Another Day by David Levithan

Friday, October 16, 2015

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin. She’s even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

But one morning everything changes. Justin wants to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning.

Confused, depressed and desperate for another great day, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Until a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with—the one who made her feel like a real person—wasn’t Justin at all.

Another Day is a companion novel to Every Day, which I loved, and features the same events told from the perspective of love interest Rhiannon. You can read Another Day even if you haven't read Every Day, in fact, I think you should read Another Day first.

Basically it's about a person, A, who wakes up every day in a different body, who falls in love with a normal human being, Rhiannon. Which is problematic. It's a compelling concept but A's perspective is naturally the more interesting one, seeing as Rhiannon is consistently the same person. And a person who is frustrating in her inability to stand up for herself, even if she does seem like an accurate reflection of a real sixteen-year-old. She's likeable, but she never really seems to be in charge of her own story, instead having her life controlled either by her boyfriend Justin, or by mysterious (ghosty?) A; I would've preferred a story where she realised she was perfectly okay on her own, without a boy, or a genderless spirit, having to love and validate her. But that's just the sort of story I would like, and what the story actually is is still engaging. It evokes obsessive teenage romance very well. It's certainly very readable, conversational in tone while still being well-written.

Rhiannon is a well-developed character in her own right; this isn't a shameless money-grab Fifty Shades of Grey as-told-by what's-his-name or gender-flipped Twilight, but an engaging story in it's own right, offering a different perspective of the events. It explores gender and sexual orientation in a really interesting way; things that couldn't, to the same degree, be explored from A's perspective. It's definitely worth reading, and it functions wonderfully as contemporary YA with a paranormal twist, but it pales a little next to Every Day, which I thought was a real stand-out. The story I really wanted to read was what happens after the end of Every Day, rather than the same events from Rhiannon's perspective... fortunately that sequel is going to be published.

That said, this is an enjoyable novel with an authentic teenage voice, and it's pretty tricky to stop reading it. I'd recommend it to fans of both contemporary YA and paranormal YA; it combines the two wonderfully. The concept is brilliant. If you liked Every Day, you'll like this, and vice versa. And I really, really want to know what happens next.

Another Day on the publisher's website.
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