September 21, 2012
First sentence: "I wake up."
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A wakes up every morning in someone else's body. He has been doing this all his life: every day, a different body, a different life, and only for one day. After sixteen years of this, he's gotten pretty good at going in, not interfering, and getting out.
And then he meets Rhiannon.
He landed in the body of her boyfriend, and truly didn't mean to fall in love with her. But, he felt this connection and even though he didn't want to, he couldn't stop thinking about her. But how to do this? How, if he isn't the same person day after day, can he convince Rhiannon that he not only loves her, but get her to love him back?
It's a delicate dance, one that goes through days and bodies and passions and questions. One that not only allows the reader to get to know A as a person, but peek into a wide variety of other lives. And one that Levithan does marvelously.
As I was reading, I thought that it reads much like a John Green book: philosophical and introspective, with always the possibility of being pretentious. (Though I appreciated much of the musings, like how 98% of the human experience is the same and it's the 2% that we're always fighting over.) But, Levithan never allows A or Rhiannon or the story to cross over into annoying territory: everything fit together just right, to not only tell a beautiful love story, but a beautiful human one.
And the end? The end was both absolutely perfect and completely heartbreaking. There were moments when I wondered where Levithan was going with the story, how he was going to end it, and whether or not it would work, but I shouldn't have worried. It made complete sense not only within the confines of the structure, but in a grander sense.
This book has everything: it will entertain you, it will make you think, and perhaps, most of all, it will make you believe in the ultimate goodness of humanity.