by David Levithan Book : Fiction : Secondary (senior high) school  |  1st ed
Imaginative concept   (2013-02-08)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be someone else? Have you ever wished to live a different life with a different family? To be a different person?
Every morning, A wakes up inside a different body. Sometimes boys, sometimes girls, but never the same person twice. The host body is always the same age A is, and always lives within a few hours of the previous host, but everything else is random, with no explanations. It has always been this way for A, and that's OK...until the day A wakes up in Justin's body and meets Rhiannon. Suddenly, experiencing someone else's life for a day is not enough. A has fallen in love and is desperate to spend more time with Rhiannon, even to the point of making the host bodies lie to their parents and friends and sneak away to her town, heedless of the consequences. A long ago gave up the dream of having a permanent family, yet now A's untethered soul craves connection like never before. But is it possible to love someone whose outside changes every day? How can they make this complicated existence work for a long-term relationship?
The concept of this book is what first grabbed my attention. What would it be like to inhabit someone else's body? Rely on his or her memories to navigate unfamiliar surroundings? Would you use your time to observe and learn, experience new things and new ways of life, or would you take over the body and direct it to serve your own desires? I loved how Levithan addressed the ethics and moral dilemmas unique to this story's premise, and I loved the perspective A has on life, especially life as a teenager--something real-life teenagers inherently lack. Books are windows to other worlds, and this one felt fresh, new, and imaginative.
For readers' advisors: character doorway is definitely primary, story secondary. There is one scene where A and Rhiannon nearly have sex, but it isn't graphic. Not really any bad language to speak of.
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