Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. This was one of the most fantastic books I have read this year. It is so creative and tackles some really interesting questions. It does this in a heartfelt and humorous way; I really really loved it and could not put this book down.
Every morning A wakes as a different person. A never knows if he/she will be a boy or a girl, fat or thin, rich or poor. All A knows is that he/she will wake up in a body that is the same age as A and also within a certain distance of the last body that A possesses. Up to this point it hasn’t been a problem. A lives from day to day and tries not to screw up people’s lives too bad while he is in control of their body. Then one day he wakes up as Justin, Rhiannon’s boyfriend. This time things are different, A falls in love with Rhiannon. How can you be in love when you never know from day to day which person you will be?
Can you have a relationship when you never know what body you will be in from one day to the next? This book is funny, touching, and thoughtful. It brings to light questions about society’s perceptions of the physical body and explores how we take permanence of our lives for granted.
I am going to refer to A as a he throughout the review because A starts out as a he in the story…just keep in mind A is more of a he/she. A thinks he has a great overview of human life and is very wise about it all. After all he’s lived through many, many things. He’s been a drug addict, gay, straight, fat and thin. He’s been in loving homes and abusive homes. The one thing he has never been is in one family for more than day.
Can you imagine trying to hold onto the perception of who you are when you have a different physical body every day? A can access the memories of the people he inhabits, but needs to know when to do so. Can you imagine growing up like this and then finally realizing one day that this is not normal?
The concept is mindblowing. Levithan confronts the difficulty and questions that come with this type of existance head on and in a very thoughful and engaging way.
The book really makes you think. Especially as Rhiannon and A try to carry out a relationship. It makes you wonder would you be strong enough to love someone for soley who they are and not the physical package? Could you love your significant other if one day they were male, another day female, one day a drug addict and the next a 300 pound chronically depressed person?
Then there is the whole question of how A should treat the bodies he inhabits. He tries to leave them in the condition he finds them, but what happens if A is in someone who is suicidal? Does he get them help? Or should he not mess with their decision?
Just a ton of wonderful thoughtful issues wrapped in an utterly engrossing story. I could not put this book down. You never know what situation A is going to find when he wakes up and this makes the story absolutely unpredictable. You also are dying to know if A and Rhiannon can actually make this thing work.
I loved the ending, it too was absolutely creative and interesting. I would love to read more stories featuring A…I really would.
Overall an absolutely stunning and fantastic book. Everyone needs to read this. It will make you think and make you look at the perceptions we have as a society in a totally new way. It does all this in a story that is completely engaging, has wonderful characters, is incredibly creative, and even has a sweet love story woven throughout. Highly, highly recommended to everyone.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– 150+ Books Reading Challenge