Rhiannon has a boyfriend. Not a great boyfriend, mind you. Justin is emotionally abusive, distant and temperamental and quick to find fault. But he’s hers and she’s his, and that’s how things will stay.
Sure, there was that one day when he talked her into skipping school with him and they had a wonderful, magical, perfect day together, but the very next day he was back to being moody and barely remembered a thing.
Other people do, though. Total strangers, different people every time, who all seem to know things about her from that day. See, there’s this person known only as A who involuntarily takes over the body of a different teenager every morning. A has spent a lifetime getting each new host body through his or her day, Quantum-Leap-style, without making waves or causing trouble until he woke up as Justin and fell in love with Rhiannon, and if this sounds familiar it’s because this is the story of “Every Day,” the David Levithan bestseller that was on everybody’s best book list of 2012 (including mine). “Another Day,” which hits bookshelves today, tells the same story but from Rhiannon’s side.
Of course, just discovering A’s existence doesn’t immediately solve anything. Does Rhiannon love A back? Can you keep a relationship going when one of you will wake up every morning as a whole different person with his or her own life, possibly miles away? Can Rhiannon love A equally when A is a different race, a different body type, a different gender? How would she explain it to her friends and family? And what about Justin?
“Another Day” dives much more deeply into Rhiannon and Justin’s relationship, which will be extremely familiar to anyone who’s ever had to tell their friends, “he’s really not like that, he can be sweet.” Levithan knows how to write relationships and he knows how to write teenagers, and there are no one-sided cardboard characters in this book.
Companion books like this can sometimes feel like a cheat, an unnecessary way of telling the same story again, but this with very unconventional love story it’s well worth it. If you haven’t read “Every Day” you can still read and enjoy “Another Day” on its own merits, but i recommend reading both. I will say that I like “Every Day” a bit more, mostly because A’s story is a totally unique viewpoint on love and existence, but “Another Day” was a welcome return to an excellent story.
“Another Day,” by David Levithan. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 336 pages. Hardcover: $10.09 Ebook: $8.99 Audiobook: $24.50.