I love contemporary YA fantasy like this, where the world is perfectly normal except for just one element. I think Rhiannon’s story stands on its own just as well as A’s does, and the two books explore that same unique element through different themes.

In this case, that theme is about love. Can you really love someone for who they are on the inside without considering the outside? Can you love the driver and not just the car? Rhiannon struggles with this, and that struggle—though somewhat superficial at times (and therefore real, whether we humans would like to admit it or not)—is what elevated the book slightly above Every Day for me. She doesn’t instantly fall for A the way A does for her, and not just because she’s with Justin at the start. Her narration is filled with questions about the bizarre situation and with bigger questions about love and attraction and companionship. I don’t have the answers to all those questions, and Rhiannon doesn’t have them all either, but at the end, it’s very clear what she wants.

The ending of Every Day, though somewhat sad, left me with a feeling of what it means to truly love someone. The ending of Another Day left me devastated, and sadly, so does love sometimes. This isn’t just another retelling, this is a hopeless and hopeful love story from David Levithan that deserves another FIVE STARS.

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Another Day is available at Amazon.

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