I couldn’t really put a finger on what makes this YA book so endearing. It could be the plot’s unconventional premise, the mystery surrounding the other main character, or both. All I know is that I already finished the book a third time and I still can’t get enough of it.
Most people who read Another Day are those who have already read its twin novel, Every Day, written by Levithan three years prior. I may be one of the few who hadn’t read Every Day first. If you’re one, too, then this plot is for you. :)
Rhiannon is the very devoted girlfriend to Justin, but deep inside, she’s feeling the toll of being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t really appreciate her. She knows the love is there, but Justin is just this guy who has trouble articulating his feelings. Most of the time, he’s more comfortable finding faults, hurling insults and nitpicking on the negative.
Which is why when Justin agreed to cut classes, go to the beach and transform into a super romantic person Rhiannon never knew he could be, she holds on to the hopes that things between them will now change. Except it wouldn’t, and it devastated her, because the Justin she was with on the beach is not Justin at all.
Meanwhile, A is a person who spends his entire life inhabiting different bodies for a day. He doesn’t know how or why, he just does. He already accepted this fate within himself and vowed never to disrupt the lives of the people he inhabits, until he falls in love with a girl while he’s in the body of her boyfriend. She took him to the beach, and he saw how much love she has for a guy who doesn’t deserve it.
And so we come to the main conflict of the story: how do you make things work when even tomorrow is uncertain?
…and in a day, you saw what he can be. You fell more in love with him when he was me.”
— A to Rhiannon
As I said, I bought Another Day without first reading its predecessor. After reading both books, I have to say that I personally like Rhiannon’s voice better. It is much more — I’m not sure what’s the right word to use — relatable(?) because it’s from the point of view of a normal person reacting to a weird phenomenon instead of the other way around.
Also, David Levithan very effectively translated first-person teenage thoughts on paper. I really felt strongly for Rhiannon and her dilemma — the intensity of her feelings, both for A and Justin, just jumps out of the book. I think her feelings for Justin are legit, although it’s obvious that he’s not really good for her. But when you’re 16, you do make bad relationship choices. It just highlights how Rhiannon is not a perfect girl, but true love looks beyond imperfections, right?
Throughout the book, I can’t help but root for Rhiannon and A to be together, more for the sake of Rhiannon than A. Her relationship with Justin was written so well, you’d wish for her to really get the love she deserves. Plus, A is such a damn romantic, his only imperfection is the fact that he changes physical appearance every day. This makes the ending both great and frustrating, and if you haven’t read Every Day, I’ll leave that for you to find out. :)
I’m not much of a YA fan, mostly because I find the main characters of YA novels either immature or unrelatable (dammit, I’m getting old!) so it’s ever a nice surprise to find a YA story that could hook me this much. I hope it’s not asking a lot for Levithan to write a sequel that is again in Rhiannon and A’s point of view. It complements the story and, in a way, makes it complete.
Another Day is 11/10, will read again. And again. And again.