The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

If you loved Every Day by David Levithan, here’s why you need to get your hands on a copy of Another Day…

on August 2, 2015

My review of Another Day by David Levithan, which I bought in a fit of squealy excitement from the Electric Monkey stand at YALC 2015.

anotherday_zpsmfbbgdntAnother Day. David Levithan. Electric Monkey. July 2015.

Companion novel to the internationally acclaimed bestselling title Every Day.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has convinced herself that she deserves her distant, moody boyfriend, Justin. She knows the rules: Don’t be needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Then, out of the blue, they share a perfect day together – perfect, that is, until Justin doesn’t remember anything about it. Confused, and yearning for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts to question everything. And that’s when a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that time with … wasn’t Justin at all.

I was ridiculously excited to read this novel, as I was a huge fan of Every Day. This is a companion story – it’s not a sequel as such, but instead gives the events of Every Day told through the perspective of Rhiannon.

If you haven’t read Every Day, I won’t spoil the story, but the premise is that the main character, A, wakes up in a different person’s body every day. The body always belongs to somebody the same age as A, but the person can be literally anyone – any gender, any race, any sexuality, any body type. One day, A wakes up in the body of a boy called Justin. He forms a connection with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon, after spending the day with her, and decides that he needs to see her again, in whatever way he can.

Every Day for me was an absorbing read – I loved the concept, and I loved the fact that we got to see the world through so many different heads, as A learns a lot about perspective and others by inhabiting all kinds of people. Also, I’m a sucker for books that make me cry, and I soggy-fied my library copy with tears at the ending of this one, big time.

As soon as I saw that there was going to be another book set within the world of this story, I knew I had to read it. Rhiannon as a character in Every Day wasn’t a huge question mark – I did feel she was pretty open and honest about her feelings towards A and his situation – but I still felt that exploring her perspective could be intriguing. After all, Every Day raised some interesting questions around Rhiannon’s experience: What would it be like, to have a relationship with someone who’s appearance changes every day? Although we fall for the person inside when we love, are looks just as big a part of the whole experience? And what exactly are we, if we’re not just the body we see before us in the mirror every day?

These ideas are explored more deeply in Another Day, and I think that was my favourite thing about this story. It really makes you think – in fact, it makes your head reel a whole lot, as these are fundamental questions about human existence, and this book will undoubtedly make you question your own.

One passage in particular stood out for me, in which Rhiannon compares the body to a car, and the person inside to a driver. I started feeling a bit spacey when I was reading this, and becoming hyper-aware of the fact that I have a body, but I don’t always feel connected to it completely – I’m operating it, and I own it, but it isn’t necessarily ‘me’. I’m not always certain as to whether I believe in souls, but I can relate to the fact that our appearances can never hope to show people the truth of who we are inside.

There are some interesting insights into Rhiannon’s relationship with Justin in Another Day. Justin comes across as a douchebag here, as he does in Every Day, but he does seem a more complex character than expected, and we have glimpses of the person he could be if he wasn’t so messed up. There’s a nice (and hilarious) scene where he takes Rhiannon to buy some cookies from a neighbourhood Girlscout, who’s running a pretty savvy operation, and it’s one of my favourites in the book. Another Day helped me to see why Rhiannon would stay with someone like Justin too, and how her relationship with him seems to define and consume her to begin with. In the words of Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower, “We accept the love we think we deserve”, and this is so true of Rhiannon. Meeting A makes Rhiannon slowly start to realise this, and I really enjoyed her character development throughout the story, as she beings to re-define and value herself on her own terms.

With regards to the plot, Another Day is essentially a re-telling of Every Day – I would definitely recommend this to fans of the first book, but would not suggest re-reading Every Day beforehand, because of the similarities. However, the insights into Rhiannon’s head and how she’s feeling about this hella-crazy, confusing, but ultimately life-changing-for-the-better set of circumstances make this story absolutely worth reading, and the ending is just as emotionally heart-rending as Every Day’s. I’d love to find out what happens next, and desperately hope David Levithan writes a sequel one day!


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