Every Day (David Levithan)

I’ve heard quite a lot about Every Day and I’ll get right down to it: it was actually pretty good. The cover was a great plus and was really appealing to me, as I’m sure it was to other readers.

Every Day is about A, a person – who is not really a person, but you’ll see – who wakes up in a different body, in a different life every single day. But after A wakes up in the body of Justin, the boyfriend of a girl named Rhiannon, his whole “life” turns upside-down. In the course of a single day, he finds himself falling more and more in love with Rhiannon. But here’s the thing: he knows that tomorrow, he won’t be Justin. And that’s true. The next day, he wakes up in the body of someone else – but nothing’s changed. He soon realizes that no matter which person he wakes up as, he’s still in love with her.

Poor A.

I really liked Every Day because it was an easy read: it didn’t have words and sentences that made me trip over them (unlike Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, but that’s a book for another day, isn’t it?) I found the plot intriguing, yet Levithan told the story in a way that made the story seem simple but at the same time so complicated.

I applaud him for that. Clap, clap, clap. Okay, moving on.

There were a few things that bothered me, though. The first one doesn’t need much saying: A’s stalkerish, disruptive, selfish behavior. He borrows the lives of others, and what does he do with them? A small hint: he skips. Class, tests, important family trips. Things that would actually be really important to the people whom he borrows a day from. When you look at it though, he doesn’t even borrow anymore: he steals. He uses those “borrowed” 24 hours for his own… interest: namely, Rhiannon. That sounds more like being selfish than being in love.

How strange it must have been for Rhiannon, to have some guy who isn’t even really a guy following her around, arranging meet-ups with her, et cetera. And here’s one more thing I don’t understand: she’s in love with A when he’s a he. But when he’s a she, that’s a whole different story. So it’s completely okay for Rhiannon to love A when he’s in a dude’s body, but when he’s in a girl’s body, Rhiannon can’t love him. What I don’t get about this is why A expects Rhiannon to always adjust, to always love him despite what’s on the surface. As much as I love the message this sends out, it seems really… unrealistic. Rhiannon is human, with her own preferences, and for her, all of that (hey-the-guy-I-love-is-sometimes-a-guy-but-also-sometimes-a-girl) must have been very confusing. Goodness knows I’m pretty confused too.

Poor Rhiannon.

Despite those things, I loved Every Day. This is the first time I’ve ever read Levithan (oh, where have I been living? Under a rock?) but I don’t imagine that this will be the last.

Ang Medalya (Arturo Dominguez Jr.)

I really, really needed to like this book. Not because I wanted to, but because I needed to. It was a requirement for class in the fourth quarter.

Ang Medalya tells the tale of a thirteen-year-old boy named Rodel who visits San Luis, the home of his cousin Nardo. There, he makes friends with Rowena, as well as other people. But somehow, he gets on the wrong side of Dado, who gets green with envy at the mere thought of Rowena developing an… interest in Rodel. Dado is basically the town bully: together with his friends, Bubot and Andy, Dado forms a plan to “befriend” Rodel and persuades him into coming with Dado and his friends to climb the mountain, Tigmawag. They eventually get there and when they get the chance, Dado and his friends abandoned Rodel. Rodel gets lucky though because an old hermit named Tandang Kandor finds him. Things go wrong, however, when Dado, Bubot, and Andy get kidnapped by a rebel group.

Honestly, I think the writing was overdone a bit. The words were huge and although the story was in Filipino, there were some strange bursts of English in between some parts.

Also, the plot was quite… I don’t know. Odd? Peculiar? Dado is thirteen years old. Why would he waste his time bringing Rodel to the mountain and letting him get lost there on purpose? Even though he is practically the biggest jerk around, I doubt even the biggest thirteen-year-old jerk would wish such things on someone like that. But no. Dado had to get revenge on Rodel, who didn’t even do anything to him.

What?

So even after all these weeks, I still can’t bring myself to like this book. Sorry, Mr. Dominguez.