I think for some reason, I thought Another Day was going to be some sort of sequel. Like, “ouuuu, where did A go and what do other people like him do and who are they?” Does anyone else feel like there’s an abundance of mysterious A’s in teen literature (Pretty Little Liars, Every Day, Another Day). It’s like the secret code for an ambiguous, mystery character who’s going to betray most (if not all) of the other characters.
You could basically just read my review of Every Day (if I had written one) and it would be the exact same thing that happened in Another Day except Rihannon is telling the story and not A. This is not a companion novel, it’s a copout. This book is as if Levithan read each chapter of Every Day and said to himself “Okay, how would Rihannon tell this differently?” and then just wrote the same exact plot in a new character voice. BUT NOT TOO NEW, because let’s be honest, A and Rihannon are in love for no reason other than that gutless “soul connection” that girls claim to have in high school while they ignore all the red flags that crop up like battlefield bombs on the sidelines. I was beyond disappointed in this book, even more so than Every Day because I just expected an explanation, a furthering of thought, a continuance of these two stories, a point. I got none of that.
It’s the same story that can be summed up in just a few sentences: Rihannon loves her boyfriend Justin who is the grunge video-gamer of their circle of friends and she has fallen into the stereotype of being the girl that has become the latchkey of her boyfriend. She likes all the same things that he likes and agrees when he calls her friend a bitch. They have dots of “good” moments, but not enough of them to play connect the dots. Then, Rihannon meets A (in multiple bodies) and falls for him/her, but not enough to actually ruin her life over. She does try to sleep with him/her when he’s in a hot, male form, showing that female brains cannot possibly be fully formed in high school.
David Levithan is trying to pursue a conversation about how society views and categorizes gender, but he never actually gets there. A and Rihannon email each other back and forth after dancing in a basement for approximately thirty minutes and for the next three weeks they’re souls have connected and they believe they’ve found their lobster. I shouldn’t be so naggy about this because this is essentially how and why people date and claim love in high school, except it’s SO ANNOYING. I think it bothers me so much because Levithan is trying to claim that people’s souls can have a connection regardless of gender, and it can be a real, true, romantic, love connection, except for the fact that he never explains their connection or dives into a deepness of connection that surpasses boundaries and genders. It remains the kind of love that you write gel pen hand notes about, instead of the kind this book needs in order to really follow the gender maze.
So, society gets nothing. Reader gets another YA novel about relationships (not at all regardless of gender). And no new thoughts are created in the making of this book. This isn’t fine print, people, this is actually what’s in there.
My favorite, favorite, favorite part (sarcasm approaching) is when A leaves the final body and Rihannon is just cool that he set her up with a boy that’s not him (who she claims to have been in love with, and spent the whole evening with, and wanted to introduce to her friends if only he would stay in one body), but it’s totally cool for girls to just… ya know, switch between boys and have an IV of love transfer.
I’d like to thank Levithan for creating The Lover’s Dictionary which actually deserved a sequel rather than a book that tries and fails to make a claim about gender and gender equality, or another book where another girl is as shallow as a handshake. Thanks for keeping YA at a steady pace of sad, relationship, shallow, doom.