Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.
I requested this book on a whim having read zero Levithan books but having heard lots of buzz around him. The premise for this book is certainly different: A wakes up in a different body every day, growing in age every year but never staying. Why A is like this, if anyone else is like that, and if A can ever not be like that are some of the questions that came to me while reading. It was also hard not to define A according to the words we usually use (gender-specific comes immediately to mind but others about appearance too) although such adjectives as kind and thoughtful are still applicable. This makes A kind of a difficult character to understand.
The defining event of the book is that in the first chapter (or day 5994) A falls in love with Rhiannon and breaks self-designed rules in order to keep her around. Understandably she struggles with A always wearing a new face and body and not always able to keep promises to show up. A is also frustrated by one of the bodies realizing there was possession and trying to hunt A down. I actually really enjoyed that segment and the suspense that came from it.
Still for all that I praise it, and I do want to praise this book, it just did not quite click for me. I think the concept is stunningly original and that it is very well-written with excellent pacing. It is thought-provoking and could certainly be a book club read as discussions about soul and gender identity could be addressed. But I don't love it and I'm not going to go out and push it on my in-person friends (although I will encourage bookish people to check it out especially if you are a fan of Levithan's writing.)
Cover: I love the clouds but I'm not really a fan of the people randomly there-they're weird.