"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton
This is where I chronicle my reading life. I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.
David Levithan does diversity so well.
I loved exploring all the different lives A "lived for one day," each of them somehow feeling fully fleshed out despite the short time we spent with them. I have to agree with the criticism of the way he responded to inhabiting an obese boy, though, especially considering what happened with his love interest afterwards (how's that for cryptic?).
The love story was nice, although not what was most compelling about this book. What it did do was serve as a good forum from which to explore the way love wreaks havoc on even the most orderly of lives. A started disregarding his "rules" for inhabiting others' bodies because he was so compelled to spend time with Rihannon, sometimes at almost any cost. While I felt a little annoyed at his "selfishness" as he used other's lives to get what he most wanted, it also shined a light on the way we all get a little bit selfish when we fall in love. Who hasn't put their new love over their jobs, staying out or up much later than one should? That's just one example of many, and A's story simply illuminates the foolish and selfish behavior we all display when love hijacks our brains.
The book also raised questions about who we are outside of our physical bodies. I thought of A as a soul without a permanent resting place, so she had to "borrow" from other souls who did have bodies. [I'm switching A to a "she" in this paragraph because the book never reveals her gender -- ARE we gendered without our bodies?] I was a little disappointed that A's situation was never really explained, but I also didn't really expect it to be. What I did like was the book's meditation on the importance of personal history balanced with the beauty of living in the moment. The ending felt a little abrupt, but I'm glad it was bittersweet.