Started: 21st January 2018
Finished: 11th February 2018
Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Series: Yes. (Every Day #1)
TW for: Transphobia, Fatphobia, Sexual Assault, Stalking – none of which are even framed as evil. I’ll be talking about them all in the review
Lots of spoilers ahead!
Do you think stalking is a romantic act? Would you sit by and not correct someone who is purposely misgendering a trans guy? Are you, too, unashamedly fatphobic?
Every Day might be just the book for you!
So I’ve given this book 2 stars on Goodreads to account for the fact that, while I hate SO MUCH of the story, the writing itself is pretty good and easy to read. If you’re reading on my blog, however, you’ll see it’s gotten a more appropriate 1.5 stars.
Spoilers ahead because this book induced so much rage I really, really cannot fully write this review without going into it.
Every Day is about a character who goes by, to themselves at least, ‘A’. Every day, A wakes up in a different body. A has no idea why this happens, but it has happened for as long as they can remember and it’ll always be a body the same age as them (which doesn’t really make sense to start unless all the 6000+ bodies they’ve inhabited have the exact same birthdate and time, but whatever. Suspension of disbelief there.) One day A wakes up in the body of Justin, mean old boyfriend of the perfect lovely adorable awesome – deeply unlikeable – Rhiannon. Being immediately, weirdly infatuated with Rhiannon, A encourages her to skip school and go on a date to the beach. It’s here that A falls in love with Rhi, which might be romantic if they hadn’t spent the day with her under a false pretence of who they actually are.
A wakes up the next day as a different person and spends much of the day thinking about Rhi, eventually resolving to take the various bodies they highjack to visit her. Sometimes this’ll be going up and striking a conversation. Sometimes it’ll be creeping on her from inside their car. It varies. Naturally, A hates Rhiannon’s-boyfriend-Justin and immediately starts trying to meddle in Rhi’s relationship.
The book has another subplot running alongside A’s creeping around. When I describe it, you might think it’s the main plot, because it actually sounds interesting and not entirely infuriating. Quench that hope right now, beloved reader. It’s a minor subplot which takes a backseat for the last 100 pages until the author realises “Oh yeah, kind of need a story in here”.
One of the bodies A hijacks – a guy called Nathan – remembers some of the experience and thinks he was possessed by the devil for a day. He manages to find a way to contact A by email, demanding answers which A doesn’t answer for most of the book and, when they finally do and agree to meet Nathan, shit hits the fan and you get a pretty good plot twist at the climax – a climax that lasts approximately 3 damn pages. Seriously.
Every Day as a concept isn’t a bad idea and at one point, when A starts having deeply creepy thoughts about how easily they could get away with murder (which are never bought up again, spoilers!) I thought it might be descending into a pretty solid thriller.
(That’s not what happens at all. Spoilers!)
Another thing I liked was when Justin punched A in the face. I don’t think I was meant to cheer, but hey, I cheered.
Every Day’s writing is also good, as I mentioned, so the reason Every Day is such a let-down is in part the pretty bad pacing but predominantly it’s utterly abysmal cast. The only character I remotely liked was Nathan who had every right to be angry and upset having been made to feel violated by A’s possession and was the only one who reacted to any situation in a believable way – and yet he was treated like a joke and an ineffectual antagonist.
A themself is ridiculous. The fact that they’re stalking Rhiannon is never addressed for how creepy it is. They claim that they’ve been every kind of person and aren’t judgemental but constantly seem to be contradicting themselves in that regard. When they end up in the body of a girl who likes to put effort into her appearance they’re quick to judge and when they end up as someone fat they literally act like it’s the most disgusting, repulsive possible thing for the entire chapter, saying horrible things like “he’s clearly just given up caring any more”. The poor bloody guy is only like 300lbs I swear to god. When they’re in a body that Rhi finds attractive they strip and get very, very close to having sex before A backs out. In the end they don’t, but they still spend the night naked with Rhi and messing around with her which means they’re both indisputably molesting the body of a teenager who cannot possibly consent to it – and Rhi even wants to go further, which would absolutely make it rape. A is just a huge douche through and through, but not even enough of a douche to keep it interesting. Just the kind of un-engaging douche you wouldn’t bother to associate with.
And then there’s Rhiannon. Rhiannon starts out the story not so bad, if a little overly passive and poorly characterised. She rejects A (who continues, despite this and despite seeing it makes her uncomfortable, to keep telling her they love her) but then does an out of nowhere one-eighty 2/3rd of the way through the book and decides they loves A too. Literally out of nowhere. Oh yeah and she tries to rape a guy. Did I mention that? Let me mention that.
But Rhi only loves A when they’re a conventionally attractive cis gender boy, obvs. Heaven forbid they be fat. Heaven forbid they be a girl. Heaven in particular forbid A be trans – when that happens, Rhiannon says “So you’re a girl who’s a boy?” and then spends the rest of the chapter misgendering the host. I thought this would be the point where A, who identifies as both a-gender and genderfluid, might be like “Well shit, maybe this girl isn’t all I’ve idolised her to be. Maybe I should tell her off, or at least correct her use of pronouns.”
Nope, they go on obsessing over her. Swoooooon.
The ending is a massive let down. There’s the sort of interesting plot twist involving Nathan’s subplot, as I mentioned, but that whole situation maybe gets 5 pages total consideration from the moment the plot twist takes place through to the end of the book. At the end, instead, A finds out that there’s a way to possess a person for more than a day – essentially take over their life, killing the original soul. They end up in the body of a nice guy called Alexander Lin and spend the whole day with Rhiannon showing her the nice things about that guy, then drops the bombshell at the end that A has ‘picked’ Alexander for Rhi to date instead. Instead of being like “Jesus Christ why are you trying to dictate my life and choose who I fall in love with?” Rhi kind of just goes with this. Alexander, of course, can offer no consensual part in this but I guess we’re left to assume he’ll be in love with Rhi too – after all, what nice guy wouldn’t be in love with a dull, transphobic, rude and obscenely co-dependant girl like Rhi? Oh, WAIT.
Now I’ve written this scathing review, I kind of regret giving it it’s 1.5/2 stars out of 5. I would say it barely scraped those ratings. It’s just… not a good book.
If you enjoyed: Changers by T.Cooper, you might enjoy Every Day. Maybe. Or maybe you should just stick to that series…