Every Day Book Summary, by David Levithan

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Overall Summary

Every Day is a book about a young man named A. Every day, he wakes up in the body of someone else and stays there for forty-one days. He has his own thoughts and feelings, but often senses what the person he’s inhabiting would be thinking or feeling. Their age is always sixteen years old, which matches A’s age throughout the novel.

In the book “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” by Khaled Hosseini, a young boy named Amir grows up in Kabul. His mother is an educated woman who wants her son to have opportunities she never had. When Amir’s father dies, he marries his wife’s sister for protection and security. The marriage doesn’t work out because the two women don’t get along well with one another, so they take turns living in their own houses. One day at school, when Amir is 13 years old, he meets this girl named Sohrab’s mom (Sohrab being a friend of his). He falls deeply in love with her but decides not to tell anyone about it because he feels like that would be inappropriate since she has a husband and kids of her own; however, after a while of keeping it secret from everyone else except for Sohrab’s mom (she knows), things change between them…

Rhiannon eventually falls in love with A, even though she knows he can’t be there for her all the time. She and A break up with their respective boyfriends because they’re not working out. As Rhiannon and A spend more time together, they fall deeper in love. However, it becomes clear that things won’t work out between them because Rhiannon needs someone who will always be around to support her; otherwise, she’ll end up getting hurt again.

A then searches for someone else who knows about him. He finds Nathan, the person he possessed while at a party to find Rhiannon. Nathan has been trying to contact A ever since he woke up from his possession. It seems that most of the people whom A had inhabited did not know they were possessed by him, but somehow Nathan figured out that A was in his body and sent emails demanding answers. When they meet, Nathan also believes him and wants further proof before trusting him completely; therefore, he asks them to meet again tomorrow.

The next day, Nathan is not alone. The ominous Reverend Poole, who has been giving Nathan advice, is there. Poole traps A, demanding to know his story. It becomes clear to A that Poole is actually like A; in fact he’s another spirit like him but unlike him can control the amount of time he spends in a body and therefore can stay longer than a day or two without having to move on.

A is fascinated by the idea of a life that extends beyond 24 hours. However, he also understands the ethical consequences of taking another person’s life to prolong his own. Therefore, in the end, A rejects Poole’s offer because he knows it would be wrong to take another’s life for his own benefit.

When A wakes up as Alexander Lin, he knows exactly what to do. He is a guy who is very similar to A and they both admire each other for their kind and artistic spirit. Both of them are sad but accepting that there’s no other way because they have been forced into this situation by Nathan. They decide to spend one last night together before separating permanently. The next day, A runs away from Poole, Nathan, and Rhiannon toward the rest of his days without having any regrets about the past or being afraid of the future

Chapter 1: “Day 5994”

On A’s 5994th day, he wakes up in the body of a sixteen-year-old named Justin. To figure out who his person is and what he needs to know about him for the day, A accesses his mind. He learns that Justin is rude to his parents, listens to obnoxious music on the radio, and smokes cigarettes.

When A gets to school, he meets Rhiannon. He notices that she is nervous around him and treats her differently than Justin does. However, instead of treating her like Justin would, A feels drawn to her. At lunchtime, they decide to skip school and go somewhere else together. She decides where they should go and when she says the ocean (the beach), he feels a strong connection with her because it’s his favorite place in the world too.

Rhiannon is surprised that Justin is letting her choose the music. She’s not used to him being so open with his feelings, but she starts talking about herself anyway. When they get to the beach, they play in the sand and then build a castle together. A thinks back on how happy he feels after spending time with Rhiannon—it reminds him of all those other times when he felt like this too: “I’m tired of not feeling.” They put down their blanket and lie side-by-side instead of making out; then Rhiannon tells a story about her mother while A shares one from his childhood.

The day ends and A knows that they have to leave. They talk until Rhiannon falls asleep in the car. When it’s time to say goodbye, she asks if they’ll do this again. He doesn’t promise anything but says that he enjoyed their time together as well. She kisses him good bye before he leaves her there by herself

Justin’s parents scold him for missing dinner, but he can tell that everyone is going through the motions because Justin has been in trouble plenty of times. A plays his part by storming off to his room just as Justin would have done. In his room, he thinks about Rhiannon and regrets that she probably thinks their relationship will be better now. He calls her telling her not to think every day will be like today because they won’t be. However, Rhiannon thanks him for the day and says she loves him

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After the talk, A sends himself Rhiannon and Justin’s information to save it. He knows he won’t be there tomorrow because he will never come back to that place again.

Chapter 2: “Day 5995”

“Today, I am Leslie Wong. I miss my sister so much already and it hasn’t even been a day since she left.” A thinks about how the morning routine is always the same no matter who I’m playing that day. “I have to get up, eat breakfast quickly, and then rush out of the house before school.” My brother drives me to school while smoking weed on our way there. “Sometimes when you’re with your siblings,” A thoughtfully adds in her head as we drive along, “you are at each other’s throats instead of helping each other out.” This reminds me of all the times growing up where my siblings were not helpful towards one another or myself.

A met Carrie, Leslie’s best friend at school. She talked about a boy named Corey Handlemann and how he sent her an instant message the night before. A found it hard to pay attention to their conversation because she was thinking about the day before and how she wanted that day to have meant something. Flashes of Rhiannon rose in her mind, but A tried not to think about her because she knew that once you experience enormity, it lingers forever and wants everything you say or do to be meaningful.

A student is in class when his name is called to the office. He later runs into Owen, who has a bloody face. The student asks what happened and Owen says he ran out of the principal’s office after he was caught with drugs in his locker. During lunch, Owen got into a fight that also involved Josh Wolf, his drug dealer.

When she gets home, her mother, father and grandmother are waiting for her. They interrogate her about Owen and search his car. She sneaks out to meet Josh on the playground but tells him that they need to go home because their parents were looking for them. When they get home, their father punches Owen because he thinks he’s a drug dealer; however, Owen denies the accusation and says that Josh was fighting over a girl with him instead of drugs. The family seems relieved by this explanation since it is not drug-related and therefore less serious than if it had been related to drugs. Despite all of this drama going on in A’s life right now (her brother getting into trouble), she can’t stop thinking about Rhiannon: “Is she hanging out with Justin? If so, is he treating her well? Did anything about yesterday rub off on him?”

Later that night, A goes online and finds an email Rhiannon sent to Justin. She says she’s disappointed in him for the way he acted toward her earlier that day. A is upset because he thinks it will only make things worse for Rhiannon.

Chapter 3: “Day 5996”

Today, I am Skylar Smith, a soccer player. Over the years, I have learned how to play many different sports from people that I’ve inhabited. However, there are certain limitations to my ability to pick up new hobbies because of past experiences where some of those hobbies ended up injuring my host’s body in some way or another. For example, when I tried skiing for the first time and broke my host’s leg while he was using it. The next day after waking up from inhabiting him again and realizing that his leg was broken as well as feeling guilty about what happened; this taught me a lesson not to get involved with dangerous activities like sports anymore since they could injure someone else other than myself which is something that can never be undone if it were ever too late.

After soccer practice, Skylar’s friend comes over to play video games and talk. Time is not wasted because they are surrounded by friends, talking about things that don’t matter and sometimes even things that do. Sometimes food is there too.

A also likes this time, but he’s worried about Rhiannon.

Chapter 4: “Day 5997”

Amy Tran has never done something like this before. She’s decided to go find Rhiannon at her school, which is an hour away from Amy’s house. On the way there, she hears a song on the radio that reminds her of when she was with Rhiannon at the beach. It makes sense because it feels like fate is telling her that it’s okay to do what she’s doing now—staying with someone for more than 24 hours and not letting go of them for some time in order to see if they are really meant for each other.

When A arrives at Rhiannon’s school, s/he pretends to be a new student. S/he finds Rhiannon almost immediately and watches her from afar. It is clear that she still has feelings for Justin, since she looks sad. A approaches her as Amy and asks for help showing around the school. Although A hopes for recognition, there isn’t any from Rhiannon because of their history together. She treats A kindly, though most people are harsh towards strangers because they think everyone wants to hurt them or distract them from what they’re doing.

A loves that Rhiannon is kind and open to her. Rhiannon offers to take A to classes, introduces A to all of her friends, and even Justin, who barely acknowledges them. At lunch, A begins asking questions about the ocean in order to test how much Justin knows from his memory of it. But instead it’s Rhiannon who answers most of the questions because Justin doesn’t say anything at all. This makes A sad because she wants him to talk more about the ocean as well as remember what happened there with him and his family when he was younger.

At the end of the day, Rhiannon walks A to her car. Before they leave one another, A asks Rhiannon something that nobody else knows about her. This catches Rhiannon off guard but she shares a story about when she was ten years old and tried to pierce her own ear. She tells A about how it didn’t work out so well because it hurt too much and bled all over her mother’s favorite dress shirt. The two share stories from their lives with each other until finally saying goodbye for now.

When Amy gets home, she is worried that her family has reported her missing to the police. However, when she arrives back at her house and finds out no one noticed she was gone, it alleviates some of her fears.

Chapter 5: “Day 5998”

There is a person who wakes up every morning and the first thing he/she does is try to avoid getting high. The reader never learns this person’s name or gender. This person is referred to as “the body.” Even though this person knows that if s/he leaves his room, drugs will be readily available and too tempting, it’s hard for him/her not to leave because of the addiction. To distract himself/herself from getting high, she tries reading but can’t do it because of how uncomfortable he feels with the body screaming at him/her. Finally, when it’s time for bed again, the body wants to sleep without any drugs in her system.

Chapter 6: “Day 5999”

Today, Nathan Daldry is a good guy. He leads a well-ordered life in contrast to the drug addict from the previous chapter. A decides to hijack his identity and take him to a party that Nathan would never dream of going to. The party is at Steve Mason’s house, where A expects to see Rhiannon.

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When Rhiannon is alone, a guy named Nathan approaches her and says he’s Steve’s cousin. He pretends to hate Steve because of his Justin-like behavior. He also tells her that he’s gay in order to make himself less threatening to her and not threaten Justin either. This makes him non-threatening as well. She enjoys dancing with Nathan so much that she forgets about everything else around them, just like they felt at the beach: “We are paying attention only to each other” (74). They dance until the music stops and the alarm goes out that police are on their way. Before leaving, they exchange email addresses.

Once A is on his way home, he realizes that the time will be too late for him to switch bodies. He does not want to be conscious during the switch because it’s painful. At 11:50, he pulls over and falls asleep.

Chapter 7: “Day 6000”

Today is Sunday, and Roger Wilson goes to church with his family. After church, they go to his grandmother’s house for dinner. He reflects on religion and notes that religions have many similarities in their beliefs. He also reflects on his mother who has been a single parent since he was young. She works hard as a nurse but often feels exhausted from her job. A believes she finds strength in human perseverance because challenges come along all the time, like when illness strikes or someone loses their job.

A is in the car driving to his grandmother’s house. It is late afternoon and he finally has a chance to use the computer. He sends an email pretending that it’s from Nathan, but when he checks his personal email account, he gets one from real Nathan Daldry saying “I will not let you possess me or destroy my life. I will not remain quiet.” A doesn’t know how Nathan knows about him and wonders if anyone else knows as well. No one has ever known before so A is shocked that someone found out about him letting go of Nathan and taking over for him.

Chapter 8: “Day 6001”

A day later, A gets a reply from Rhiannon that she enjoyed dancing with him. But then he/she gets an email from Nathan saying the police are involved. He/she searches online and finds articles in which Nathan talks to the press about demonic possession after being pulled over by a policeman (84). Despite his fear of what has happened, A also feels sorry for Nathan because he must have been confused when it all happened.

A has to pretend to be sick in order to get away from her/his boyfriend. When A finally gets away, s/he is able to check email at the library. S/he finds out that Rhiannon found out Steve does not have a cousin named Nathan. Rhiannon wants answers and asks for a meeting with A.

Chapter 9: “Day 6002”

A gets another email from Rhiannon and confirms that s/he will meet with her. A reflects on the fact that this is not how it was supposed to go, but they decide to move forward anyway.

A and Rhiannon meet at a bookstore, and A explains the situation. A wants to be honest with her about what’s happening because it has affected their lives for so long. A gives specific details of when they were in other people’s bodies to prove that this is real. A tells Rhiannon that s/he wants to be open with her: “I have lived my whole life like this, and you’re the thing that has made me wish it could stop.” They decide to meet again the next day.

Chapter 10: “Day 6003”

A wakes up as James, who shares a bedroom with two other brothers. A qualifies for free breakfast due to the family’s low income. At school, A receives an email from Rhiannon: “I want to believe you but I don’t know how.” Another email comes in from Nathan: “I want to know why you do what you do.”

A gets through the school day, though students make fun of Nathan. After school, A meets Rhiannon at Starbucks and she is surprised that he has changed his appearance from Megan Powell to James the football player. She asks him about their time together at the beach, party, as well as when Amy Tran came to visit them.

Rhiannon starts to believe A’s story. She asks him about his life and learns that he has not had a family but also that he has experienced many different things. He then tells Rhiannon about the problems in her relationship with Justin, saying she is really in love with A because of what happened on their date together.

Rhiannon acknowledges the pull of the ocean and the song of the universe. However, she’s not sure if her feelings for A are real or just leftover love from her relationship with Justin. Still, A is determined to prove that they belong to each other.

James hears Nathan on the radio talking about his experience and wonders if there are others like him. It would be comforting to know that he’s not alone in this.

Chapter 11: “Day 6004”

A wakes up in the same room as yesterday and is confused until s/he realizes that s/he is not the same person as yesterday, but rather his or her twin brother.

Although A has never seen the other person’s reaction to his/her possessions, he/she gets a chance to see it this time. However, James doesn’t seem to notice anything different. When A goes back home from school, s/he looks for information about Nathan and finds that many websites have picked up on the story of what happened at school. S/he feels sorry for Nathan because people are treating him like either a freak or an oracle instead of as just another teenager who is confused about what happened at school. S/he discovers yet another email from Nathan asking questions again and decides to finally respond by telling him that he is mistaken in blaming the devil for everything that happened at school; there are other explanations too which he should consider before jumping into conclusions about blaming something supernatural like the devil.

A thinks about how the past few days have been uneventful. In fact, A has been longing for Rhiannon so much that nothing else matters anymore.

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Before he/she falls asleep, A talks with James. S/he feels a sense of tenderness for this time because words take on a different shape in the dark room.

Chapter 12: “Day 6005”

Kelsea Cook is severely depressed. She has scars on her skin and a cracked mirror, as well as an unkempt room. When A learns about Kelsea’s history, s/he is shocked to realize that she’s been suffering from depression without any diagnosis or treatment. Her father hasn’t noticed the signs of her illness because he turns a blind eye to it. He takes Kelsea to school and gets impatient with her for taking too long getting ready in the morning. In physics class, A recognizes what they’re doing because they’ve done it before; however, their lab partner notices that Kelsea spends more energy than usual on the lab experiment. That night at home after school, A receives an email from Rhiannon who says she misses them terribly and wants them back in New York City immediately.

A then opens an email from Nathan and is surprised by the tone. The message threatens A’s identity: “Confess now, before we find you.” It’s hard to reconcile this threat with other emails that Nathan has sent, which seem genuine in their desire for knowledge. A wonders about who is influencing Nathan.

A is on the way home from work and passes by a playground. There, she sees Kelsea reading her journal. She’s shocked to find out that Kelsea has different ways of killing herself, as well as plans to do so in the next six days. A knows that interfering with someone’s choices can be risky but thinks about how much time Kelsea has left before ending it all and decides to reach out to Rhiannon for help.

After hearing the story, Rhiannon tells A that s/he must stop Kelsea from killing herself. As they talk, A takes her hand and tries to kiss her. In response, Rhiannon says it’s weird because A is in a different body than before.

The father calls Kelsea down to dinner. They talk about the situation and decide that A needs to intervene. She goes downstairs and tells her father that she wants to die, and he needs to help her now. He is stunned but will try his best to help his daughter through this difficult time in her life.

Chapter 13: “Day 6006”

Rhiannon calls Kelsea’s house, but no one is there. She thinks that this is a good sign because her father might have taken Kelsea to get help. Rhiannon also sends A another article about Nathan and other people who are claiming they were possessed by the devil. A sends Nathan an email saying that he isn’t the devil.

Today is the day that Hugo and Austin are going to Annapolis for the Gay Pride parade. Hugo has been thinking about his past lives, specifically Kelsea and Nathan’s lives, as well as James’, Tom’s, and Roger’s. He keeps getting caught up in this thought pattern because he can’t forget them.

Austin is so excited to take Hugo for a walk in the park. There are some protestors at the event, which baffles Austin. He doesn’t understand why people would protest against love. In Austin’s experience, desire and love are both natural things that everyone should be able to enjoy freely.

During the party, Austin is upset with A’s lack of attention. It seems that their relationship may have been in trouble already before today and A doesn’t want to be responsible for breaking them up. So, A apologizes profusely to Austin and tries his best to pay more attention. He pulls him into a kiss and acts like a good boyfriend for the rest of the day.

A gets an email from Nathan, and Nathan says he wants proof.

Chapter 14: “Day 6007”

A girl named Rhiannon meets a beautiful African-American woman, Ashley Ashton. The next day, A is an Asian girl with long hair and a nose ring. When they meet in the woods, Rhiannon says she can’t be in a relationship with someone who’s always changing their appearance because appearances are important to her. A insists that it’s still herself underneath all of the different people she becomes every day.

Rhiannon also reminds A that she has a boyfriend, even though A insists Justin is not good enough for her. Rhiannon gives an idea to test Justin by having him meet and interact with the irresistible Ashley Ashton.

A continues to talk about his/her past and how hard it was for A to leave every family that A ever had. Eventually, A tried having an online relationship with someone he/she liked but eventually ended the relationship because this person wanted to get together in person.

At dinner, Justin is stunned by Ashley’s beauty and the fact that she flirts with him when they meet. Rhiannon leaves to get them drinks at a bar nearby. When she returns, A starts flirting again with Justin and suggests they leave to do something “just between us two.” This angers him because he doesn’t like how easily she gives in to people who want her attention.

Chapter 15: “Day 6008”

A checks his/her email the next day, but there is no message from Rhiannon. A sees that Nathan is getting more press, even catching The Onion’s attention. Since A loves sports and has many friends, he/she tries to lose himself/herself in their lives. Then A sees Nathan at school; since AJ used to be friends with him, A doesn’t think it will catch too much notice if they have lunch together.

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A realizes that Nathan wants to talk about what happened with the Reverend Poole. A can see that Nathan doesn’t know who he’s talking to, but is obviously desperate to talk about it. While listening to Nathan’s fear, A thinks about how easy it would be for him or her (A) to commit a crime in another person and never get caught.

Chapter 16: “Day 6009”

A goes to Rhiannon’s school as Adam Cassidy. While the previous chapters have focused on A learning about Adam, this chapter focuses more on A getting what he needs—to be able to see and talk to Rhiannon in person.

A goes to the school and finds Rhiannon. When they see each other, A realizes that he/she has been recognized by someone else for the first time ever. They go into a classroom together, just the two of them. A takes her hand in his/her own, but she lets him/her do it this time around. A wonders if things have changed or if it’s easier for Rhiannon to hold hands with him when he’s dressed as a boy instead of a girl. He apologizes for his behavior as Ashley and tries to explain himself better this time around since their last conversation didn’t work out so well. However, Rhiannon still doesn’t want to get back together with him because she’s afraid that things will change again or that they’ll become distant from one another once more (as happened before). She also doesn’t want to make any big decisions about their relationship right now because she needs some space and time on her own; therefore, she asks that they only communicate via email from now on—no face-to-face conversations until further notice.

Chapter 17: “Day 6010”

This is one of the shorter chapters in the book. Chevelle, A feels depressed after talking to Rhiannon and can’t go to school as a result. He/she checks for an email from her repeatedly and keeps getting disappointed every time by seeing “Nothing from her.”

Chapter 18: “Day 6011”

Today, Valeria is an illegal maid. She doesn’t speak English and A struggles to understand her thoughts. A knows that s/he’s late for work so s/he gets ready as quickly as possible. S/he feels stomach pains and realizes they are menstrual cramps but there’s no time to think about it because the other women must go to work too. S/he almost takes some medicine from a cabinet but decides against it because taking this would be risky.

While A is cleaning a bathroom, s/he sees the owner of the house in her bedroom. It would be shocking if A interrupted Valeria to talk about science or history. However, since it’s exhausting work and when A gets home, s/he eats then goes to bed.

Chapter 19: “Day 6012”

A gets an email from Rhiannon that seems normal. However, A feels like the questions could just be polite and not genuine because they’re so generic.

A tells Rhiannon that she can’t see her because Sallie Swan has a cross-country meet today. A is relieved to be running, as it allows him to focus on his body and the race. If he is focused on winning, he won’t have any thoughts in his head except those of the body. He will also not have any goals other than those of the body—namely speed. A seeks this obliteration from thought, as he feels like it would help him escape from his own tormenting thoughts.

Chapter 20: “Day 6013”

Daniel Stevens is a member of a close, happy family. They go to Baltimore on Saturday and visit an art museum, have lunch at the Inner Harbor, see an IMAX movie, and then dinner at a seafood restaurant. However, Daniel does not feel like he’s part of this family because they are so caught up in their happiness that they don’t realize Daniel isn’t really involved in it all. He feels like he’s just wandering along the periphery of his family’s activities.

A is able to recognize that today is a good day, despite his/her sadness over Rhiannon. S/he can also appreciate the lives of others around him/her and how their happiness makes A’s life better. However, s/he still feels disconnected from them because of his/her sadness about Rhiannon.

Chapter 21: “Day 6014”

Orlando is often sleeping late in the morning, which gives A plenty of time to check out Nathan’s website. A reads about people who are possessed by ghosts and feels sorry for them, especially those who need professional help. However, when A receives an email from Nathan saying that it was cruel of A to pretend to be AJ and make Nathan fear future visits from A, A wants to reveal that he/she was actually AJ but knows this would only make things worse between him/her and Nathan. When Rhiannon sends a very vague message about how she misses her friends back home and how she wishes everyone could get along with each other better at school, all Orlando can think about is how normal everything will seem once school starts again.

Chapter 22: “Day 6015”

A wakes up in Rhiannon’s body and can hardly believe it. At first, A thinks s/he’s dreaming, but A realizes soon that this is no dream. Every moment suddenly becomes precious to A because of the unique experience that s/he has never had before. However, A worries about how to respect Rhiannon’s privacy by not intruding on her life too much since it’s a new experience for both of them. Nevertheless, when A tries to be respectful of her privacy by not taking a shower so as not to see her nakedness or have an unfair view of what she looks like under normal circumstances (i.e., without being inside someone else), this leads him/her into having more moments with which he/she can cherish the experiences: “This is how it feels to raise her arm… This is how it feels to blink her eyes… This is how it feels turn her head.”

At school, A is happy to meet Rhiannon’s other friends but not so happy to see Justin. As usual, he doesn’t give her a chance to talk and just likes hearing himself speak. A struggles staying in character and not using his/her power of mind control over Rhiannon and have her break up with him because that would end the relationship between them. However, when Justin calls her ‘Silver’, A accesses a tender memory where they were reading The Outsiders by S. E Hinton together and Justin was affected by it especially by the line “Nothing gold can stay” (194). Instead of calling her ‘Gold’ which implies their relationship will last forever, he calls her Silver implying that their relationship could last longer than expected despite this when Justin kisses Rhiannon while she is on the phone with him A is disgusted at what he sees as an invasion of privacy even though they are dating now.

A is tired of being with Justin, so s/he makes up an excuse to go on a hike. S/he thinks about how the ocean made him feel in Chapter 1, and now he can relate that feeling to Rhiannon’s purposeful movements.

After dinner with Rhiannon’s parents, A goes to do her homework and check her email. She doesn’t want to read any of Rhiannon’s books or accidentally lose her place while reading them. She doesn’t want Rhiannon to feel bad about the situation at all, so she leaves a note telling the truth about what happened that day and asks for forgiveness in advance.

Chapter 23: “Day 6016”

Rhiannon and A text each other after the experience. Rhiannon is curious about what happened, but doesn’t seem upset by it. In fact, she feels closer to A than before. They ask each other questions about their experience and wonder how things will work out in the future. Rhiannon doubts that they can make a relationship work because of her gender identity issues, while A wants her not to worry about things that might be impossible.

Chapter 24: “Day 6017”

A wakes up to Nathan’s constant emails asking for information about who A is. Finally, A writes back and assures him that he will never be possessed again. He tells Nathan that he must trust him because of what happened the night of the party when they were at the party together.

Today, Vanessa Martinez is a very angry woman. She’s so mean that she constantly judges everyone around her. However, we can’t change who she is tomorrow, but for today at least we can try to stop her from being so mean and judging others.

Chapter 25: “Day 6018”

Rhiannon is homeschooled and her mother does not allow her to go anywhere. She is very strict with Rhiannon’s schedule, so it’s difficult for A to meet up with Rhiannon. George, on the other hand, has a different teacher who teaches him at home. His teacher isn’t as good as Rhiannon’s and doesn’t know how to teach in a more engaging manner. This frustrates A because s/he wants George to be able to learn better than he currently can under his current circumstances.

A and Rhiannon go to the library. A pretends not to know her, which makes her mad. He apologizes for his actions when they go out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. During their meal, he draws a heart on the table with chopsticks filled in with pink Sweet and Low packets as an apology gift for upsetting her earlier. The waiter indulges them by bringing more fortune cookies when she complains about hers.

The following passage is from “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens:

The two then head to the library, discussing books. They show each other their choices and discuss them. She tells him about Feed, The Book Thief, Destroy All Cars, and First Day on Earth. He explains that he has read all of those books many times over because they are his constant companions through life’s changes. In the midst of this conversation, she kisses him for the first time.

George’s mother catches A and Rhiannon in the library. She yells at Rhiannon, saying she didn’t raise her son to be with a whore. George’s mom makes them leave the library immediately, and as punishment for being there late at night, forces him to do extra chores around the house.

Chapter 26: “Day 6019”

George is not as lucky as Surita. He has a lot of supervision from his grandmother, who is always watching TV shows and does not pay attention to him. However, he meets with Rhiannon anyway because she’s less affectionate when he’s in a girl’s body.

Chapter 27: “Day 6020”

When A is Xavier again, s/he goes to a cabin in the mountains with Rhiannon. She says that A is cute and kisses him/her. As they get undressed, A feels like a fake because s/he’s wearing Xavier’s body, not his own. S/He knows it would be wrong to have sex as this first time for someone else.

They fall asleep together, waking up to the sounds of birds and wind. Rhiannon asks A about his favorite life. He says it was when he was a blind girl because he learned more from her in one day than most people learn over a year. Although she had many challenges, to her they were just part of life and she handled them well.

A is aware that he will have to leave soon, but Rhiannon will stay at the cabin. Therefore, A makes a promise to her that A will return the next day.

Chapter 28: “Day 6021”

Dana’s mother wakes her up in the morning and is very angry. She yells at Dana for what happened the night before, but Dana doesn’t remember anything that happened. The author wonders if this is how Xavier feels when he wakes up without any memories of yesterday. The mother is sad because she was worried about them after everything they’ve been through; she can’t believe that Dana would do something like this again.

Dr. P is trying to find out why Dana did what she did, but A doesn’t know anything about it. Dr. P tells A what happened—Dana snuck out of the house and went to a party where everyone was drinking alcohol, despite all her friends’ warnings that she shouldn’t drive after drinking so much alcohol. She stole her father’s car and crashed it into another car while driving under the influence of alcohol…

The memories come flooding back. A remembers that her brother died because of her. She was driving drunk and caused an accident that killed him. She is overcome with emotion at the memory, but she doesn’t want to talk about it.

The parents keep A in their room, and they watch over his/her shoulder while A does homework on the computer. A doesn’t like what’s happening with Dana, but s/he can’t figure out why it is happening because there’s nothing inside of her. In addition, s/he worries about Rhiannon because s/he made a promise to her that he knows she shouldn’t have made since he has no future to look forward to.

Chapter 29: “Day 6022”

A finds out that Michael’s family is going to Hawaii, and A gets really scared. If A goes to Hawaii now, s/he’ll be stuck there forever because s/he won’t be able to return home until the body of a 16-year-old arrives in Maryland. But if A doesn’t go with them, s/he may never see Rhiannon again. So instead of going on vacation with his parents, he leaves a note saying where he is so they don’t worry and sneaks away from home to see her.

A goes to Rhiannon’s school and finds her in gym class. She is angry that he didn’t show up to the cabin, but A explains how his car broke down and some hunters showed up with a deer carcass for dinner. He stayed there until they left so it wouldn’t look suspicious. Rhiannon tells him about Justin who was mad when she returned home because she wasn’t at the cabin waiting for him all day like he thought she would be. Justin comes out of nowhere and starts punching Michael while calling her names. A wants to fight back, but doesn’t know what to do (247).

Rhiannon agrees to meet up with A, but she doesn’t show up until much later. Rhiannon says that yes, it’s over between her and Justin now, but it will take a long time before she feels free of him. Despite being upset about this, Rhiannon reassures A that she is glad A didn’t go to Hawaii. She asks about Dana and hears the sad story of their relationship. Since things are so sad right now, A changes the subject to happier times in their lives together when they were younger. When Rhiannon drops off A at Michael’s house, there is still some tension between them and no kiss goodbye either. They don’t make any promises for tomorrow or anything else either though as they say goodnight (or rather “good morning”, since it was late).

The father is angry. However, when he sees Michael’s face, which got bruised because of the fight with his friend, the father softens. The author explains that she/he couldn’t miss a concert but knows there will be consequences for Michael because of this incident.

Chapter 30: “Day 6023”

A likes Vic because he is living his truth and wants to be who he really is. A understands the loneliness Vic has dealt with, since A also feels that way. Fortunately, Vic’s parents are supportive of him now that they understand how difficult it was for him as a girl. In addition, Vic has supportive friends and a girlfriend named Dawn. His girlfriend sees him for who he truly is and doesn’t care about gender roles or expectations like Rhiannon does.

Vic is confused and frustrated when he gets to Rhiannon’s school. She seems very unhappy about his visit, which makes Vic feel bad. He later realizes that this is because she thinks he has come to tell her something that will make the rumors about her even worse.

Rhiannon also raises the ethical question of whether it is right for A to do this. Is A preventing fate from happening? What if there’s a surprise party or something else that was supposed to happen today, and now it won’t because A has taken over the person’s body? Rhiannon says she loves him/her more than anyone else in the world, but he/she doesn’t reciprocate those feelings.

After lunch, they agree to give each other some space. Vic goes on a date with Dawn while A is left thinking about her/his relationship with Rhiannon and how it could be similar to the one Vic has. When he/she comes home, there’s an email from Rhiannon saying that she wants their relationship to work out despite the awkwardness of today.

Chapter 31: “Day 6024”

A will not be seeing Rhiannon today, because A is going to his grandfather’s funeral. The death of the grandfather has been devastating for the family, and Marc can see that. When the father comes out of their bedroom, he looks like he’s lost his sight. As they drive to the funeral, Marc thinks back on all of the good memories he had with his grandfather when they went fishing or visited zoos together during holidays.

The funeral is a powerful time for A. S/he thinks about how no one knows of his existence except Rhiannon, and that no one will know of A’s death. The fisherman friends gather around the father and tell stories about Marc’s grandfather; they are crying because they miss him so much. But A is crying because he wishes someone would have known who he was, but since there will be no funeral, his life has been in vain.

The family and friends head back to the grandfather’s house. They continue to remember and tell stories of his life, including how he was always there for them when they needed him. The family then drives home, which is a long trip because of all the traffic on the freeway. While driving home, A feels jealous that this family has such strong connections with one another and wishes she had those same kinds of relationships in her own life.

Chapter 32: “Day 6025”

The next day, A is very upset because Finn’s laziness has made him/her overweight. S/he blames it on Finn and feels that s/he can’t do anything when s/he is this heavy. S/he doesn’t want Rhiannon to see him like this, so he/she decides to see her even though yesterday was the funeral and s/he couldn’t meet with her then.

Finn is constantly judged by others. They think he’s weird and don’t want to be like him. Finn has two best friends, so he doesn’t feel completely alone either. He goes to the bookstore to meet Rhiannon, but she also thinks that his appearance is strange and not pleasing at all. A says that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because people change when they’re in different moods; everyone changes from time to time as well.

A goes to a movie, but s/he is aware of how big his body is and takes up more room than one seat. S/he moves over so that both people can sit comfortably. At dinner, Rhiannon tells A that she doesn’t feel attracted to him because he has such a huge body.

Chapter 33: “Day 6026”

Lisa Marshall is back to normal size. She’s relieved because she won’t be as self-conscious about her appearance anymore, and Rhiannon will feel more comfortable around her. At the same time, Lisa feels guilty for judging people based on their looks; she realizes that Finn felt bad when others judged him based on his looks yesterday. Lisa gets an email from Rhiannon that worries her: “We need to talk” (277). The day is full of suspense as Lisa tries to imagine what Rhiannon needs to talk about.

A and Rhiannon meet at a park by her school. She tells A that she has thought about their relationship, and she doesn’t think it can work out because of all the obstacles they would encounter. One obstacle is that since A is different every day, no one will ever know who he really is or what he truly feels for Rhiannon. Another obstacle is that Rhiannon cannot tell anyone about A, which makes her feel like something’s wrong with them as a couple. Also, there are times when Rhiannon cannot fall asleep with A in bed next to her because it scares her too much to have him be someone else the next day.

A tells Rhiannon that they have thought about the obstacles to their relationship, and if they lived in the city, A would have more people their age around them. They wouldn’t need to travel far every day because they could see each other. However, since A is an incorporeal being who lives forever, this won’t work out for them. Rhiannon understands this and says no, it won’t work out between them as a couple. She wants to be close with A but not like that anymore.

Chapter 34: “Day 5994”

After being rejected by Rhiannon, A realizes that there is someone else in the world who knows that A exists: Nathan Daldry. A emails Nathan, agreeing to meet with him and answer his questions. When they finally meet up at a Mexican restaurant, Nathan is shocked when he finds out that the person sitting across from him isn’t Andrew but Kasey (a girl).

A tells Nathan everything about his/her experiences. A assures him that s/he will never possess someone else again, and explains why this might have happened to Nathan. S/he also suggests that maybe the reason he remembers is because s/he left so quickly or wanted him to find her. Nathan seems to believe A completely, replying with “This is huge.” He reminds A not to tell anyone and they agree on meeting up again the next day if possible.

Chapter 35: “Day 5995”

Today, Ainsley is at Nathan’s house. Nathan asks Ainsley to come over because his parents are out of town. When he goes to get a glass of water for Ainsley, Reverend Poole walks in and the mood changes drastically. Ainsley insists that he is not the devil; however, Poole tells him to relax because they’re on the same side. When A tries to leave, Poole blocks his exit and threatens him with violence if he doesn’t cooperate.

Poole reveals that A is not alone, that there are others like A and he’s surprised A hasn’t figured out how to use the power of possessions yet. Poole says, “You have no idea the power you possess.” This surprises A since it sounds like someone else talking through Poole. He realizes he can escape by pretending to be attacked by Poole. When Nathan runs toward him, he screams for help and gets away in his car.

A is left with questions and fears. She wonders if there are others like her, and what they’re like. She also doesn’t know whether or not the people who inhabit other bodies respect them. It’s clear that Poole doesn’t respect his body, because he uses it to get A pregnant without her consent.

Chapter 36: “Day 5996”

Darryl Drake is a very distracted person. He’s noticed by his friends, family members, and even his girlfriend that he has a tendency to be easily distracted. However, when Darryl gets online and reads the website of an organization called The Lasting Life Foundation (TLF), he realizes that there are other people like him who have trouble staying in one body for more than one day. This realization excites and scares him at the same time because it means that there are others out there with similar problems as Darryl’s but also raises questions about what happens to those whose bodies are possessed by someone else. Does this mean they just wink out of existence or does their soul get banished from body to body?

Nathan emails his apology for what happened with Poole; A replies that Nathan needs to stay away from Poole and move on with his life. A also tells him that this is the last email s/he will send Nathan. A then forwards their email chain to a new account, which is one of the few links he has to his past lives.

Rhiannon sends a very short email to A asking how s/he is. In response, A also sends a short email since s/he doesn’t want to go into too much detail about what has happened over the last couple of days.

Chapter 37: “Day 6030”

A wakes up as Zara, who is in bed with her girlfriend, Amelia. A wishes that she could have a relationship like the one between Zara and Amelia. The tenderness between two people can turn the air tender; it’s important to share your relationship within a circle of friends.

A misses Rhiannon a lot, especially since A and Amelia have been getting closer. So much so that A thinks of Rhiannon all the time. In order to cope with the pain, A decides to drive by her school just to see if she’s there without actually talking with her. When Rhiannon looks up at A as if she wants to say something, but doesn’t because she knows how much it will hurt A, it hurts even more than not having her in person.

A realizes that s/he can never be with Rhiannon. Instead, A focuses on Zara’s relationship with Amelia by buying her snacks that Amelia likes and spelling out her name on the dashboard of his car. They go to dinner together, but even though Amelia senses A’s distraction, she lets him or her be. This is exactly what A wants in a partner—someone who understands and cares for them so much that they would let them do whatever they want without interfering. When s/he gets home from dinner, A sobs because s/he knows it will never happen between him or her and Rhiannon. S/He talks one last time to Amelia before going to bed about how he or she could never take away Zara’s life from her: “Even if I deserve something like this, I don’t deserve it at someone else’s expense” (303).

Chapter 38: “Day 6031”

This is a short chapter, only 39 words long. The narrator of the story says, “Is it sickness or heartbreak?”

Chapter 39: “Day 6032”

Rhiannon tells A that she loves them but can’t be in a relationship with them because they’ll always leave. This makes A feel like s/he is losing Howie, so s/he tries to lose himself or herself by getting lost in the details of Howie’s life. However, this only makes things worse for everyone involved because his girlfriend doesn’t appreciate it when he stays quiet.

A realizes that s/he can’t continue things the way they are.

Chapter 40: “Day 6033”

A wakes up as Alexander, who feels a strong connection to his parents. His parents are going on an anniversary trip and they leave him with plenty of food and money while they’re away. A/Alexander gives them a gift—a mix CD for their drive, along with freshly-baked cookies, all wrapped in a bag that contains post-it notes on which he has written quotes from his parents containing advice they have given him over the years. It’s clear that this is a very loving relationship between A/Alexander and his parents.

Alexander is also friends with many people at school. He’s in a few bands, and he has a lot of friends who are there for him. Alexander realizes that his friendships are built on commitments, so he takes the time to be close to them. A accesses Alexander’s memories and sees what kind of life he has led up until this point: “A was tempted by what Poole had offered: a way to stay in this life longer than one day” (309).

A admires Alexander’s kindness and engagement with the world. A also knows that Rhiannon is only two towns away, so A decides to email Nathan for Poole’s contact information. Then, A emails Rhiannon and asks if they can meet up.

When Rhiannon arrives at the bookstore, she and A decide to pretend that they have never met before. They know nothing about each other: no past, no future. Just present. They get groceries and while getting groceries their mood lightens as they laugh and tell each other stories about themselves.

Once they get home, they start preparing dinner. They work well together even though neither one of them really knows how to cook. It seems like this is the way it could always be—the easygoing sharing of space, the enjoyable silence of knowing each other. When they finish cooking, it’s after nine and A wants to take Rhiannon to Alexander’s favorite place: his tree house. So they put the food on trays and grab some candles before heading outside. By candlelight, they eat dinner in Alexander’s tree house and A is in awe of Rhiannon’s beauty as she eats by candlelight with her hair down around her shoulders. He thinks that he will never experience anything so beautiful again because this moment was perfect for him even though there were no words spoken between them during their time together at the tree house eating dinner by candlelight while looking out over a dark lake under a starry sky.

A knows that time is running out. A has to tell Rhiannon the decision about staying in the past or going back to present day. The problem with this decision is that it’s difficult and may not be possible at all.

A tells Rhiannon that A can’t take Poole’s offer to stay in Alexander’s body because it would be murder. Instead, A says that s/he must go away and Rhiannon must stay with Alexander. Rhiannon is upset, but A holds her, reassuring her about Alexander: “He’s a good guy.” They proclaim their love for each other, and A assures her that she will love again, that there will be many future loves for her. However, this won’t happen for A.

A wants to make one last memory with his wife. He runs back to the house because time is running out. It’s almost midnight, and he has nothing left but memories of her. A knows that he will never have a photo of her in his pocket or grow old together with her. He falls asleep after saying goodbye, promising to remember everything about their relationship forever.

Chapter 41: “Day 6034”

Every Day Book Summary, by David Levithan
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